Category Fundraising

Why PRODUCT DEMO is a secret weapon of every single startup

These days, startup founders spend a lot of time thinking about how to pitch investors. The problem is not simple—investors get pitched a lot, and most startups are either too early or don’t think that making their pitch stand out really matters. The problem is that most founders just pitch with words. The founders spend time […]

7 Tips for Raising Capital in a Slower Market

We’ve talked a lot here about raising seed capital. Even when capital is readily available, fundraising is still not easy. But today, the markets are cooler, and according to Crain’s and Alley Watch, early-stage investment activity in 2016 in NYC is down compared to 2015. We’ve written about the slowdown back in August of 2015. Lack […]

Let’s face it, it’s time to upgrade the Pitch Deck to a Pitch Video

When founders get connected to investors, they are often asked to send the deck ahead of the meeting. We’ve written here why sending the decks, especially before the first meeting, is generally not a good idea. Startup founders cannot be defined by their decks. The main issue with a pitch deck is that it is […]

11 Questions Founders Need to Ask Investors During the First Meeting

Last week we wrote about questions that investors ask founders during investor meetings. This week we are turning the tables and talking about questions that founders need to ask investors. Most founders spend little time asking investors questions, and that’s too bad. First of all, good investors love it when you ask them questions, because it […]

30 Questions Investors Ask During Fundraising

We’ve written a lot here about fundraising and how it is a complicated, and at times, confusing process. To fundraise effectively you need to prepare and have a strategy, understand different types of investors, understand how much to raise, and create a solid investor pipeline. We have also talked about a fundraising deck, and how to go about putting one together. […]

What to do when your fundraising is not going well

One of the worst things that can happen to a CEO of an early-stage company is to be in the state of perpetual fundraising. Here is how you can tell that it may be happening to you: You have been fundraising for a while You are fundraising and running the business at the same time You don’t […]

Why NO is the next best thing after YES

For some reason, folks in tech, particularly investors, have trouble saying NO. Typically, the fear manifests itself in not even bothering to reply. After a number of seemingly positive interactions, the replies just stop. Saying NO, whether to a potential investment, potential hire, current employee, or a family member or friend, is just basic respect and […]

How to absolutely, positively get seed funding every single time

TL;DR Only serial founders with strong domain knowledge and track record and traction get funded quickly. For most founders raising a seed round is a lot more work, but there is a method to the madness. We often write here about raising capital.  Capital allows startups to go faster and generate growth. However, raising capital is not […]

Founders, Compute Backwards from Milestones

This morning, Mark Suster wrote an epic, must-read post about startup valuations and current funding climate. Go read it, and then bookmark it, because you’ll want to re-read it several times. Also go read my three related posts about Changing climate, milestones, and figuring out how much capital to raise. My biggest takeaway is that founders need to be […]

How to actually commit investors to invest in your round

One the the trickiest parts of any fundraising process is getting the actual commitment from investors. Often, we hear founders say that the investor is IN, only to find out later that they are NOT REALLY IN. The complexity is based on two dynamics: 1) Founders have happy ears, and 2) Investors have FOMO, and would like optionality of […]