How do solo founders deal with their startup while pitching for funds?

How do solo founders deal with their startup while pitching for funds?

Fundraising sucks! If you are a solo founder who needs to play CEO and fundraise…You have a shit life till you close 😉 It’s just that simple!

Ideally you have a cofounder or two that you trust… in this case, you don’t. So you need to find key people on your team and manipulate them so they pick up the operational slack and ensure they prioritize things that move you up and to the right and no disasters that undermine you.

YOU, the CEO, yes you! You need to FOCUS on the raise. It’s a total pain in the rear, but you need to get this done. There is no messing about, it’s binary outcome… well, there is a scale to not achieving your full raise, but that sets you up for a life of ‘we never had quite enough $ to hit our milestones’… which is a death spiral which is hard to pull up out of. I’ve seen this (portfolio company).

I highly recommend on Pareto to do lists. Don’t pitch every VC. Know who is likely to invest. Focus! Spend time on those that are likely to convert, like customers. That saves you a lot of time. Have an action plan and follow it. Close the best prospects.

Do not get swept up in startup unless you are CODE RED. There is so much to do in a fundraise… DD dataroom, answering questions etc.

It’s a shitty time, so put your head down, communicate to all staff what and why you are doing this, trust them (let them step up, for the benefit of the company etc) and deliver on your end.

It’s best to start your fundraising as a solo founder when you are about to have a growth spurt or benefit from seasonality. This will keep your growth ticking over, or illustrate things going well as you show metrics.

I also recommend to start a soft fundraise before you go ‘hard.’ This way you have developed trust and those people may be easier closes.

It’s going to be painful, so get it done! You chose to be a solo founder, so deal with it.

Read: What is the difference between a founder and the board of directors?

Comments 4

  1. Being solo is hard. Having a trust co-founder singing the same tune to lessen up workload and to provide brain-storming sessions is good. But such co-founder is hard to find. At the mean time, you have to write a pitch deck to potential investor. What would you recommend to put into the team slide – that you know the virtual of co-founder, you are actively searching for one (or 2) co-founders? Also finding co-founders among your first hires (i.e. testing their capabilities via trial by fire at the early stage), would this tactic works? How do you translate this trial-by-fire to find co-founder idea into the team slide in a pitch deck?

    1. Post
    1. Post

      Laura – you don’t have to have a cofounder. When you are really early the team is all there is to bet on. If you have built something, have a team, metrics etc, then it doesn’t really matter?
      I mean, say facebook only has one founder, would you still not invest now? They’re a huge company so it doesn’t matter, right? You see a lot of risk has gone.
      The earlier you are the more the team is all investors have to invest in.
      The later stage you are the less it matters.
      Also, the larger your team, the more all the roles are covered so the team isn’t a big deal.

      Let’s say you have two teams.
      Team 1
      One founder who is CEO and can’t code. Has to hire people to do everything.

      Team 2
      3 founders who code, do marketing, finance etc.

      If you give $100k to team two, you’re just more likely to get more growth, right?

      There are no ‘must haves’ in fundraising as there are always exceptions. Investors just prefer investing when there are multiple founders. Maybe one founder quits or needs to be fired, well there are backups!

      Does that make sense?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.