Key pieces of advice from entrepreneurs who have done it — and succeeded.
By Young Entrepreneur Council
A lot goes into raising money from venture capitals for your business. But before you get ahead of yourself, focus on getting started. We asked six members from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what initial steps they recommend.
Question: When planning to raise VC funding, what's the first step a founder should take and why?
Create a Custom Plan
It's different and more difficult for females to raise money. Ignoring this would be foolish. However, the first step in overcoming problems or issues is recognizing and addressing them. Think about how you will be perceived. Then create a custom pitching style that will lead to success. – Kelsey Recht, VenueBook
Seek Good Advisors
Securing trusted advice is key, and it never hurts to have people looking out for your best interest. Times have changed for women in business. So get some trusted, solid advisors before going to any investors. – Alexis Levine, Savvy Media
Look for Examples
Talk to founders who have asked for funding before to learn from their experiences -- both the mistakes and the successes. Pull examples from other enterprises that successfully raised capital and adapt their strategies where it makes sense, rather than inventing processes from scratch. – Carrie Rich, The Global Good Fund
Refine Your Online Reputation
Every VC will Google you (most of them before they even agree to take a meeting) so make sure your online presence is solid. Write your company and personal bios to reflect what you want VCs to know about you, make sure your social accounts are professional, update your company blog, and contribute expert articles to online publications. Pretty soon, every VC will be anxious to take your meeting! – Brittany Hodak, ZinePak
Perfect Your Pitch
When it comes to VC funding, your pitch needs to resonate. Make sure you write down your plan, either directly into a slide deck format or by using a business plan first, so you can effectively share it with appropriate investors as well as get feedback. Before you actively pitch VC investors, consider pitching angels or seed investors first so you can hone your pitch message and presentation. –Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
Understand Every Detail
Founders should truly understand the reason they are seeking funding. I have seen many entrepreneurs raise money just because they have been told they should. Venture capital funding is a powerful tool, but it is not appropriate for everyone. I like to see the money come with counsel. – Mina Chang, Linking the World
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.