Bootstrapping will only take your startup so far. Many businesses underestimate how much money they really need to keep going and growing, and they run out of runway. When raising capital, these investor-entrepreneurs and members of The Oracles share their best secrets, tips and strategies.
For me, it's all about enthusiasm. You need to show why you need to spend the rest of your life achieving this mission. The mission itself has to be large enough for a venture investment and crazy enough to make a significant impact. The technology must also be unique.
Before you ask anyone for money, make sure this is what you want to do'Š'”'Ševen if you never get the money. I often ask entrepreneurs this question: 'œWhy? Why are you doing this?' If the answer doesn't burst out of their chest, I'm out. If it does, I lean in. Every entrepreneur should ask themselves this question. Do some real soul-searching before embarking on a life-changing and potentially world-changing venture.
2. Test your idea
I've always used more of my own money and limited outside investors.
Never underestimate trying to raise funds from your existing customers. The modern world of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the internet enable you to pre-sell things before they're produced. This has a two-fold benefit. One, it's the same as raising capital, but you don't have to give away equity or decision-making control. And two, it validates whether the idea is good or not'Š'”'Šand ensures you're not raising a bunch of money for a business that's doomed to fail.