Ceo · Fundraising

How do I raise with a working AI/ML MVP?

Avishaan Sethi Former CTO and VP of Engineering

April 29th, 2020

I'm the former CTO and co-founder of a health-tech startup that was privately acquired very very recently. My CEO was absolutely phenomenal and handled most of the investor outreach so that I could focus on the product and tech. I have a working MVP in the fashion space that works similarly to mTailor, but we need a CEO and need to raise some funds. I checked my network and have little luck finding fit, possibly because most of my direct network is health-tech, which is saturated with work right now with everything going on.

I'm looking for recommendations on websites, forums, or even methods of reaching out on Linkedin/Facebook, where it would get past my regular network of health-tech acquaintances.

Matthew Mansour Technical CoFounder

Last updated on May 7th, 2020

Nice work on the build out. It sounds like you've built an amazing product.

It sounds like a tough spot and a hard road. But you can do it.

After writing hundreds of thousands of lines of code, and bringing many products to the table in cofounder partnerships, I've learned the following:

  • One cofounder must have a track record of raising rounds and a successful exit (OR):
  • One cofounder must be serving the target market in some capacity already, and the product I am building is solving that cofounder's problem, along with his tribe's problem

That strategy serves me well these days.

With the second bullet, product market fit is more baked in and the leads are warm.

I'd find a gatekeeper who has access to the market you want to sell to, and partner with that person and get sales.

If you have good traction investors won't be too hard to get. Bring traction to an investor and the doors will open.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

May 4th, 2020

A fundraiser is not inherently a CEO, so get that requirement out of your mind first. Remember, investors invest in tested plans, not in products. Whether or not your product works is far less relevant than whether you have a validated marketing strategy and demand. You may have a great functional and working MVP, but if no one is interested in using it, then it is not worth any money. That's why you always start with marketing before development.

When you work on your strategy, it will also inform you what kind of people would see value in teaming up with you (financially) to move the product forward, what triggers the interest, and how you can reduce risk.

Investing in a product is always a risk-reduction game. You need to be able to prove in advance that the money you might borrow will perform exactly as intended. If you can do that well, you may not need investors and could go straight to a bank. Consider what you would do differently if you knew in advance you would not receive a single dime from an investor for this product. What would you have to do to make it a business without outside money? How would it start? And frankly, if you can figure that out, do it yourself without investors, and wait to talk to them until you want a leap in growth from a solid base business.

Maxi moon Founder and Project leader of Trusted Animal Files, out of the box thinker, integrity

May 18th, 2020

Congratulations. Your new product looks promising.

I have 3 questions:

1. What is your competitive advantage on MTailor?

2. What's your target market?

3. How much are you looking to raise?

Maybe I can help to find what you are looking for in exchange for a % on future sales. Good luck to you. The fashion industry, imho, is nasty...:-)