200. Liz’s Fundraise Process

VC Minute
The best fundraisers run a process. It's no surprise that Liz has a rigorous for building and executing her fundraise.

VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better

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I truly believe that successful and deeply executed and well-executed fundraisers happen in sprints. They very rarely happen through a random process. Every fundraise I’ve done, whether it was my Series Seed, my Series B, I have sat down and I’ve said over the next 16 weeks, I’m going to develop the best story I can develop. I’m going to put together the best data room I can possibly work through. I’m going to practice this pitch backward, forwards, and sideways. I’m going to work through every question that someone could ask me that we could possibly think of and work through every answer. And that process alone, that prep process alone takes me about four weeks, four to six weeks.

The thing about having a four-week lead-up process is you don’t walk into your meetings sort of going like, oh god, what question am I going to be asked today? Or, you know, what are the detractors going to offer up? You’ve thought about it. I often will sit down with my existing investors and say, what is every questionable question your partners have asked you about my business? I make sure that I understand what every detractor thinks about the business because then I’m prepared for it.

And here’s the other thing, I want everybody who meets me, whether they invest in my business or not, my fundraisers are also a cheerleading process. Even if a fund is going to pass, even if an individual investor is going to pass, I want them to walk away from our conversations feeling three things.

One, Soona is undeniably going to win, and this might not be right for me, but I understand why this founder is the right person to go build this company, and I’m excited to see their success.

Two, I wonder if there’s anything else I can do for them? If we’ve built a good relationship with another human being, this is human business. Yes, it’s a technology industry, but it’s a human business. They’re going to introduce me to great employees, great partners, great vendors, people that I can work with.

And three, I always want them to be kicking themselves, to be thinking about Soona for the rest of their career as the one that got away. Getting through that prep process then positions me to go do a deep fundraise. And so when it’s time to fundraise, then really be fundraising. It’s RBF for me. Really Be Fundraising and nothing else. And that fundraise typically happens on a 12-week timeline. That’s a goal I typically set myself. I want to go from first meetings about our current opportunity to invest in our business, to term sheet close sign going through diligence and deal close in 12 weeks. That’s the process. That’s how I set it up. And if I do that, I cancel every other meeting, cancel every other opportunity, cancel every other obligation.

If you have a tight process, you’re going to set yourself up for term sheets, but you’re also going to set yourself up for a lot of chatter about your company, and a lot of people who feel really good things about your business, even if they’re not on your cap table. You would not believe the dividends that that will pay off for you over the history of your organization. I’ve successfully raised every single time through that diligent process.

About Soona
soona is a self-serve content creation platform and home of the virtual shoot. create high-quality photo and video content from anywhere.

About AVL Growth Partners
AVL Growth Partners, founded in 2009, is the leading fractional Finance and Accounting firm supporting organizations in pivoting from growth to scale. AVL brings an experienced team of CFOs, Controllers, and Accountants to your organization, delivering transparent, strategic actions for short and long-term success. Transform your financial approach affordably with AVL, supporting companies coast to coast – get to know AVL Growth Partners at avlgrowth.com. (Sponsored)

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