If you and your cofounders (if any) are serious about your startup, then you've discussed at some point whether or not you need to raise money.
Some people dread this phase of the startup. Meetings, due diligences, the poking and prodding and rejections. But whether you look forward to this or not, it's an inevitable part of many (but not all) startups. So buckle in and figure out if this is in your future, and how to make it the best and most efficient experience you can.
To mentor for the Boston Founder Institute on the topic of Equity and Funding, I put together a slide deck with some help from FastCTO members and my friend Ben Hron over at McCarter and English. This deck is really useful for anyone - whether you've done fund raising in the past, considering doing it in the future, or have a deck that you're not sure works.
The most important slide, in my opinion, is this:
Obvious things investors look for...
- A well-defined and provable problem
- That addresses a sufficiently large population
- That your company/product(s) can solve to some reasonable degree
- With a team that can prove that they can execute and grow the company
- And make money doing it
- In a reasonable amount of time (3-5 years)
- With an exit strategy that can make investors money
- Where only the funding you’re asking for stands in your way
If you can't defend every bullet point on this list, you're not ready to pitch, regardless of how much money you're asking for or how great of an idea you think you have.
There are many other important points in the deck, and you should really at least skim through it.
Here it is in full:
And here's a link for anyone that wants to look at it right in Google Slides.
Feel free to reach out to me or contact FastCTO if you have any questions.
This post was written by Igor Belagorudsky (Boston-based Founder, President, Advisor, Board Member, and CTO of a number of startups, and a Mentor in the Boston Founder Institute), and was originally published on FastCTO.
FastCTO is a network of real CTOs that consult startups that neither need nor can afford full time CTOs. Startups get access to experienced, high valued CTOs for a few hours a week from formation through Series A and beyond. FastCTO is not a dev shop, an agency, or a staffing company.