Peter Thiel cofounded Paypal with Elon Musk and Max Levchin in 1998. They sold this company to eBay in a deal worth over $1B. He then founded several other ventures such as Palantir which has been included in the unicorn club (companies with over $1B in valuation).
In addition, Thiel is also very active on the other side of the table as he serves as president of Clarium Capital, a global macro hedge fund with $700 million in assets under management; a managing partner in Founders Fund, a venture capital fund with $2 billion in assets under management; co-founder and investment committee chair of Mithril Capital Management; and co-founder and chairman of Valar Ventures
Raising capital is one of the hardest things entrepreneurs need to do to build their business. It is full of ups and downs and in essence it is a complete roller coaster. Things can change very rapidly as one morning things could seam to crumble and then all of a sudden a few hours later one may feel like is things heading in the right direction and the company is ready to change the world.
I dedicate one entire chapter on my book The Art of Startup Fundraising (which you can buy on Amazon here), to the different sources of capital that entrepreneurs can use to secure financing. However I thought that putting together a quick and summarized post providing some light on this subject could be useful.
Mikaila Ulmer of Sugar Land, TX is definitely one of those rare stories in entrepreneurship. According to the Kauffman Foundation the average age of a successful founder tends to be around 40. This is why I was so impressed when someone told me the story of Mikaila and her company, Bee Sweet Lemonade, at a speaking engagement for the launch of my book The Art of Startup Fundraising.
She got the idea to build her current company when she was just 4 years old. It all came out of one of her great-grandmother’s 1940 recipes. The lemonade that her company sells is sweetened with honey in an effort to save bees. She and her family started brewing Bee Sweet for local events, then bottling it for a pizza shop. Within a few years they had a company on their hands.
Google just launched on Google Slides a killer template that startups can use to put together their story in order to fundraise. To give birth to these slides, Google worked with fellow Alphabet sibling GV, formerly Google Ventures, to create a template slide deck that is “based on proven presentation tactics.”
To provide some background on the subject, a pitch deck is usually a 10-20 slide presentation designed to give a short summary of your company, your business plan and your startup vision. As a I discuss during the Fundraising Certification, which is a 3 week comprehensive course on fundraising for entrepreneurs, a Pitch decks also serves very different purposes, from trying to get a meeting with a new investor, to presenting in front of a stage, and each one of them should follow a different structure.
Over the course of last week, during the launch of my book The Art of Startup Fundraising, I have been asked several times what was the type of profile that I found to be the most successful in entrepreneurs. For that reason I felt it would be interesting to dive a little bit deeper into this subject.
A recent study followed 700 kids since they were 12 years of age until these individuals were 52 years with the goal to examine characteristics that could predict success. The research concentrated on intelligence, behaviors as well as the parental socioeconomic status. This study concluded that those who gained the most success were those individuals that ignored both rules and parents.
To celebrate the launch of my book The Art of Startup Fundraising, I thought it would be interesting to put together a blog post with a good amount of pitch decks from companies that have managed to tell their story in a way in which it was attractive enough to convince outside investors to jump onboard and invest millions.
I was actually deeply inspired to write this post after reviewing the masterful piece that Alexander Jarvis published on its blog . You can read his full post here. In fact, I took a good amount of his knowledge, graphics, and commentary to write this piece.
As an entrepreneur you need to be a rockstar at storytelling if you want to land capital from investors during your financing rounds. The earlier you are in your venture the more people would look at investing in you and your potential future. For that reason the best entrepreneurs are not visionaries. The best entrepreneurs are excellent at sales and storytelling.
As I state in my book The Art of Startup Fundraising, closing round of financing is an art as every single ingredient needs to be perfectly aligned in order to have things unfolding nicely. Normally if you are lucky it would take you anywhere between 6 to 8 months in the offline world to raise a round or between 1 to 3 months if you also use online tools.
However, knowing the ropes and how to close the money get it in the bank will help you in accelerating the process and avoiding the common stupid mistakes that would scare people away. For that reason I wanted to put together this blog post to provide some guidance on the main tips that would help you crush it with investors.
One of the worst mistakes an entrepreneur can make is to bring onboard during a round of financing a toxic investor into the cap table of the company. I always tell founders that divorcing an investor is much more difficult than divorcing your own husband or wife.
There are many different types of profiles of entrepreneurs out there that I have seen while connecting startups with investors on 1000 Angels (the company I cofounded). However, the profile that I‘ve found to have the most amount of success is of those entrepreneurs that are optimistic.
Research studies have actually found that optimistic people tempt to be healthier and that such optimism contributes to the following benefits: