The 6 most important fundraising concepts of 2021

Jason Yeh
December 31, 2021
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"Don't let it drag. Line up the process and get it done all at once," I heard the partner say.

It was the end of a board meeting I attended in 2015 as a board observer for a Series A backed startup. The office setting was straight out of the show Silicon Valley- a converted loft space with dingy couches and makeshift desks just a block away from South Park in San Francisco. And that abrupt directive from the company’s lead investor / board member seemed just like something Russ Hanneman might say.

He was a General Partner at a big tier 1 VC (not Greycroft, the firm I worked for) whose wisdom came from his experience as a venture-backed founder with a large exit and an investor in multiple unicorn startups. We were discussing the company's upcoming fundraise and while the CEO had already raised $10MM, the deer-in-headlights look that washed across his face said everything.

He didn't know what the partner meant and needed more guidance — guidance which never came.

That moment was important for 2 reasons. 

First, hearing that partner's advice was when I first began formulating my ideas around calendar density as a fundraising strategy. 

Second, the interaction between guidance-hungry founder and wise but time-constrained partner stuck with me as a problem worth addressing within the world of fundraising.

In 2021, I dedicated all my time to immersing myself in the world of fundraising as a 3rd-party, not a venture capitalist or a startup CEO.

It's been refreshing. I'm no longer clouded by investor bias or founder anxiety. With added clarity and dedicated time, I've been able to translate fundraising concepts into educational material and help tons of founders find their path to raising capital. Unsurprisingly, the work has coincided with the most gratifying and professionally successful year of my career🙏

In this year-end wrap up essay, I want to remind you all of 6 crucial concepts I outlined in short essays in 2021. On their own, they've changed the course of numerous fundraises so I'm excited to bundle them into one mega-helpful list.

In this year-end wrap up essay, I want to remind you all of 6 crucial concepts I outlined in short essays in 2021. On their own, they've changed the course of numerous fundraises so I'm excited to bundle them into one mega-helpful list.

1. Calendar Density - I've become known for the concept of Calendar Density and for good reason. It's one of the most powerful forces in fundraising and I'm proud to have deconstructed it for greater understanding in this essay.

2. Fail Fast in Fundraising - Failing Fast is an idea I wish I had been exposed to much earlier in life. It's a bit scary when applied to fundraising, but I outline the nuances here to help founders understand why and how.

3. 2 Types of Intros - Intros are the lifeblood of fundraising. This short essay outlining the differences between 2 types of intros helps unpack the dynamics of fundraising intros.

Hope these essays help you kick off 2022 in the right way. I'm hard at work on the next set of frameworks and tools for 2022. If there's something you think I've missed — let me know!

4. Seeking Alpha in Startups - Do you know what investors are looking for in an early-stage investment? I think I do. I call it Startup Alpha. This essay outlines the concept which can be a game changer for how you structure your narrative.

5. Common Pitch Mistakes - Avoid these two common mistakes in your pitch:

6. Building an Angel Army - Looking to raise an institutional round of funding? I've been advocating a strategy called an "Angel Army" for years. And now? You're seeing it pop up with founders raising everything from a pre-seed to a late-stage round.

Hope these essays help you kick off 2022 in the right way. I'm hard at work on the next set of frameworks and tools for 2022. If there's something you think I've missed — let me know!


Happy New Year 🎉

Jason

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