This section is meant to help you grow as a leader, manager, or entrepreneur.
We always try to help founders have the best chance of raising funding. It doesn’t just start when you send an investor a deck, it’s also everything that happens before and after. Do you have the right metrics?
Put forth the wrong ones and they’ll wonder if they know your business better than you do. Do you have have the correct go to market strategy? Have the wrong one and they may think that you aren’t strategic enough to generate the return needed to sustain their fund.
There are a lot of nuances that go into pitching an investor, but there are also a few things that go into how to manage your investors after they sign up to fund your company.
One piece that can come in handy is utilizing investor update emails. By keeping your investors involved in your progress and requests for help they are more likely to follow on in your next round of funding or serve as key referrals into your future investors. They can also help you recruit top talent, help you with strategic partnerships with larger companies, and mentor you on how to grow your company.
There is a lot of benefits to writing investor emails and its why every future KnowCap company will be required to send monthly investor update emails. 1) To build the muscle of sending them out on a regular cadence 2) So that when we meet investors across the country, we have a very clear picture on the progress one of our portfolio companies have made in the palm of our hands
I believe this piece does an amazing job of walking a founder through the steps to construct one that will pay dividends for the founders. When your investors have a direct line of sight into the metrics, successes, and failures of their company they are much more likely to help or vouch, for you later on.
This section is designed to help you improve your skills as a strategist and tactician.
I really think this article does a little simplification of what it takes to launch a startup - mostly because there are so many ways that it can go wrong in just two weeks from the article’s publishing date. However, the way that they validated their idea and then adjusted based on the feedback is where many founders skip a step.
The only thing that matters at the earliest stages is to make sure that you focus on providing a solution to a problem that actually exists…and then determining if people will pay for that problem. If you have a solution to a problem they have, but they are comfortable cobbling together their own solution for free - probably not a very good problem that you are solving.
The best ones that we see in the startup space are when businesses do deep customer discovery and find a problem that users don’t even realize that they hate solving without your product.
This section was created to introduce ideas that may not related to starting a company, yet is important to your success as a founder.
My wife and I have weekly coffee dates where the agenda is to tell each other about our lives the past week and then what’s coming up for the next week.
We have done this weekly check-in since we got married 3 years ago and it’s one of my favorite times to of the week. With us both taking on a lot over the last few months (she just built a team of four from scratch and taking her mid-sized nonprofits fundraising efforts to another level as their director of development…yes she’s amazing) it’s come in handy with running KnowCap happenings by her.
Now everything I tell her she says, does that tie into the three pieces you are focused on 1) Proving the model 2) Generating revenue 3) Fundraising. If my answer is neither she holds me accountable for my priorities.
This ties in perfectly with this piece and there are a few quotes that I LOVE! As founders, we will have so many things vying for our attention and very few will actually move the needle for your business. There will be requests for speaking events, podcasts, articles, free panels, workshops, consulting, new partnerships, ancillary projects. They will seem amazing at first, but that’s the trap.
I’ve fallen into it and what I was recently reminded of is that opportunities will come, but they get better when you execute. The meetings I have now are different than the ones I had a year ago. Now people pitch KnowCap to see if we want to partner and it all came when we began to just focus on executing the model. With that said, here are those three awesome quotes I mentioned earlier….
" So it’s not about how many opportunities you have, it’s about how many opportunities you eliminate from your life.”
"It’s more practical to chase skills, and PREPARE for opportunities."
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” - Thomas Edison
Around The Startup Ecosystem
This section was built to update you on important events, opinions, or pieces happening in the world of startups.
I wanted to include this piece in this newsletter because when we are pitched by entrepreneurs, we try to ask them what do they want to raise funding at in their first institutional round (it helps me us know how to structure their documents). Usually, they have no framework of what’s realistic. It may be due to their stage, their metrics, their location, their industry, or simply their demographic.
That said I always want to include pieces that give a little more transparency into the mind of what it takes to raise that first round of funding. Usually, these pieces are by other VCs so take it with a grain of salt as it is their perspective on the fundraising landscape.