Fundraising tips for a first-time founder
It is important to keep in mind that getting an investment is more about partnership and much less about the brand. Certainly, a good brand provides you a strong "signal" (an indication to others that your concept is valuable), but the partnership is what should greatly affect the deal. You want to cooperate with someone you admire, and from whom you sincerely believe that you can gain a lot. You need someone in love with you, your business, mission, vision and is looking forward to helping you succeed.

Set a time limit for your raise.
Don't let it drag on for months, setting a time limit makes it imperative for investors to make a decision. You may end up reducing the total amount of your fundraising to meet the time limit, but it will probably be worth it. A good time frame for a seed deal is 2-4 weeks. When it comes to investing, your round starts to fill up because of the limitations you've set, you'll notice a huge upturn in interest from other investors who want to join.

Look for partners who trust in you.
The business may be pivoting, or the nature of the market may shift, or the timing may be incorrect. Choose the people supporting you, regardless of what happens. If you have someone who has the back no matter what, it makes a significant difference, at every chance they will leap to try to help you, direct you, and work with you for success. When things get difficult, having people who believe in you will motivate you to want to push harder.

Remember that being an executive director involves getting used to rejections. Even after you successfully raise money, many rejections will occur: from potential customers, staff, and others. Know how to tolerate criticism. Find out what you could have done better. Put yourself in the shoes of another person and find out how you might have been told your story to resonate with them. There's often a conclusion to be drawn from every feedback or criticism you receive. Benefit from every meeting and refine the pitch so you don't continually make the same stupid mistakes. However, try to avoid educational meetings, people might think that you can give them a unique insight into a concept or industry. Unfortunately, you don't have time to do this. Hold meetings only if you understand that the investor genuinely wants to learn more about what you are developing.

Always research your investors. You just as much choose your investors as they choose you. Figure out who they are — their advantages, flaws, and opportunities to add value to their investments.

Furthermore, learn how to customize your investor pitch. Each investor is unique. Everyone has certain things they're looking for, familiar with, and enthusiastic about. Some would like to spend an excessive amount of time on your personal journey story, others don't care that much. Some would like to spend more time struggling to understand your "concept labyrinth." Some would like to dig deep into the specifics of the service or product. Have a core set of discussion points that you try to ensure you deliver every time, but be versatile beyond that with the dialogue. Learn about the investor before the meeting and treat him or her like a friend of yours. Additionally, sequence the meeting properly, beginning with angels and less promising companies, then move from that to the other stage.

Now to some of the hands-on tips for fundraisers. Take the risk of having more, not less, meetings. You have already set a strict time limit for your raise and knowing you only have 2-4 weeks to attract investors will make it much easier to get into mode. Never give up too early, go out and get the deal you're looking for.

Think twice if your time as an entrepreneur is not valued by an investor, you have a lot on your to-do list and limited time to go.

So if an investor decides not to value your time and energy, being unapologetically late, not appearing at a meeting, asking for an unnecessary amount of patience, taking weeks to give you the answer, repeatedly demanding casual coffee dates— then maybe you should think twice about whether you really want to collaborate with that individual. Regardless of how well-reputed the individual is, if these are recurring violations, these are early signs that they are not likely to give you priority.

Capital companies often set you up to have a conversation with an associate rather than an investor if you are a first-time founder At the company associates are more inexperienced and therefore do not usually have the opportunity to issue payments. Sometimes associates could create obstacles to your fundraising process, or even worse, end the process too early before a partner in the decision-making process even sees the potential.

If you have no choice but to continue with an associate, view and take it very seriously as a partner meeting. Associates recognize quite well if you don't want to pitch or take them seriously, the chances of getting to the partner in the first place would probably be affected. It's always unfair not to treat with the greatest respect each person you meet in the fundraising period.

Given these points, you need to remember that until the papers are signed and the funding is in the bank, you have no deal.

Keep in mind: the whole planet can say no. You only need one person to say yes. Good luck!

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