If you’re running a startup (or thinking about creating one!) you’ll likely have spent countless hours and sleepless nights researching one of the most critical elements of bringing your idea to life: funding. And that means you’ll have run into the big guns of company funding, the venture capitalists.
Before you start elbowing your way into a meeting with these dream makers, you should ensure you’re well-prepared. Unlike other types of funding, you can’t just walk in with spunk and a smooth pitch, expecting success (you should have done that in your angel funding round, alas). There’s a process, and it’s going to take some planning.
Let’s shine a light on the things you’ll need to really knock their Hugo Boss socks off:
You’re not going to be expected to have three thousand of the world’s finest employees behind you, complete with a Google-inspired campus and office sleep pods, but you’ll need to really sell the expertise that’s driving the startup. Your own, and those of your employees, advisors, mentors and any investors up until this point.
VCs, in essence, invest in teams. And your team is your ultimate point of difference.
The nitty-gritty elements of your pitch will need to be backed up by solid evidence. If you’re telling them you expect fifty percent growth in twelve months, you need to be able to show how you’ve arrived at that prediction. Ensure you can point to real metrics for any claims you’re making.
And when it comes to VCs, they will want different data depending on your industry. Research a comparable company or competitor and aim to find the key elements on which they are measured. If you’re in FinTech, looking at successful online fashion retailers isn’t going to be specific enough, and you’ll most certainly miss crucial elements you need to deliver on (which could make or break the deal for you).
Want to see the metrics VCs really care about? This guide is gold.
This might seem obvious, but be sure to keep it front-of-mind that every VC is going to want to know, in detail, just what the heck you plan on doing with their cash.
Some examples you might wish to consider include:
As much as you will be craving delicious funding wherever you can get it, it’s important to know who you’re potentially partnering with in your business.
VCs often have different interest areas, so while one firm may be committed to apps and software, another might have a primary portfolio filled with medical technology.
Picking one with a vested interest in your particular business area is advantageous, but a double-edged sword - they will “get it”, but they are well-versed in the entire landscape including your direct competition, growth potential and common pitfalls. Be prepared to be grilled, hard.
Mastering the art of juggling energy and passion with outright bluster is tough. VCs want to see enthusiastic entrepreneurs, but draw a line at being stalked with emails, calls and a constant flow of documents.
They want to feel excited by your journey and will look to you to set an agreeable energy. They’ll also be on the lookout for your listening and communication skills.
Keep materials concise, not bloated with the boring technical jargon. Always get to the heart of your business and future plans, and sum up how you’re going to get there with confidence. They’re busy people, and your time with them is to be used wisely.
Need to fine-tune your soft skills before heading into the big pitch? F4S can certainly help.
Our programs were designed by world-renown coaches, and sessions only take 5-15 minutes. Get started for free with personalized program now by chatting in the box below:
Our expert coaches have designed hyper-effective programs that will help
raise capital easily and with confidence.
Coach Marlee (your amazing AI-powered personal coach) will analyse your unique traits and goals to let you know which program to start with (and if there are any you should skip)!
Your recommended programs include:
Big picture thinking is critical in scaling high growth ventures and is found correlated with greater ambition and successfully raising more rounds of venture capital. Strengthen your comfort and use of big picture thinking to inspire your team and potential investors in why they should invest in your business.
Inspire yourself and others to see and achieve grand visions and goals. A focus on goals is especially helpful for raising capital, impactful communication, maintaining focus over time and for aligning investors and team members with your vision and mission.
Explore, develop or strengthen your emotional intelligence (EQ). Awareness of your and others’ emotions is at the heart of influencing, ‘reading people’, impactful communication, deep relating and authentic connections with investors and strategic partners.
During this eight week program Coach Marlee will help you to develop a genuine appreciation for experimentation and data and a willingness to empower the opinions, feedback and insights of potential investors, team members and others in your life.
In this high impact eight week program Coach Marlee will help increase your comfort and confidence to scale your leadership and business, navigate investors and other stakeholders and also help you develop greater comfort to compete and collaborate at the top of your industry or field.
Develop ‘step back’ mastery for increased self-awareness and tools for raising capital. Reflection and patience are core to consolidating learning, development, strategic thinking, recharging and authentic visionary leadership.
Comfort to initiate and kick things off is at the heart of high growth ventures and is found correlated with successfully raising more rounds of venture capital. Strengthen your comfort and motivation to start conversations and initiate opportunities to fund business growth.
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