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Early Stage Fundraising Strategy

/ Article by idealers /

As TechChill is getting closer each day, we wanted to share more insights for the early-stage founders, been our main community for the past years. 

So, you are an exceptional founder and your idea is one of the most prominent among competitors (of course!). You have gone through struggling bootstrapping, MVP, and early tractions stages and came to the point where your company can’t move forward without external capital aka VC investments. How to raise? From whom? for how long? What do I need to raise? - All of these questions will create a huge anxiety for any founder out there. That is why we and idealers are here - to help you navigate the painful (but very exciting) fundraising journey. The good news is that we will be giving our fundraising workshop during the conference, so you’ll get your questions answered. But today we wanted to cover the most basic element of fundraising - the Deck.

Being one of the most important tools of a startup <> VC communication, your Deck has to be a perfect reflection of your company’s vision, strategy, team and needs in order to get your first investor’s attention. 

  • Problem - Tackle all of your attention to what’s really important on the market. Whether there is little to no solution in the existing market. Define the problem’s dynamics over the past year

  • Solution - This is one of the easiest and the hardest slide at the same time. Define the KEY difference of your startup in just one sentence. Easier said, than done, right? But this is the slide, where your audience would get involved, or pass and go back to the LinkedIn newsfeed on their phones. 

  • Traction - Time to show off. Show and embrace your customers. Make the growth predictions (better stay realistic). Even if your traction is not that fascinating yet - show the key insights of your baby steps in your customer's journey. This is a slide to show, that you know your customers, you know their pains and needs, and mainly - you are flexible enough to adjust your solution to the current market needs. 

  • Market Size - The main question here is how scalable is your solution. TAM-SOM-SAM tool might seem outdated and boring, but this is one of the easiest ways to show your market potential and make your target investor believe, that they are looking at the next dexacorn. 

  • Technology / Business model - Briefly explain your technology. Don’t get too technical. The main rule of the deck - your granny should be able to understand what you’re doing. No matter how complicated your technology is, the main question for investors will always be - where is the money here?

  • Competitors - Everyone understands, that this is a perfect slide to show off. Of course, you’ll pick the features, that your competitors don’t have. However, it is important to show your investor that you know your competitors better than everyone. That’s the only way to fight them. 

  • Team. The Team slide is often underrated and is left behind by the founders, briefly shown for the last 2 seconds of the pitch. But you must remember that early-stage investment is done 90% because of the team. Give this slide another minute of attention, showing the key features of your team, which will make you able to become the next Facebook: previous experience, education, key technology knowledge, or an amazing list of mentors, helping you to make your dream come true.  

The key insight to your deck is that investment analytics normally spend less than 30 seconds on each slide, so your main task should be being as straight to the point and persistent as possible.

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