I have to admt that prior to the last couple months, my involvement on the funding side of startups was essentially non-existent. I've always been on the development side of things… cutting code, making sure code works, or managing small teams. The funding is a whole other world…
The best thing is that friend and colleage Mike Ho (of QCodo fame) was in a similar role with his startup Uloop. When we talked at the DCPHP Conference early last month, he shared their experiences with hunting funding, preparing documents, and the general process. While we're quite a bit behind them in the process, it was enlightening and reassuring to hear that many of the same discussions, ideas, and stress are felt across the board.
Towards the goal of making it easier for the next guy, Ann Bernard has shared some of the missteps that we've taken within WhyGoSolo and what we've learned from them. Not to steal all of her thunder, here are a few of particular interest:
Here is what people who can actually help you raise funds will do:
- They will want to first thoroughly scrub all your documents.
- They will do some due dilligence on you because they are putting their reputation at stake.
- They will ask you a lot of questions. They will want to be very clear on your concept, your income model and your key selling points.
- They will gradually make introductions to people who are potential investors or leads to other potential investors once all your documents are correct.
Don't forget to read the rest of the story… and don't make the same mistakes.
Disclaimer: Why yes, I do happen to have a vested interest in WhyGoSolo… I'm serving as the COO/CTO making sure the servers are serving, the team is operating smoothly, and generally moving things along on a day to day basis.