VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better
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I think when I was raising the pre-seed I was like, Why do people not like fundraising? Like fundraising, it’s incredible.
It was like, oh, you don’t believe it. Okay. Yeah. Let me sit on that. Let me think about it for a little bit. I don’t have a team to respond to. I don’t have customers to respond to. Let me think about how I can iterate on it. And so, I think, just like mindset, it was so different between pre-seed and seed.
Raising the seed was different because at that point we already started to have the business moving a little bit, and so by fundraising I was taking away time from the business. Already with that, you’re like, okay, I really want to minimize the amount of time I’m spending on this. I just want to close this round so I can go back to work.
And at the same time, you’re being asked a lot of existential questions by investors, and you’re being asked them while you’re operating the business in real time. And it’s like, okay, I need to convince you to believe in this business, and I almost don’t want to hear disbelief because when I hang up this call, I’m going back to customers, I’m going back to a team. I don’t want to hear disbelief. I don’t want to hear you questioning why this should exist. And so, it just becomes a really different dynamic, where it becomes more of a mental game in a way that the pre-seed never was.
In those moments, one of the things that I started to do was try to time block when it was happening so that it didn’t totally mess up my day-to-day schedule.
I would take VC calls at the end of the day, and I would make sure my customer calls were in the morning and my team syncs were in the morning. So that way, post-no, I was just sort of, if I had it in me, I’d keep working. If I didn’t, I would take an hour to just stroll. But really structuring my days so that way, post, no, I’m not immediately needing to jump on and sell the vision to a customer or sell the vision to a teammate.
I think I would do that again. Time-box the process so that it’s not eating up too much of your time. Structure calls so that if you need to run day-to-day business, you’re able to effectively do that by maybe having the mornings be more for the business and then the afternoons and evenings be more for fundraising.
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