In March, we enjoyed a Lunch & Learn session with Aleksandra Laska from Redalpine on how to raise your first round with institutional investors. Here are the take-aways for you.
To get the attention of a VC, know how to sell your vision or solution eloquently, clearly and briefly (especially if you are selling complex tech – learn how to explain it in layman terms). Convey enthusiasm and conviction around your idea. Think big but stay realistic about the steps to get there.
Do your research before you approach any investor. Understand what the investors are investing in and whether they fit into your business model. Do they already invest in a competitor solution? Then don’t send them your pitch deck. There are very few investors that invest in two competing solutions. Find out: Are they early stage investors? Or rather later stage? What industries are they normally investing? The better the fit, the higher the chance that you get a reply from the investors.
Fundraising is not just a way to get money, but you want to get more out of your investors. Ask yourself what you are looking for in an investor. Are you looking for a lead investor? Are you looking for specific knowledge? ex. subject-matter expertise, network, operational expertise, etc.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to analysts and associates. They are the ones selling your idea internally to the partners so it is important to impress them first.
The most optimal time to fundraise is before you need the money. You want to be in a position of strong negotiation power and not be in the position of having to fundraise and needing the money. If you wait too long, you will have less opportunities to negotiate terms and valuations.
Thank you Aleksandra for a great and insightful Lunch & Learn session!