10 Mistakes Founders Should Avoid, When Fundraising!

Ryan Breslow is the Founder of 2 unicorns, Bolt and Eco. He has also helped over 100+ founders collectively raise $5 Bn. This blog post is inspired by his Twitter thread with the same subject.


The biggest insight is that fundraising is a game, and if you know how to play, you can do well - Ryan Breslow.

Here, are those 10 mistakes most founders should avoid doing, when fundraising!



Mistake 1: Complicated Pitch

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The average VC spends 3 minutes on a pitch deck. Crazy right?

Attention spans are thus shorter than ever, but consideration spans are still long.

People lean in if they're hooked to you. So how do you hook them?

Keep the pitch simple!


Need help in crafting a compelling pitch deck for your startup? Click here.



Mistake 2: Building Relationships Late

It's hard to build a relationship with someone and ask them for money straight away.

Instead, develop relationships with investors pretty early.

  • Meet VCs, discuss your startup, share your progress.

  • When you need to fundraise, hit the ground running.


Mistake 3: Thinking It's a 1-Way Street

Look I get it - when founders think like "why the hell would anybody give me money?"

Delete that thought.

Fundraising is a 2-way street - VCs have to earn the right to be on your journey.

Spend as much time picking them as they do evaluate you.


Are you raising funds? Register here to get your startup reviewed by 900+ investors!



Mistake 4: Taking It Personally

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You will hear 100s of No's during this process.

It doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with you.

A No can be as much about your idea as it is about timing.

Be prepared to meet up to 100-150 investors, before you get a Yes!

At the end of the day, you only need a handful of Yes'.



Mistake 5: Not Being Authentic

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A lot of Founders feel like they have to be something they're not.

The best investors can see through that.

And honestly - you're going to be with this person for a long time.

Show your personality. Be an outlier.



Mistake 6: 1-Toe in, 1-Toe Out

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Fundraising is a beast.

The Founders that do it the best treat it as a short-term sprint.

This will take away time from operating the business. Accept it.

You need to give it full focus so you drive to closure as quickly as possible.



Mistake 7: Pre-emptive Celebration

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The deal isn't closed until the money hits the bank.

Too many Investors - especially in this market - say they're in and then weasel out.

Keep the urgency up - every additional day the deal isn't closed is another day it could fall apart.



Mistake 8: Namedropping the Crowd

DO NOT tell other Investors who you're talking to if they are not committed.

VCs all know each other - they will check with each other and you'll be at a disadvantage.

The best thing you can do is control the information flow and process.



Mistake 9: Hating Fundraising

If you want to build a venture-backed company, you need to fuel the rocket. Fundraising also makes you a better storyteller - and that is so important in recruiting, hiring, and inspiring. Fundraising is a part of your job as CEO. Embrace it!



Mistake 10: Loving Fundraising

What? You just told me it was a mistake to hate fundraising.

It is. It's also a mistake to love it too much.

Fundraising is necessary, but not sufficient for startup success.

Don't ever forget what the real job is!



We hope these 10 insights would have given more confidence to raise funds.

 

Resources:

  • List of 72+ podcasts, covering (almost) everything on startups.

  • Are you raising funds? Register here to get your startup reviewed by 900+ investors!

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