Get your first $100K from Family...👀 WHAT???
This post is a reflection of a recent experience that made me reflect on my privilege or lack thereof.
For 7 years I’ve been navigating the tech space and finally comfortable enough to raise capital from traditional angel investors and/or venture capitalist.
My first 4 years in the space I did absolutely everything wrong.
The past 3 years I’ve found my lane. I’ve built my personal brand locally as ‘The Black Tech Guy’ and working on expanding awareness nationally.
I’m grateful to have a network of more experienced founders to connect with and learn from. As I dive into raising capital they have been instrumental with pitch deck feedback, expectations, and personal introductions.
I had the privilege this past week to spend 2 hours with a VC. The conversation wasn’t a formal pitch but an opportunity to learn. I encouraged them to critique my startup and pitch. Expose me to below the line knowledge that most people can’t read in a random book. It was a great conversation and I was privileged to have a trusted mentor facilitate the VC intro.
One part of the conversation (which was said twice) referred to the FFF round (Friends, Family, Fools) of fundraising. The VC essentially walked me through the lifespan of a startup and what to generally expect each funding round.
The disconnect for me was the assumed minimal effort it takes to raise $100K from friends and family. The statement was so passive I had do a double take. It was like a person telling someone ‘just run to the store and grab a sprite’
I felt there was an assumption in the statement that raising $100K from family and friends was an option. I grew up in a middle class family. Never struggled, tight knit family, I would even consider myself a spoiled kid. I felt privileged to grow up in the environment I was part of.
But under no circumstances could I imagine crowdfunding $100K from my family. That just wasn’t in the ballpark of possibility. It was a stretch to raise $2500 from my grandmother years ago, let alone think about pulling together $100K.
It was a clear moment of cultural and class disconnect. Now when I think back to that moment I kinda laugh because that dynamic is extremely foreign.
But the optimistic side of me is confident (actually 100% certain) those dynamics will change and $100K will always be a call away for my now 10 year old daughter and her future businesses.
Please chime in and let me know if I’m on point or way off the mark. I’m curious to hear from individuals that have $100K FFF investments.