How to build and maintain momentum in your fundraising process
How to break into Silicon Valley as an outsider
The lightning-fast Series A (that was 3 years in the making)
Momentum is the single most important factor that helps startup founders raise capital.
In 20+ years of working to connect founders with potential investors, I’ve learned that there’s a direct correlation between the speed of your fundraising process and the probability of actually getting funded.
Startup investors are incredibly smart people who eat, sleep and breathe these kinds of investments. The best investors are pros at sensing whether a deal has momentum or not — or worse, whether a deal has gone stale.
When you’re raising venture capital for your startup, you will have to hustle like you’ve never hustled before. As CEO, your primary job is building and maintaining momentum for your investment deals.
Once you have set up and organized your fundraising funnel, it’s go time.
Check out these tips for creating momentum in your next fundraising round:
Great hack for asking for email introductions
Asking for introductions to your target investors is one of the best places to concentrate your efforts at the beginning of a round. If done well, these email intros can get the ball rolling quickly.
The trick is to make it as easy as possible for your connector to do their job.
Before you send your first email, map out mutual connections between you and your target investors. You may find that you have some “power connectors” in your network — people who are already in touch with several of your targets. Put these people at the top of your list.
If your go-to-market slide raises eyebrows at a couple of meetings, it’s time to try a different tact.
Reach out to your connector with a brief email that says something like: “Hey, I’m raising money and I see you’re connected to these investors on my target list. Do you know them well enough to make an intro?”
After your connector responds with a list of introductions they’re willing to make, here’s the best way to help them help you:
Start a clean email thread to your connector — one for each target investor.
Write a clear subject line: “[Connector], can you introduce me to [target investor]?”
At the end of the subject line, include at-a-glance info about your company: company name, the funding round + the single most exciting data point about your business
Keep the email body very short. Investors get dozens of these emails a day, so keep yours to four to five sentences:
Use one sentence to say what your company does and link to your website.
Reiterate that you’re fundraising, and ask for the intro.
Mention any connections you may have with the investor (Universities, past employers, etc.)