As CEO, being in active fundraising mode is often thought to be a full-time job.
I provide experience with the many puzzle pieces of the process to deliver optimized results that reduce the time you have that full-time job rather than the one already responsible for growing your business.
You likely have already invested significant time and energy into developing a product strategy, a sales strategy, and a marketing strategy. Have you put the same energy into developing cohesive and logical short-term and long-term funding strategies that appropriately factor downside risk, upside financial and/or intrinsic rewards against the amount of time you’re willing to spend on the endeavor to maximize the odds of both personal and business success? No matter the funding source, whether from personal savings, revenues, investors, grants, loans, or even credit cards, having the right amount of capital at the right time is the engine that drives your business to success. To consummate a match, the Product-Market fit between all the factors that define a business opportunity (market size, management team, barriers to entry, commercialization and technical progress to date, etc.) must be perceived to be better positioned on the risk/reward/time continuum than the numerous other investment opportunities available.
Often, I’m approached to help clients with their pitch deck. Certainly, that is a good part of what I do. However, I see the deck as a core component of the execution phase of fundraising, one that should come after first undertaking sufficient analysis to determine the fit between the opportunity and likely access to the required funding and then planning into who the deck should be targeted to, for how much and when.
The CEO’s perceived credibility is perhaps the single most important factor in attracting capital—whether from friends and family, angels, VCs, banks or even grants. When you go hunting for capital too early, from the wrong sources and/or asking for an amount that doesn’t make sense either for the business or the type of investor you are speaking to, not only do you lose your one (and often only) chance to make a good impression, but your time is a resource you can’t afford to waste when building your company.
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