The Road to Record Fundraising: Understand the Journey
The spring Raising Capital Seminar was held in March and featured notable guest speakers, including Charise Flynn, Founder of c.Results and former COO of Dwolla. Charise discussed the importance of telling your story and how crucial it is for success to communicate a clear message for your business when raising capital
Charise has recently helped several DSM area companies raise more than $20 million in early-stage seed stage and venture capital, with typical round sizes of $500,000-$1,500,000. She was also a key part of Dwolla raising $30+ M in capital.
Charise emphasizes that the fundraising journey is not a linear process. While the leader(s) of a company seeking investment need to prepare, execute and manage throughout their fundraising journey, it is likely the leader(s) will move between these three actions in seemingly random fashion.
Three Components of Fundraising
Do you have traction? What are the results from your earliest customers or pilots? Startup founders need to show real progress and a viable path to success in creating excitement around their company and capital offering.
These are the key documents that are required and, if done well, can get the company past the initial meeting and strengthen relationships with investors:
· Pitch Deck
· Financial Model
· Due Diligence Materials
Learning to manage meetings with investors is a key part of the fundraising process. Startup founders must navigate networking, formal pitches and eventually partnership-level meetings.
Watch Telling Your Story: Part 1 to learn about value proposition, the solution, your product, market size, business model and competition.
Watch Telling your Story: Part 2 to learn about competitive advantage, marketing plan, your team, traction, fundraise, use of funds, press and testimonials.
Charise closes out the discussion by recommending that attendees meet with people who will ask hard questions. People who might not be your investors but are willing to challenge you. This will give you an opportunity to practice your pitch and strengthen your fundraising outcomes. Additionally, see if you can answer these 30 Questions Investors Ask During Fundraising. They are likely to come up in discussions with investors.
The Raising Capital Seminar prepares entrepreneurs for the journey of securing equity funding. Taught by those who have raised significant capital and those make equity investments, these seminars allow entrepreneurs to gain valuable insight from other startup founders and investors. The next Raising Capital Seminar will be held this fall on Thursday, September 26.
Videos from the March 2019 event are available and include financials, pitch demonstration, non-dilutive capital, equity compensation and more. To find out more, watch the spring Raising Capital Seminar videos or find other handouts and resources.
Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need or sign up for Mentor Connection to build relationships with a trusted group of mentors.