This is an email from Startup Musings, a newsletter by The Startup Centre Blog.

Fundraising with just a Deck

I have a plan for a startup. The deck is ready. How should I go about raising money?

I get this question often. So putting this out here.

No. You CANNOT raise capital with just a deck.

Exceptions are - a) if people know you and your career and are willing to write you a check personally.
b) you are a second or third-time Entrepreneur who has had a remarkable exit before.

Remarkable — something worth remarking about. That means, no “undisclosed” amount sales or acqui hires don’t count.

If you are like the rest of us and don’t fit in either of those, then at the least you have to show proof of work.

1. Show your team is capable and works.
2. Show your market is real.
3. Show your solution (however unscalable) has demand.

I repeat, You cannot raise money from people with just a deck (unless those two exceptions).

It helps to understand the perspective though: I would never put down an advance (let alone buy) an apartment from a team that has no prior experience building apartments, doesn’t even have a land, or a model apartment to show. Would you? Then why do you expect investors to be having less IQ than that in making an investment?

Please share this with as many folks as you know so that there is no misunderstanding (or frustration) about it. 🙏

PS: I’d be very cautious about taking money from investors with low investment IQ. If they didn’t garner their wealth by leveraging their intellect, it's probably through ways you don’t want to know about. Imagine what the first board meeting would be like? Imagine what it would be like when they want their money back.

As I always say, fundraise from a position of leverage, not from desperation. When you have proof of work, you’ll stand out, cause very few founders put in the effort to get to that and you can negotiate, or have the option to.

Hope you win!

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The Startup Guy

The Startup Guy

The Startup Guy. An Entrepreneur of Entrepreneurs, building a Startup of Startups. I focus on building People - Products & Startups follow.