The Art of Startup Fundraising

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What Makes A Startup Thrive? 100 Lessons Learned The Hard Way

When you go out to raise capital there are many things that you need to know in order to have your company at a stage in which it is thriving in order to be attractive to investors. Reading my book The Art of Startup Fundraising (shameless plug) will help. However, there will be many questions before the fundraising and after that you will be asking yourself.

I am an entrepreneur myself. I‘ve learned many things the hard way by failing and making stupid mistakes. I wish I had someone or something guiding me throughout the journey. For this reason I wanted to put together the 100 lessons learned that I wish I knew before launching my company. Especially before fundraising.

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30 Techniques To Gain Massive Traction

Whenever you go out to raise a round of capital, Venture Capital firms and other investors are going to expect a certain amount of traction on your end. Without a doubt this is something that I refer to throughout the book The Art of Startup Fundraising. You want to be able to show month over month progress.

The techniques outlined below can be used either during the launch of your product or service to generate momentum, or throughout the lifecycle of your business. In fact, I do include a slide that refers to traction on the pitch deck template that you can download for free below.

Feel free to add on the comment section any other technique that you have used in the past that generated positive results.

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The 150 Best Free Tools For Entrepreneurs

As I mentioned on the book The Art of Startup Fundraising, in order to raise capital you need to be fundable as a company. That means that you have been able to achieve certain traction that would get investors excited.

Ultimately you want your company to be as effective as possible. Your biggest resource is time. For that reason I wanted to put together a list of the best free tool for startups. I may have missed a few so you are more than welcome to suggest them on the comments section below. In addition, and as a bonus, you can also download for free the pitch deck template below which you may use for your fundraising efforts.

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30 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

If you are running a startup or in the process of launching one you should be reading a good amount of books on a monthly basis. Especially if you are in the process of fundraising. I still remember when I first started Onevest I would go to Barnes & Noble and spent the entire day reading book after book. I was eager to learn and understand the nature of things.

Note you will be making a lot of mistakes. That is a result of executing very fast which will led into breaking things. However, the more mistakes you can avoid the better. Reading books will make a little easier the steep learning curve of being an entrepreneur. There are so many things you will need to learn during the journey of launching and operating your company. From corporate structure or management to fundraising or culture.

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15 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Never Get Funded

Just like I mention on my book The Art of Startup Fundraising, when raising capital you need to master the art of listening and figuring out what to do in order to shape up a story that will get your company the financing it requires to thrive. However, there are certain signs or reasons that can tell tell if your business needs a major facelift. Note that most startups are not fundable ready when they even consider raising financing.

As a recommendation, if you are experiencing any of the signs below it does not mean you should give up. It means you need to go back to the whiteboard and brainstorm with the feedback you have gathered in order to apply the required corrections. Remember that businesses don‘t shut down because the founder runs out of money. They do close because the founder runs out of energy.

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How To Structure Startup Financing

The differences on all the terms you may be raising under when seeking capital from outside investors are clearly outlined on my book The Art of Startup Fundraising. However, I wanted to provide as well a place where I would group all these documents with their explanations and templates.

When you are raising capital you are going to either do it via a debt instrument on the form of a convertible note or SAFE note or via equity. The main difference is the fact that on debt you are not really putting a price tag, unless you put a cap, and it is much cheaper/faster while on equity you need a valuation which is established by a lead investor with the negotiation of several clauses.

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The 18 Month Plan You Need To Raise Funding

I do mention the 18 to 24 month plan on my book The Art of Startup Fundraising and I also made available a pitch deck template that you can access below 

However, I felt it made sense to go into detail on the 18 month plan via a blog post and see if it could make a difference while you are pushing the startup fundraising efforts. Note that I also created an 18 month plan template that you can view and download here.

The 18 month plan is basically a road map that you want to use for internal purposes to understand the strategy that you need to put in place to build up your business and the execution that you want to have around it. This plan is also requested by investors during the fundraising process as a whole or perhaps you will be receiving some of the questions that you will have already addressed in such plan. It is that important.

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The Best Regions For Fundraising

After reading my book The Art of Startup Fundraising, you need to position yourself in a location in which you are going to increase your chances of getting funded.

With the above in mind, as explained on the graph below it is apparent how the US is still the best country to seek financing for your early stage company. Important to note is how other countries like Israel are really impressive if you were to take into consideration their size with respect to the US. Without a doubt their Startup Nation philosophy is making a killing.

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10 Reality Checks Before Fundraising

I have been talking left and right about fundraising on the blog and on my book The Art of Startup Fundraising. However, before you even think about raising money from outside investors you want to have a clear understanding of where you are at with the business.

For that reason, you should be asking yourself the questions below and see where you stand from a reality check perspective. My purpose of putting this article in front of you is not to make you stay away from fundraising in the event your answers are not positive. The main reason for this piece is just to give you that level of awareness that will push you towards filling the gaps.

With this in mind, I suggest that you complete the following analysis as due diligence on your own company before putting together the strategy and execution for your fundraising efforts:

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