Each year we see dozens of start-ups looking at raising capital. Some of these are obviously good ideas, some are obviously bad. Some are totally awesome.
We help maybe 10% of the start-ups we see raise capital, and try to do this for as many of the awesome ones as we can.
If we don’t raise capital for a particular start-up, we give a lot of feedback on why we’re not a good fit, of course, and maybe leave them with other things to consider.
Improving your chances of raising capital
The most important thing to remember when you’re raising start-up capital is to articulate yourself really well.
If we look at your pitch deck (or meet you in person) and don’t get your idea, that’s a problem. If you understand something really well, you should be able to explain it to just about anybody, so make it very obvious what you’re trying to do. Write down what your idea is in the simplest way possible and put it front and centre on your pitch deck.
How could you sum up what you do in one sentence?
The things we look at when raising capital
When we’re deciding whether to fund (or help fund) a start-up, there are some things we’ll always look at, and so would any other investor. Make sure you have these really tidy, as early as you can.
This is what you do. Your idea.
While we read all the pitch decks we get, we don’t have a lot of time to spend trying to understand what you’re trying to say. If we can’t figure it out quickly, we’re likely to just move on to something else.
Likewise, if you’re meeting with us in person, time is not your friend and you really want to use it wisely.
Helpful tips: Be matter-of-fact. Don’t use too many words – get to the point. Articulate really clearly what you’re doing, so that it would make sense to a 10 year old. The more impactful and less fluff, the better. Basically, refine your elevator pitch.
The ‘pain point’. It’s obviously no good having a solution to a problem that really isn’t a problem. Are you a vitamin or a painkiller? Will people really go away to use your software/widget/sports drink/windmill? Will you change someone’s life?
Again, articulate really clearly why the problem is a problem, because we may not experience the pain point ourselves. Help us understand.
Why you? Why now?
Do you have a patent? An algorithm? A new-and-improved formula? Special industry knowhow? An amazing insight? Be really clear about why you have an advantage over the competition. And yes, there’s competition.
If you have the best solution to an extremely frustrating problem, but only one person has that problem, you’re not going to make a billion dollars. But likewise, don’t talk about a total addressable market of 8 billion people. Be realistic on the total market size that you’re likely to be able to address. Give it some real thought.
I’ve listed this last, but it’s probably one of the first things we look at if the idea piques our interest. Sometimes, even if the pitch is not quite right, it can be saved with the right team (with a healthy dose of feedback and a strategic pivot). Show us really clearly why you can and will execute on your idea. Why you’re worth backing.
Most start-ups fail
We’re investors, founders and business owners, and we understand that even if you have the best solution to the most obvious problem, the best IP and the best team, you might still not make it.
When we partner with you to raise capital, of course we’ll give you guidance through the journey, if we’re the right people to do it. If we aren’t, we probably know a good fit for you and will put you in touch with them.
We’re always happy to meet ambitious founders looking to change the world. If you want to pitch to us, or if you’re a bit earlier in the process and want help refining your idea, your team and your pitch, get in touch. We’ll have a chat, and if we’re a good fit, we’re happy to meet to hear more about your start-up on a completely complimentary basis.