Let's face it; fundraising sucks when it's your first time (and pretty much every time). Picking an investor is like signing a lease with a significant other.
At the end of the day, your presentation can look swanky - but that's irrelevant if the content isn't right and the wrong folks (or no one) sees it.
If you aren't grown up yet (i.e. Pre-Seed - Series A) and are new to the startup world, chances are you're lacking experience in this area. While there are loads of folks (including Aleberry) who can guide you through this process & get you suited up in a custom tailored suit for your upcoming interview, you need to do a bit of homework first.
With the understanding that each company is different: unique pain points, roadmaps, and fundraising goals - here are a some considerations to sort out internally before you meet with companies like us, advisors, potential clients, and of course any VC.
This may seem like an obvious one, but you'd be surprised how many folks haven't thought through a basic structure & revenue model.
You're asking for money & likely giving away a bit of equity - so you need to think like an investor. What are your safeguards? What type of protection (IP, secured partnerships, unique industry expertise, etc.) do you have in place if every worst-case scenario occurs?
Like my mum says: hope for the best, plan for the worst (thanks mum)!
MARKET RESEARCH & PRODUCT VALIDATION:
Who are you selling to, and do they need it? Do people other than your parents think this a great & useful idea? This goes back to your business model, but you need to ensure you can make money (and back it up with data). By the way, your market is not $1 Trillion!
Note: Aleberry, advisors, and other vetted folks can help you refine this as we dive into investor-facing materials. You are going to pivot multiple times, but you do still need a foundation laid out before starting the process of raising funds.
Yes you have competition.
NON-FINANCIAL & FINANCIAL ASKS:
How much do you realistically need to raise? What are you raising for? As we iterate over and over again (and at the onset of this post), picking an investor is a long-term relationship. You need to think through what qualities (other than their check size) would benefit your team & product. These can include things like industry knowledge, introductions, expertise in whatever you are lacking in, etc.
DOMAIN & EMAIL SETUP
While this isn't as complex as the above items, you need your own domain & email setup. We're all about Perceived Legitimacy - and having your own domain is just that.
Like any good parent, we'll never leave you hanging. We'll be your advisor through the process of due diligence and securing your next round. You can have these items jotted down on a napkin, but have it somewhere! Folks like us are here to help you navigate the process & get your items looking good! Aleberry has built a fantastic network of folks who can help you identify some of these complex things (such as IP, financial models, product development, etc.). Don't hesitate to ask for referrals!
If you have any questions, reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org