Questions

Hi Everyone! We are looking for funding for our start-up, what is the best course of action?

We are at the planning stage right now for our startup. Everything is done but we need funding. Kindly help..

12answers

Hello,
So usually; at least in my opinion, the best search for funding follows validation from the market, a certain amount of recurring revenue and proof that business works (and can scale). Do you have these?


Answered 10 months ago

Short answer is approach it in this order depending on how far along you are: self-funded, friends & family, accelerators, angels, vc. Each will be subsequently harder to attract. Without knowing more, it is very difficult to provide a great answer here, but traction is key. Traction based on customers using your product and paying you to use your product.

Finally, when you say 'everything is done,' what do you mean by that? You are never truly done so my suggestion is to be much clearer in your status when communicating.

I hope that helps give you some initial thoughts, but again, I'd need a lot more information to provide a better answer.


Answered 10 months ago

Can you please explain what you mean by "Everything is done....?

The best advice I can give you at this stage is to develop a targeted community around your project. With a community you can validate your startup idea/product and then see if the market wants what you have developed.

I see far too many startups focused on their offering to the market, before making sure the market wants what they are developing. Validating your idea as soon as possible can save you huge sums of money in the long run and the sooner you validate the better.

So, to sum up: Any form of crowdfunding is actually a validation tool. But, before you go that route, make sure you have done pre-crowdfunding validation. This is the most cost effective route to go. However, many skip this step with much regret.

Best of luck!


Answered 10 months ago

Determining need in in the market is primary and the sooner you have proof of that the better the possibility of funding. Equally important is determining how much you need and what you are willing to part with in terms of equity. I am assuming in the statement you made "everything is done" that includes a burn rate which should help in determining absolute need.


Answered 10 months ago

thank you for your question. I am here to tell that this is no easy fix. In order to help you further, I would need to know what type of business structure you have, type of industry and what are your plans. You have many options: loans, equity, revenue sharing, donations, etc.. If you have any follow up questions do not hesitate to give me a call.


Answered 10 months ago

Your idea must have a professionally written business plan and Pitchdeck. Also, make sure you have a few 3rd party advisors on your team to give credibility to what you are looking to do. A lot of entrepreneurs need realistic expectations on how much money they want to raise and which way they should do it: SBA LOAN, angel investors, online equity crowdfunding, seed stage VC, family offices, etc. Also, a regulation D Rule 504 offering as part of your business plan will get you more eyeballs and help you at least to attempt to control the potential investor deal terms initially. Please feel free to reach out if you need a more detailed and practical roadmap to succeed.


Answered 10 months ago

Have you proven your concept?

If you have, then here's the place to go (not mine...a wonderful source from a guy with an organization that tracks all kinds of startups): https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/venture-debt-report-which-firm-offers-best-deal-saas-ceos-latka/


Answered 10 months ago

You should really consider hiring a salesperson, even if it's just part time. Bringing somebody in that knows how to pitch to executives or CV's would be a huge asset and allow you to get funding much faster.

My background is in recruitment and recruitment advertising. If you'd like so advice on how to find a salesman the cheapest and fastest way, I'd be happy to discuss with you in more detail.


Answered 10 months ago

I would highly suggest you pre-sell your product or service.

In my experience, a lot of friends, family and potential customers will all tell you "its a great idea."

However, there is nothing better for product validation than getting a customer to write a check or give you their credit card information.

When that happens - YOU KNOW - you are addressing a major pain point!


Answered 10 months ago

Aside from the advice already given such as validating your market and raising funds from early-stage sources (i.e., friends & family, bootstrapping, incubators and accelerators), another set of sources that are often overlooked are grants.

Most grants are quite competitive, specific for what they look for, and take time to put together and to receive funding. However, they are non-dilutive. If you are developing a solution for where there's a fit for a grant opportunity, I recommend pursuing grants in conjunction with traditional funding sources.

One major program backed by the US Small Business Association is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This is essentially a $2.5B seed fund!

Here's the link to the SBIR website - https://www.sbir.gov/ - and you can read a bit more about the program on my website - https://caizio.com/blog/

Good luck with your new venture.
Cheers!


Answered 10 months ago

The planning stage or strategic stage is on-going and doesn't indicate a specific benchmark. I advise startup founders to focus on profit before they ask for investor participation. Determine what customer demographic represents your key income. Then assess how you will connect with that customer and provide value to them. Whether your business is B2C or B2B, the above steps apply. Prior to requesting investment take your business from anecdotal to proven by establishing a customer base. Proof of Concept is not established with a few customers, so you will need to prove your business is not relying on funding. Identify who your business aligns with - which VC firms. Every venture firm has areas in which they focus. This is also true of early seed stage funding.


Answered 10 months ago

Speak with potential investors in your area. This is a crucial step in sustainability. You can do this by hosting a luncheon or connecting with local community groups like LION's Club or Rotary Clubs. This connection of networking is the best way to get potential funders on board. However, you must have your sales pitch ready and know how to sell yourself and your brand. Why would they want to fund your idea?


Answered 9 months ago

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