I've found that illustrations can help people gain a deeper understanding of complex concepts. With that understanding, they can creatively problem solve on their own as opposed to relying on a script.
Here are some of my illustrated insights. Enjoy.
What comes first? It's a key mental struggle in fundraising worth acknowledging and focusing on.
So much of life and especially fundraising is about shooting your shot. Ask for that intro. Follow up for an answer. Shoot your shot.
All startups have bumps, twists, and turns when fundraising.
Not everyone has the network, but everyone can network.
Of course there are bad ways to share failures and pompous ways to share wins, but delivered the right way they can be amazing signals in a pitch.
YC introduced their "post-money" SAFE in Sept '18. It was meant to be better for everyone and easier to understand🤔
For years the industry has been trained that valuations and valuation caps are done at the "pre-money". Now there is a shift to "post-money" that not everyone understands so can be misleading.
A useful thing for founders to learn is how much of VC decision making is based on triangulating via a variety of external signals, especially when the investors are not the end user of the product.
Impressing a VC on your own is just the first step
Many first time founders are in awe of investor $ and immediately adopt a chasing mentality because of that. This can be a kiss of death
To fundraise well, entrepreneurs need to have full conviction in what they're building and adopt the mindset that they should be chased
A common mistake entrepreneurs make is trying to jam every element of their sell into the pitch deck
The deck is just the tip of the iceberg. It shares enough to get an investor excited to learn more via the process
Remember, the goal is 10 slides. You might not get there, but that's the goal.
Again, 10 slides
A blank powerpoint screen is a daunting starting point for any pitch deck
I start most of my decks away from my computer on notecards - one concept per card
The satisfaction of completing a card builds momentum and the lack of internet ensures you don't break it
Questionable credibility somewhere is questionable credibility everywhere
Calendar density is key so that investors feel pressure to act. Pressure comes from honest behavior that an entrepreneur engages in when her calendar is packed. You apologize for being late b/c your last investor meeting ran over. You mention another VC who said the same thing
Alternatively, spreading outreach over a week would be easier, but the delay would compound and result in meetings being scheduled over 3 or 4 weeks.
This leads to a loose process and very little natural pressure to act
Pressure makes diamonds
Without a warm intro, even a great founder can get overlooked by investors.
Make a great intro for a black founder today. #BLM
Many decks I see use overly complex words & terms to explain concepts.
That doesn't impress investors.
Focus on simplicity.
Show don't tell.
Pitch the circle not the equation.
Intros are the seemingly simple lifeblood of fundraising
Zoom in and you'll uncover a complexity worth understanding