At least weekly I get a message from a startup founder who is asking for help in their fundraising efforts. At FounderDocs we help founders get “investor ready” by developing pitch decks and business plans that tell their story in a compelling way. What we don’t do is act as a fundraiser on behalf of the startup.
We have assisted founders in identifying potential investors through coaching and research as well as helping them prepare for conversations and negotiations with investors. Essentially, our services go run documenting the business to the consummation of an investment. But, we don’t act as the lead when contacting or talking with investors.
There is one big reason why that is true.
Startups Founders Should Fundraise for Themselves
Fundraising can be a hard and long process. In fact, I tell founders that it is a full-time job that leaves little time for much else.
So, it is understandable that they want to offload some of that work. Plus, many of the founders I talk with don’t understand how to meet investors or what investors look for in a startup. By the way, those are links to free resources on the topic. Enjoy!
Besides the fact that I truly believe most founders underestimate their personal network, there is one main reason those founders should be at the head of their own fundraising.
It demonstrates that you are willing to hustle.
Think about it this way. Founders meet investors through referrals all the time. However, there is a big difference between a referral that comes from someone you paid to hunt down investors for you.
Connecting with investors through networking and cold or warm introductions demonstrates that you are willing to hustle as a founder.
Is it hard to get an investor you have never met to look at your pitch deck let alone take a meeting with you? It can be. Yet, as an angel investor myself, I can tell you that I am much more open to looking at an opportunity when it is introduced to me by the founder themself and not a paid intermediary.
So, as a founder, do your own leg work. Don’t hire someone to do it for you. In fact, more times than not I have heard about such arrangements costing founders a lot of money for very little success. Fundraising is hard enough to pull off already. Don’t pay someone for something you should be doing in the first place.
Well, any thoughts? If you are a startup founder or investor do you agree or disagree?
Let me know by Tweeting in my direction at @jmillspatrick on Twitter.
By the way, I have an entire course that hundreds of startup founders have taken to help them better understand the fundraising process.
Click the button below to learn more!