MassChallenge UK Bootcamp — Day 4: Fundraising

The last day of the MassChallenge UK bootcamp was the busiest yet, crammed full of workshops, lectures, and panels designed to help the finalists understand the sometimes complicated world of startup fundraising. How can you raise money? What options are there? What pitfalls should you watch out for? What do you do once you have the funding? These were all the questions on many of the teams’ minds.

Starting off the day was Nancy Fechnay of, the largest syndicate of angel investors on AngelList that have backed LinkedIn, Paypal, and over 70 more companies to date.

Having made her career in the US and now relocated to the UK, Nancy explained her experience and observations in the global funding landscape and gave a slew of tips to teams looking to raise capital, either in the US or elsewhere .

… only if you don’t already have a relationship with the investor
“Investors talk to each other, both positively and negatively. Be honest, don’t embellish”

There are of course many different ways to raise funding for your business. One of the fastest growing methods, especially in the EU, is crowdfunding. As investment analyst for Crowdcube, the world’s leading investment crowdfunding website for businesses, Rich Warren filled the teams in with everything they’d need to know about crowdfunding as an investment option.

The lunch and learn by Simon Walker, Partner at Taylor Wessing, really got into the details for the teams. A dense, but highly informative presentation that armed the finalists with all the information they need to properly prepare for funding and protect themselves when they do raise.

And of course, our friends at Basilico Pizza kept everyone fueled again!

After lunch, the effusive Bill Morrow, founder and CEO of Angels Den, gave his experience and observations when it comes to raising capital from angels, and mistakes he’s seen startups make along the way.

Bill then stayed on to join the finance panel with Rich from Crowdcube and Chris Kettle, Entrepreneur Development Manager at NatWest.

Finally, after a very long and productive day, Paul Grant — Entrepreneur and speaking coach — led an interactive pitch workshop.

Some of Paul’s tips and techniques:

  1. People love listening to stories
  2. When leaving the room, it’s powerful to actually ask for something. (How much would you like to invest? Does anyone want one?)
  3. Tell the narrative as if it were a movie. You want them to be able to see it play out in their heads.
  4. When talking to an investor, don’t just try the elevator pitch. Have a conversation and form a connection.
  5. Understand the person you’re pitching to.
  6. Work out how to solve their problem.
  7. Be authentic and find ways to build trust.

Paul then outlined a sample short version pitch format and separated teams into pairs to practice:

  1. Establish your identity
  2. What was your discovery.
  3. What was your solution.
  4. What have you done to date to reduce risk and enhance your chance for success.
  5. Call to action.

Finally, the session wrapped with Paul picking one brave entrepreneur to practice in front of the group.

That wraps up the first ever MassChallenge UK Boot Camp! It’s been a whirlwind week and the finalists are exhausted but excited to take what they’ve learned and continue to sprint for the rest of the summer.

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