Securing the right funding for startups might be the most difficult thing for an entrepreneur to do. You might have the right idea, the right product and the right team at your disposal. However, if you do not have the capital required for scaling your business, you might be looking at an early demise.
In this article, we will look at how some of the top experts advice on raising funds for startups. Right from crowdfunding for startups to startup funding websites, Venture Capital firms as well as the various stages of funding for startups.
How to reach out to the Right Investors Funding for Startups?
Sometimes the proposition of funding becomes so attractive, that entrepreneurs end up compromising on their own businesses. It is important to ascertain the following important facts and questions when securing funding for startups from investors-
- What can the investor contribute to the business apart from just capital?
- Is he looking for a governance/decision making role in the venture?
- Which are some of the financial options that can be explored- stocks/shares/positions, etc.
- At what startup funding stage do you want the investor to come on-board?
- How does the coming of the investor realign your business goals and objectives?
Once you have been able to settle these questions, you can focus on attracting the right investor. There are many ways, which brands and entrepreneurs can use to do the same. Let us look at some of the major ones.
1. Funding for Startup Events and Get-togethers:
Some of the biggest companies in the world frequent events and get-togethers where aspiring entrepreneurs present their business ideas and seek seed funding. Governments, Chambers of Commerce and global organizations host startup festivals to improve networking.
As an entrepreneur, you should not feel embarrassed to visit just events and showcase your idea. This will not only be a great learning curve, it will also help you meet and interact with several titans of industry.
2. Reach out to Investors on Social Media, especially LinkedIn:
In my experience, some of the biggest deals in the startup funding world have taken place through private messages on LinkedIn. The platform has emerged as a search and discovery channel for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
You can get in touch with many top executives who are sitting on billion dollar boards of some of the biggest Venture Capital firms in the world. Yes, they might receive hundreds of messages, but it is important for you to make the outreach and pitch your business.
3. Contact Venture Capital Firms for Startup Funding:
Getting seed capital funding for your startup is all about networking. If you have a great product or business idea, it is not going to develop on its own. It is important for you as an entrepreneur to put yourself out there. This is why you would need direct interventions.
VC firms hold billions of dollars in investment. They are always looking to invest in a profitable venture. Reach out to them and pitch your business. Discuss your credentials and ask them for an appointment. If you are smart, suave and have a great proposition at hand, you will hear back for them.
4. Empower your Personal Profile and Brand Profile:
The startup world is all about valuation, branding and the right promotions. Most of the most successful startups who have raised finding create, maintain and nurture strong branding profiles on social, digital and offline channels.
It is important that as an entrepreneur, you have a strong social media presence and profile. In addition, you should also make your brand’s profile a powerful one on digital platforms. This will attract many investors even from different countries and continents to your startup. Rather than going after them, create a persona and let them come to you.
5. Explore Crowdfunding for Startups:
Startups who are of a socially responsible nature have found huge successes on crowdfunding platforms. In many ways, this method is considered more democratic, diverse and responsible. Rather than dealing with VCs, you might be dealing with normal people who are just looking to make investments and grow with you.
When exploring crowdfunding for your startup please be mindful of the limitations that it comes with. You would not want to have 10000 directors and decision makers on your board. Managing crowdfunding might become difficult as an option going forward.
6. Secure the first $100,000 in Seed Capital from Friends, Families and Bootstrapping:
Many entrepreneurs turn to family, friends and bootstrapping to create the seed capital for their capital. This is the initial investment required to get the business up from the ground. Rather than going after Angel Investors might not be a good idea all the time.
By getting the foundations right with help from close circles, you might be free from many worries as an entrepreneur. You will also not be responsible in a purely commercial fashion. This can help you concentrate on more important things like, scaling up the business.
7. Explore Government Help and Assistance:
Governments, especially in the developing world are heavily investing in building their startup ecosystems. Working with governments is very beneficial when it comes to licensing, rebates, social responsibilities and free advertising and publicity.
In terms of the financial aspects of the deal, governments and less taxing and demanding then private VC firms and investors. Coupled with the fact that you are likely to get help and assistance at different levels of operation.
The startup ecosystem is highly dynamic, vibrant and ever-changing place. Some startups might be raising billions, while others are driving themselves to the ground. An entrepreneur needs to pay attention to ten things at the same time. You cannot only concern yourself with one aspect of the business.
We have tried to explore seven important ways of raising funds for startups. Securing loans from financial institutions and banks, micro financing and contests are some other ways through which you can secure funding for startups.
Securing funding for startups is critical when it comes to scaling up the business. It is equally important to develop your product at breakneck speeds and hit even. This is why the best entrepreneurs are able to do multiple things at the same time.
Do let us know what you thought about the article in the comments section below.
Mashum Mollah is a tech entrepreneur by profession and passionate blogger by heart. He is on a mission to help small businesses grow online. He shares his journey, insights and experiences in this blog. If you are an entrepreneur, digital marketing professional, or simply an info-holic, then this blog is for you. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn