- Social Graph
Usually, I am cynical about pithy posts proffering advice such as “5 steps to …” – particularly when it is about becoming a successful entrepreneur, or raising venture funding. Most often, I find these posts written by articulate armchair quarterbacks (who have never really done it themselves) or by what I call accidental passengers : people who have been lucky enough to have been aboard a rocketship just as it launched, but somehow think that they piloted the thing. Every so often though, a very self aware first-timer, is able to explain the journey in such a way that not only makes sense, but contains universal lessons for all. Such is the case with Eran Galperin, co-founder at Binpress, in describing in detail their fundraising process.
His opening line is particularly interesting:
After failing miserably to raise 18 months ago, digging deep and bootstrapping our way to profitability, we made another attempt earlier this year and got a huge break by getting into 500startups.
For first-time entrepreneurs, note how long it took from their first (failed) fundraising attempt to the successful seed round! And even then, he admits they got a lucky break. Below is the top level summary, but the details are an essential read for new and veteran entrepreneurs alike.
Quick Summary (TL;DR):
- When To Raise
- Raising Funds Is A Fulltime Job
- Raise Your Seed From Angels. Leave VCs To The Next Round
- Building An Investor Pipeline
- Getting Intros And Building A Network
- Don’t Pitch A Deck, Tell A Story. And Make The Ask!
- Manage Your Time And Expectations
- Sweeten The Deal For Advisors And First-Movers
- Manage Your AngelList Page Effectively
- ABC – Always Be Closing
Written by CJ Cornell
Serial Entrepreneur. University Professor. Software Engineer. Media Executive. Venture Capitalist. Researcher. Marketer. Advisor. Mentor. Author and Speaker. Founded or co-founded nearly a dozen companies in software, digital media and television.
For the past few years I’ve been Co-Director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship and Professor of Digital Media & Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, and the university’s first full time Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Currently Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at New York Institute of Technology and Managing Director at Propel Ventures LLC.