8 Tips to Get Your Startup Funded
Sometimes it can be difficult to see what you’re doing right or wrong in your search for start-up funding. In this post you’ll hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. As a VC, we’ve heard great pitches (and some not so great), here’s what the best have in common.
1. Have conviction
Ironically, fear of failure can be a fatal blow to start-up funding success. Your company should be doing something new, so don’t be afraid of leaving your comfort zone and really stretching your capabilities. Test your limits, it’s part of being a founder.
2. Know your industry
We don’t fund start-ups without an expert at the helm. Even the best ideas can be undermined by inexperience. VCs don’t like chancers, so if you’re anything less than an expert, get back in the kitchen until you are.
3. Remember what funding is for
You need funding to support your business. That support isn’t just financial. A good VC will guide you through networking, marketing and expansion as well as financial bottlenecks. Remember what you need and you’ll be a step closer to getting what you want.
4. Research your VCs
This will give you an idea of their motivations and help to frame your pitch. It will also provide you with a solid understanding of the stability of those firms, check that their backers are solid and that they have expertise funding companies like yours.
5. Prove your market
To make investors take note, demonstrate a real need for a solution – your solution – in the market. Stats work, but live demonstrations of existing pain points are more convincing. Then show investors the way forward for funding success.
6. Make sure it’s possible
Your solution has to be viable for investors to commit. Make sure you have considered the ins and outs of real-world use and can present those realities confidently. Legal constraints can be another fatal blow to funding, it might be and idea to get advice before proceeding.
7. Get lean
Keep your team to the bare necessities prior to meeting investors. The essential needs should be met, but ask yourself – do you really need a marketing manager when you don’t have a product yet? Keep it lean to get investors on board.
8. Think long term
Not to toot our own horn, but investors are intelligent. We can sniff out a stretched truth or overstatement so be as transparent as you can. It’s the kind of relationship we want to foster and it’s the kind of attitude than signals long-term vision.