You Need To Pitch LOTS of Investors

My number one tip for founders during the fundraising process is to talk with more investors. Talking to 10 or 20 potential investors almost always isn’t enough. As a founder raising for a pre-seed or seed round you need to plan on talking with 50 to 100+ investors.

It is true. Today is a great time for entrepreneurs to raise capital.

The number of angels and early stage investors has increased over the last few years. And generally speaking, the economy has been strong, the stock market has been positive, and there is capital looking for opportunities.

If you are on VC Twitter, I’m sure that you’ve read about the hot market and maybe you’ve even considered raising money on an uncapped SAFE. Half kidding.

For some entrepreneurs fundraising is a very easy process. But for most entrepreneurs, including myself as the Co-founder of ContainIQ, the fundraising process hasn’t come quite as easy.

It can be easy to get discouraged during your fundraise and I often find myself talking to founders mid-raise after they’ve received quite a bit of passes, or more likely they’ve been ghosted.

My number one tip for founders during the fundraising process is to talk with more investors. Talking to 10 or 20 potential investors almost always isn’t enough. As a founder raising for a pre-seed or seed round you need to plan on talking with 50 to 100+ investors.

In short, I wouldn’t get discouraged or even think critically about your fundraise until you’ve pitched 50-100 investors.

However, these same founders often ask me how they build that funnel of investors. Here is how.

How To Find Potential Investors

Building your investor funnel takes time and you need to work efficiently. The best way to fill your investor funnel is by asking for intros.

Not cold emailing and definitely not LinkedIn messaging. Warm intros are critical to the success of your fundraising efforts.

The easiest way to get warm introductions is to ask for them. Start by thinking through who you are already connected with.

Maybe you know a handful of angel investors already, maybe your friend from college works at an early stage VC fund, or maybe you have colleagues from your past career. Even better if some or all of these people have already invested something in your company. Some of the most valuable potential investor intros I’ve received have been from the smallest checks on our cap table.

Alternatively, ask other founders and entrepreneurs which of their investors they recommend you chat with too. In my personal experience, some of my best intros have come from other founders who have recently raised their rounds.

In short, ask your networks who they may be able to introduce you to. Write a great blurb or forwardable email, and repeat this process over and over again.

It is purely a numbers game and in this phase of the fundraising process you are just looking to fill your funnel of investor convos in the weeks ahead. Shoot for 100!

How to Run The Fundraise Process

Your fundraise should be a fast and tight process. It is a sprint and not a marathon.

A common mistake that founders make is that they are fundraising for months. Or at least leaving the fundraising window open for months on end.

If you’ve ever fundraised before, you know that fundraising has a negative impact on on your actual business. You will be distracted and as a result the progress you are able to make on your product and growth is impacted. 

When scheduling your investor calls you should aim to schedule all of them into a 14 day window. This accomplishes a few things:

a) It helps you stay focused the your actual business outside of fundraising

b) It pushes investors to get back to you with a decision.

c) It helps your mental state, because fundraising is mentally exhausting.

d) It helps your pitch.

If you can, you should schedule all 50-100 of your investor meetings into this two week window.

Staying Positive Throughout the Process

Fundraising is an exhausting process both mentally and physically. Staying positive can be extremely difficult after a series of no’s or after being ghosted.

As a founder, you can’t fall in love with any particular potential investor. Don’t get your hopes up and just move your mind onto the next.

Just remember that this is a process and that for the vast majority of founders it isn’t easy. Don’t take the no’s personally and instead you should try to salvage a positive future relationship with every investor you speak with.

Take the time to respond to the no’s and acknowledge their feedback. It is even better to stay in touch with them as your company grows and you prepare for your next round.

Finally, it is helpful if you can surround yourself with other entrepreneurs who are going through something similar.

It can be a source for intros as I mentioned before, but it is also helpful to go through fundraising with a sounding board and support system. In my experience, other founders often offer great support throughout the process.

You got this!

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