VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
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If I were to redo the fundraising process, there would be a lot of follow-ups coming out of conversations. There were so many questions that came up. Some were transactional, so, you know, can you send me x piece of data, y piece of information? Some of that was a reaction to a statement I made. So, if I said, “This part of the industry is booming,” they would say, “Oh, I would love to dig into that; I’d love to understand that a little bit further.”
In hindsight, I probably could have predicted that. And I probably could have just upfront said, This is my story that I’m going in with, and these are the like five different directions that it can go in, depending on which part of the story they bite into. And let me do a little bit of work along each of those verticals, so that way I have really powerful follow-ups that I can just immediately send without having to create work for myself in the middle of the process.
It’s kind of like applying to college. I just set everything up upfront. I was like, I’m going to write all of my essays up front. I’m going to write all of this stuff up front. I’m going to submit my early decision application, and I’m also going to submit all of my other applications. And so that way, if my ED came back, I didn’t have to do work in the middle of the process. Everything else was fired off. And fortunately, my ED came back. But you know, I ended up paying for all those college apps that I didn’t need to.
But I think it was just this matter of, I’m going to prepare upfront, and I’m just going to create all of these materials so that way when I’m in the process, I’m really focused on the process. I’m not leaving a meeting feeling like I need to create some materials.
You can really sort of engineer the conversation. If you have a day where you just have eight conversations, you’ll get a sense of what the latest thinking is in venture capital. What the latest conversation is, what everyone’s talking about
And you’ll find, oh, okay, these are the three trends that are emerging from those conversations. Let me hit pause. Let me reflect on my pitch. Let me see what backup materials I need to do to counteract some of that thinking or enforce some of that thinking. And then let me actually start again.
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