They say that fundraising is the fuel for the rocket ship of emerging companies, so the quest is on to find the rocket fuel they call investors.
The natural instinct of a founder is to ask for a list of investors (which you will find below), however, prior to reaching out, there are a few items I would recommend you consider getting in place:
STEP 1: Get your pitch deck in order. If you do not have a pitch deck, this is a great resource for understanding how to create a winning pitch deck.
STEP 2: Know your financial story - can you speak the love language of investors? The goal is to be able to explain what you need their money for and how a dollar flows through your business.
If you are struggling to put this together, talk to the experts at Rocket Pro Forma (for more information, click here).
STEP 3: Get your legal docs in order. You may ask what legal documents you need - here is a great article about legal documents to prepare for a fundraising round.
STEP 4: Time Management. Assuming you have your house in order, make sure you have the time to manage the fundraising process - this is a full-time job, not something you can do on nights and weekends.
STEP 5: Have a plan and work that plan. Organize your fundraising efforts - a great resource for keeping things in order once you are on the fundraising trail is Foundersuite (for more information, click here) You are going to need to reach out to at least 100 investors if you want to build a pipeline of those who are interested.
So if you are not ready to fundraise or feel you need some help in the process, think about working with a third party.
DISCLAIMER - I can not confirm the success or skills of the below individuals, however, they do provide the services for a fee.
- Keiretsu Forum - is a group of individuals around the United States. Here is a link to their Wikipedia page and each chapter has its own website.
- TEN Capital Network - is an amazing group that knows and understands startups and provides the services to assist founders with the fundraising process. To learn more about how they assist you, click here.
- Load Capital - is a group of entrepreneurs that understands how to work with startups with their funding needs. To learn more about how they can assist you, click here.
- Banker Advisors - has resources for identifying capital sources. To learn more about how they can assist you, click here.
- Castle Placement - has a team dedicated to helping with the fundraising process. To learn more about how they can assist you, click here.
So are you still interested in fundraising? Here are some valuable resources I have been able to curate for putting together a list of potential investors for your business:
All the information below is free to use, although they have not been vetted or reviewed for accuracy. Prior to reaching out to anyone, it is HIGHLY recommended you research them to ensure they are relevant to your company. (This will be updated on a regular basis as I get new lists and connections)
- 1,500 angel investors - with emails and LinkedIn profiles from Gritt
- 161 Media Investors - from Monetizing Media
- 193 European Female Angels - from the team at Sifted
- 218 Funding Options for Black American Entrepreneurs - from Founder Institute
- 281 Angel Investors - from the Angel Capital Association
- 2k+ VC Firms & Angels Investors - including email addresses from Madison Campbell
- 600 US Female Angels - with Twitter handles and websites by Lolita Taub
- 752 funds - from Shai Goldman
- AngelList - 12,000 startups have been funded from over 20,000 funds and syndicates
- AskforFunding - promote they have over 5400+ accredited investors
- Active Investor List by Trace Cohen - 401 active investors with LinkedIn profiles
- Canadian Startup Funding - This list contains VC, angel and other forms of funding for funding in Toronto
- Climate VC and Angel Database - from Matt Ward and the team at 4WARD.VC
- Deep Tech Investors Mapping - 1,700+ deep tech investors from Hello Tomorrow
- European Tech VC Funds - 800+ investors in Europe broken down by stage and geography from EuroVC
- Eqvista Top 100 Active Angel Investors of 2020 - looking for a more recent link
- HealthTech Venture Investor Database - 200+ Health Tech focussed investors
- Investors who don’t hate travel - 307 investors who invest in the travel sector
- NYC Founder Guide - Angels & VCs investing in NYC
- OpenVC - a list of 4k+ VC firms with built-in introduction & pitching tool
- Ramp VC & Angel Database - 1,200+ high-quality VCs and Angels (mainly US focussed)
- Signal - the investing network from NFX - 10,000+ investors categorised
- SPD Loan contributing to the ecosystem - this list will require some research
- The Ultimate List of 750+ Seed Funds from Matt Estes
- VC Fund Database for Mexico Startups - 254 investors in Mexico
STEP 6: Have a communication cadence. What are you going to say and when? How do you plan to communicate with the investors? DO NOT MASS MARKET YOUR START-UP. AGAIN I SAY, DO NOT MASS MARKET OUR START-UP. TAKE THE TIME TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH INVESTOR YOU ARE LOOKING TO WORK WITH.
Do not make it transactional - it is a relationship!
Fundraising is a full-time job - take the time to do your research, and plan according. Remember - luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Sure companies who get funding are lucky, but really they are prepared!