Are you pitching to investors to raise seed money or perhaps raising an A to Z round for your exciting venture?
As a presentation strategist I'm also a startup founder and I often help people package and deliver pitches to investors. Recently, I gleamed some wonderful insights from a venture capitalist, Jessica Peltz from KBS +, a venture company. I met with Jessica because I wanted to know her perspective on how I should pitch my new company emiisor. If you don't know about my new company www.emiisor.com yet, it's a marketplace for online educational platform and will solely focus on communication training with content from various instructors.
Here is a solid checklist for fundraising:
1. Know how much working capital you have, and what is your burn rate. You should have at least 6 months of working capital, and your burn rate, for example, is how much of that capital are you spending every month on the business.
2 Start investor conversations early, don't wait until you really really need the cash. You won't be in a strong and confident position, and you'll smell of desperation!
3. Understand the problem that your company is solving, and be ready to expain how your product solves it.
4. How do you measure your growth. What metrics do you have in place for this type of measure? A good metric will help measure how fast your business is expanding.
5. Be vertical not horizontal. Seek out investors who are interested in your industry. If you have a finance platform that focuses on risk management it may be a waste of your precious time to seek funding with an investor who is focused on the fashion tech space.
6. Know your market inside and outside. Be ready to demonstrate your potential growth rate.
7. Know your competition and what makes them unique. Objectively, how are you different, and of course better, from them?
8. Have a passionate and clean story. Learn how to present your ideas clearly, and with enough passion to get investors excited about your product. Honestly, if you're not passionate about your company and where it's going, you'll lose trust instantly. If you take the time and learn solid storytelling techniques, you'll be able to demonstrate a compelling presentation, a la win the room style.
9. Demonstrate that you're a credible and a reliable candidate. Investors want to know that you won't jump the ship when it's starting to sink. Know there will be down times, it's just the nature of business and life. However, one of the most important things for an investor to knowing that during these times you'll remain a leader, a team player and you'll be coachable. To be coachable means that you'll listen to constructive feedback, and be ready to make a small or seismic shift if necessary.
10. If you're product is already generating revenue, be ready to talk about how you're monetizing. Also, having a few client testimonials won't hurt.
As always I would love to hear from you, feel free to chime in with your thoughts and experiences with fund raising.