Watched the sunset on Lake Tahoe

Here is how you (really) raise funding.

I’m just back from beautiful Lake Tahoe. I was part of one of my favorite events in Silicon Valley, “The Lift.” It’s a small and off-the-record gathering of great entrepreneurs and investors.

There is fun (skiing, dinners and hanging-out with great people) and there are some great talks taking place in a chalet.

I asked Geoff Ralston of Y Combinator permission to write about his great talk about how he thinks people really succeed raising funding.

They tell stories.

It does not matter if you are at the idea stage or if you already have a few millions in revenue. You can even have more than $10 million in revenue.

If you are getting ready for your next round, the only thing that matters is the story you tell investors and anyone that you are seeking support from.

You are only really selling a dream.

What already exists doesn’t matter that much.
  • Can we sense emotion from your story?
  • How obsessed do we feel you are about it?
  • How much does it matter to you?
  • Do we believe in your story?
  • How much passion is coming out of your story?
  • Can you condense what you are doing in one sentence?

Geoff ended his talk by saying “All the biggest companies Y Combinator invested in had nothing when we invested. Revenue doesn’t matter so much.”

Think AirBnB, Dropbox and Stripe.

All three reached a valuation of many billions of dollars. Their founders had great dreams and stories.

What’s your story? How do you make investors, team members and customers dream about it?

If you haven’t yet, join us in Paris April 11–12 (it’s invite only but you can register as my guest here) we will have workshops on how to raise funding by entrepreneurs who raised tens of millions of dollars.

Tom McLeod of Omni pitched more than 100 venture capitalists and will teach us how he raised $14 million.

Like this post? Register to my weekly newsletter.
Like what you read? Give Loic Le Meur a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.