Raising Venture Capital
Below you will find an outline for the posts I’ve done on how to raise VC.
The initial section covers what to do before you approach a VC (or if you should even raise VC at all), the middle section is what the presentation you send should look like and the final session covers what to do after the meeting. If there a post description but no link it means I have not written the post yet. If you need that covered urgently please write a comment and I’ll prioritize it.
Also, if there is a topic you’d like me to write about and it’s not on the list feel free to suggest it.
I’m not known for brevity. Sorry. I’ll try to be better in the future. If you take the time to click on the the links and read these, though, there is a lot of practical information on the fund raising process. I’ve pitched maybe 100 times on the entrepreneur’s side of the table and had about 75 “no’s” (but I have had about 25 “yes’s”). I’ve sat through hundreds of pitches on the other side of the table. This gives me some interesting perspectives.
Fund Raising Stories
- My favorite fund raising story from posted in 2006 from my days as a startup CEO (see I was irreverent even back then!)
Are There Right Times or Wrong Times in the Year to Raise Money?
- Guide to VC Funding Season
Before a VC Meeting
- Do you really even need VC? Most start-ups do not. And most aren’t ready for the rocket fuel. Video version here:
- Angel Funding Advice — really long post but full advice for anyone considering raising angel money
- Angel Money Pricing — should you price the round or raise convertible debt?
- Should you raise seed money from a large VC?
- Should you take money from a “strategic investor” (e.g. a corporation that can help you vs. a VC)?
- What are the best ways to get access to a VC?
- The Cocktail Party Pitch — Text Version and the Video Version from my Interview on Fox Business News
- I sent an email to a VC and didn’t hear back — What can I do about it? Should I move on? (or if you want to watch a video covering the topic it’s here (scroll down to video 4, start at 6:40))
- What should you send a VC before your meeting?
- NDAs (non disclosure agreements) and will a VC steal my ideas for competitive reasons?
- Who should attend your first VC meeting?
- Whom should I talk with at the VC? — my guide to “NINAs” and “Egg Breakers” — Also here is a link to my friend Peter Lee’s views on dealing with associates vs. partners
- How many VC’s should I contact?
- A 6-step guide to building relationships with VC’s
- The best advice I stole from someone else for your VC meetings — Ask for referrals
- The best VC meetings are debates and not sales meetings — 7 tips for making your meeting a debate. A tale of two pitches gives 2 real-world meetings as a demonstration of this concept.
Things to do During the Meeting
- How do you deal with the “Elephant in the Room” (those things which the VC will already know feel strange but may not mention it)
- How do you deal with your “Skeletons in the Closet” (those things that wouldn’t sound good but which the VC could never know up front unless you told him/her.)
- How to present at big meetings without going down a rat hole. Big meetings are hard to manage. Unless you have a sponsor to help you manage the process and know how to deal with detail merchants, naysayers and silent partners you’ll find yourself in big trouble.
VC Meeting Slides
Do you really even need a PowerPoint deck? The short answer — “yes.” The Triple Play of Presenting.
- Slide 1 — Team Bio
- Slide 2 — 50k foot view of your company
- Slide 3 — Problem Definition
- Slide 4 — How do you solve the problem?
- Demo Web Version and a Demo Video Example
- Slide 5 — Market Sizing
- Slide 5 warning: (Market Sizing Pitfalls)
- Slide 6 — Competition
- Slide 7 — Customer Adoption / Traction
- Slide 8 — Team
- Slide 9 — Financial projections
- Slide 10 — Use of Proceeds
- Slide 11 — Fund raising process / Next steps
- Appendix — Back-up slides
- How to deal with the dreaded question of valuation?
What happens next?
- I met a VC but haven’t heard back, what happens next?
- What if I write an email and don’t hear back?
- Traction? WTF is traction?
- Creating momentum — The Jason Nazar effect
- The “soft no” — how to flush out a VC and gauge their real interest level
- The “real no” and why I like to give it
- The “yes” … getting invited to the partners’ meeting
- But when do I actually get a term sheet?
- The VC who put in the term sheet is pressuring me to sign. Beware of Gym Salesman VC
- How do you reference check a VC once you have a term sheet?
- First round terms & Founder Vesting — what is “best practice” in the industry?
- I have one term sheet and I’m waiting on others.
- From term sheet to cash in bank
Originally published at www.bothsidesofthetable.com on June 21, 2009.