See, if you’re a good entrepreneur, you’re good at pretending you know what you’re doing even when you don’t. You can come up with confident sounding answers to hard questions, deliver them with passion, and then go figure out how the fuck to do what you just promised (or who can help you figure it out). But the internal experience of keeping that up, day to day, isn’t always so great. And that’s due in part to the predominant messaging that says you should always seem like you are “crushing it.” Like somehow being tired, overwhelmed and scared isn’t also a part of “crushing it.” Only a few of my very closest advisors and friends have ever really heard what entrepreneurship is like for me. Most people don’t really want to know how the sausage is made. […]
This article will be the first in a series of articles on entrepreneurship, startup culture, and “business design” from our team here at High Alpha. I wanted to start our first article in this series by taking a deeper dive into the infamous pitch deck through a design lens.
I talk to a lot of founders who want to know the secrets to fundraising, or building an amazing advisory board, or finding the best team members. This article is my answer for all three — because they are all largely the same process…
This is a question that comes up a lot. When you’re raising money for a startup, how many investors should you be going to, and talking to, and pitching to? I think there’s a lot of confusion out there, and there’s certainly a perspective that you get around a shotgun apprach — the idea that the more people you pitch to, the better chance you’ll have of success.
Is your startup dying? Raising funds for startups is becoming more and more challenging. If you’re passionate enough about your startup, then you’ll have the courage to go through hardships and overcome all the challenges. The question is how to find investment and grow your business. The amount and the quality of investment can change the future of your startup, so you need to think twice before seeking traditional seed capital, applying for bank loans, or starting crowdfunding campaigns.
When I was a Y Combinator partner, I noticed that more and more of the batches were companies started by international founders. It’s now at 35 percent, and because of this a common question I hear now is: How do you set yourself up to raise money in the U.S.?
Contrary to popular belief, the highest degree of control in a company is not determined by the shares percentage that your investor might have, but by the conditions you agree on when signing the investment term sheet.
Most financial institutions don’t work with early stage startups, which is why founders are turning to angel investors and venture capitalists for funding. Today, fewer deals and larger raises make early stage financing more elusive than ever.
Crowdfunding is a fantastic way to get an idea out there and test the crowd. But, it’s also a stunt. A stunt where you overpromise and oversell on something that hasn’t even been born yet.
The term sheet is one of the most critical documents an entrepreneur can ever design or sign. By this stage you’ve put in a ton of sweat equity, honed a product, crafted a successful pitch deck and aced investor meetings. The rest of your life, the dreams you have for your startup baby, and how much you are going to enjoy growing this company is going to rely on these terms and what comes next.