Seed funding · Angel investing

What do you need to know before raising a seed round?

Nelson Catalano Ha frequentato Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

January 12th, 2015

I am trying to buid a start up, and i'm searching my first investor, what should I expect?
What are the most important topics I should prepare for?

Rob G

January 12th, 2015

most important to investors is traction.  Gone are the days when 1 guy/gal and his/her dog in a garage could get funding based on an idea. focus on :

1. product/market fit.
2. getting a product build (MVP) that addresses the market - preferably a large, addressable (meaning you know how to reach this market) and defendable market.
3. getting users (paying and/or rapidly growing) 

Deepak Ghosh Sr. Vendor Manager at Amazon, Founder at DriftChat

January 12th, 2015

This might not be the complete answer you are looking for, but I think this particular lecture is very useful at least as a starting point:

In general, this is a very good resource:

Best of luck Nelson!

Vijay MD Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)

January 12th, 2015

You want a distinct set of "unfair" advantages. This might be the ability to put together a world class team (against your problem), raise capital, have traction, have an established distribution channel, own a defensible patent, have a factory, been in te space for 10 years, etc. but you need a strong story as to why you're going to win and someone else with the same idea. As peter thiel says, you need to know a secret that others vying for the same opportunity won't know won't

Jennifer Fortney 20+ years’ experience in PR & marketing comms; Founder of Cascade PR, Chicago firm for small business & startups.

January 12th, 2015

Revenue is typically always preferred by investors in general (investors, please chime in with your thoughts), in today's world.  It is rare to be a company to get a lot of $ in pre rev. We read about it in magazines, but they are really one in a million.

If you need initial funding and you cannot afford to, or have run out of your own money to invest, go with a Friends & Family Round. This is also why crowdfunding has become such a hot resource for pre-rev companies.

Love to hear the thoughts of others.

Jennifer Fortney 20+ years’ experience in PR & marketing comms; Founder of Cascade PR, Chicago firm for small business & startups.

January 12th, 2015

I agree with Rob.

It's not enough to have an idea any more. You have to build it, prove the model and generate revenue.  Investors want to mitigate risk and showing that the model works is key. You've got to commit to the hustle and grind.

I add to Rob's list:
  • Find someone that "gets it", is excited about what you're doing 
  • Do your homework.  It's like dating. You need to know as much as possible about them to determine their reliability, credibility and ability to keep their word.  Trust. Nothing worse than getting into bed with the wrong person.
Hope this is helpful!

Lucia Guh-Siesel CEO & Founder, Bandalou

January 12th, 2015

Hi Jennifer, I enjoyed your post.  Just to confirm, are you seeing that revenues are a requirement for SEED or Series A?