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It’s Show, Not Tell
There's an old saying: If you tell me, it's an essay. If you show me, it's a story. In raising funding you have to show, not just tell. Forecasting alone doesn't close the round. You must demonstrate progress towards it. Never show up to an investor meeting or call without…
How Long Will It Take to Raise Funding?
I'm often asked how long it will take to raise a round of funding.  It will take you one calendar year for every million dollars you are raising, that's if you are working on it full-time. If you are part-time, then it will take longer. You'll need approximately two months…
Raising Funding Is Hard
Raising a fund is hard. Aside from sales, this is one of the hardest things to do in a startup. Here are a few points to remember in your fundraise: - Build relationships first and find investors second. - Divide your raise into tranches and give yourself a reasonable timeline…
How to Pitch to Family and Friends
If you are pitching to a close friend or family member, you can use an informal approach to ask them for money. Explain what your startup does in just a sentence or two, and tell the story of how you came up with the idea. Keep it brief. Describe how…
The CEO Should Pitch the Investor
I often see CFOs and board members give the investor pitch instead of the CEO. In an emergency this is okay, but by and large, the CEO should be giving the pitch. The investors want to size up the CEO and know who is running the business. I find the…
Who Should Come to the Pitch and Meet Investors?
In pitching an investor, the key presenter is the CEO.   While board members, CFOs, and others can make the pitch, that's the second-best choice. The investor wants to meet the CEO and size them up for their communication skills, passion for the project, and expertise in the domain. An in-person…
Startup Boards: What to Expect
Most of the work in a standard board meeting are perfunctory duties such as approving minutes and reviewing financials and metrics. The board also weighs in on key decisions around fundraising, strategy, and other topics. Board members will discuss whatever you put on the agenda.   Make sure the agenda items…
Ideal Board Member
Board members are a key part of a growing startup. Building out the board is an important step in setting up the company for success. Here are some characteristics of an ideal board member: - They come prepared to the meetings having read the material and done their research. -…
Who to Put on the Board
The board is a key part of the team that makes the startup successful. When you are in the early stage, using family and friends funding creates an informal advisory board. Try and meet with them monthly in a coffee shop and keep it to three members. After you launch…
What Is the Purpose of the Independent Board Member?
You may want to add independent board members to your board. The independent board member may add value to your company by bringing domain knowledge and operating expertise. Look for someone who has run a company of your size and industry in the not-too-distant past. The independent often brings a…