The VC Minute

Quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.

VC Minute is meant to be listened to sequentially. You can hear the latest episode below. 

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050.  VC Validation

If you’re struggling to raise venture capital, take heart. It does not invalidate your business. If you truly want to build this business, then you must focus on creating value for your customers. That is what matters.

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049.  Learn From Every Pitch

The vast majority of investors you pitch will pass, so use the time to ask for input & feedback. Ironically, it reflects better on you to ask questions than just pitch the whole time.

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046.  Sell The Vision

My friend Eric Marcoullier, multiple-exit founder, coaches startup CEOs now, has a great post that I riff on today: A CEO Has Three Responsibilities. I’d argue the CEO has only one.

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044. Dribs & Drabs

Another fundraising red flag is the “dribs and drabs” round. With this, you don’t know if you’ll have enough capital to make those key hires or fully execute your growth plan, so your growth suffers.

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043. That Aspen Money

The massive returns needed to succeed in venture capital is one of the key drivers of the TAM obsession. Bigger markets offer bigger opportunities for growth and bigger exits. Or at least, that’s the commonly held belief.

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041. Too Risky

We invest in risky businesses, which means that we feel we’ve got a good grasp on the odds of different types of outcomes, including a zero return outcome. When we hit on uncertainty, that’s when it becomes hard to get to a yes, because uncertainty is where we’re unable to assess the risk.

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040. Series A in 6 Months

I asked my teammates for their least favorite thing to hear from startups and it’s, “six months after this seed round, we’re going to raise a Series A.”

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037. Bridge Round

If you call your funding round a “Bridge Round” it puts you in a defensive position. Listen to today’s #VCMinute for what you should say instead.

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035. Back to the Pool Party

Happy Friday, everybody. It’s a Friday in July, and do you know, what’s the perfect thing for a hot summer day? A pool party! All the reasons investors say “no” can wash away when the pool party is packed.

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034. The Hard Truth

There’s a big reason that funds pass or ghost on investments, but they would never share it with founders. It’s entirely subjective and often just based off gut instincts.

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033. Venture Scale Returns

Another common reason venture funds say “no” is because they don’t see a path to returning the entire fund from that one investment. Wondering what that means? Here’s more…

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032. Too Early

When you’re talking to an investor that writes checks at your level, and they’re telling you that you’re too early, here’s the real problem: you haven’t sold them on your vision.

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030. Just Send the Deck

Wrapping up the week with great advice from @sabakarimm – don’t email people asking if you can send them the deck, just send them the deck. That’s the purpose of it. Send it!

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028. Two Decks

Pitching is storytelling, and decks are a tool to tell the story. The email deck gets to meeting, the pitch deck gets the investment.

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026. The Deck Gets The Meeting

The point of your pitch deck isn’t to get an investment. The point is to get a meeting.

It’s just like when you’re job hunting. The point of a resume isn’t to get the job. The point of the resume is to get the interview. The pitch deck is serving the same purpose.

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025. Don’t Email Everyone in the Firm

Bonus content: If you’re reaching out to a small fund, don’t email, every single person in the fund.

Time is our most precious asset; I’m grateful that you’d spend of some of yours with me. Thank you.

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023. Updating Investors

As you meet with potential investors, your goal with the first meeting isn’t to close the deal. It’s for both you and the investor to get data points on each other.

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020. Oversubscribed

There are three types of mythical creatures: big foot, aliens, and a funding round not described as oversubscribed. It’s funny because it’s true. But it’s true because it works.

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018. Runway

When you set out to raise a round of capital, you’ll get asked about your runway. This is important because fundraising is a waste of your time. 😁

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017. Here, There, Capital

Founders part of your job in a pitch is to convince potential investors that you will get to the next level on the treadmill. And to do that, you need to three things: Here, There and Capital.

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014. Deadlines

The last piece in your toolkit for driving action is deadlines. When you’ve got enough capital around the table, it’s time to pull it in. And nothing drives action like a deadline.

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012. Sales Process

You need to treat your fundraise like a sales process. The difference is that with fundraising, you need to close everyone all at once.

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