I have an MVP, why won’t anyone fund me??

Okay. *sigh*

That might be the most frequently asked question in the startup community. Not a day goes by where I’m not asked by a founder why, with an MVP, they can’t get a meeting with a VC.

Stop reading the books and articles that startups are about MVPs.

Just stahp.

No one funds you because you have a prototype or MVP.

No one will fund you if you don’t.

Some crappy incubators, hack investors, or would be Angels are fueling too many perceptions that if you only had

  • If you only had a good pitch deck
  • If you only had a wireframe…
  • If you only had a prototype…
  • If you only had an MVP…
  • Wait no, maximum viable product…
  • Do you have a customer?
  • If you only had more customers…

That advice pertains to overcoming uncertainty. It’s what is said where there is doubt. It’s a soft “no,” because it’s a way for people who aren’t interested to encourage you further OR for people who don’t get it to sound like they do.

You get investors because you can deliver a return. period.

Can you?

Do you intend to? Are you and the team capable of it?

Will the market provide that?

Startup Investors don’t fund ideas, sole proprietors, typical businesses, or highly risky markets. Generally.

Investors are seeking far greater returns on their investment than they could otherwise get in the stock market or real estate. They’re making a bet, investing, but they aren’t just putting money into business ideas — that’s what banks and credit cards are for.

If you can’t take their $10,000 and get them back in an appropriate amount of time $100,000, find other sources of funding.

Long rant to get to the point…

Is the prototype enough to get funding from investors? ABSOLUTELY. If you’re fundable. If it isn’t clear that you are, you’re likely to hear you need to be further along: proving that you can.