#StartitSavvy: 5 things to start doing today to raise funds within a year
Got big plans for your startup and need to raise funds? You had better get on that sooner rather than later. The best thing is to lay the groundwork for bringing in cash before you actually need it. So what can you do today to raise funds for tomorrow? Here are our top 5 tips:
#1 Don’t just focus on VCs
First thing a lot of startups do is look at venture capitalists to fulfil their funding dreams. But it’s not the only way to go: there are plenty of startups that bring in what they need through other means. There are funding customers, who will pay up front for services in exchange for a discount. You could try crowdfunding, which also helps create a community. Then there’s joining forces with a big corporation, like our startup Daltix did with Colruyt. Or how about looking into subsidies with a little help from our friends at Venture Campus? Do your research on which investors could be interesting to you, and think broadly!
#2 Know your place
Your place in the market, that is. Do your homework and be ready to explain to investors who your competitors are, what they offer and how they are valuated. This shows that you understand your industry and know how you are going to differentiate yourself. We’re not just talking about direct competitors either: if you sell pizza, you’re not just competing with other pie swingers, you’ll also have other fast foods rivals. Have your story ready on how you are going to meet the same customer needs better. And if your idea is so nifty that you don’t have any competitors, be ready to explain why you believe there is a market.
#3 Charge up your network
Like everything in business, when it comes to raising funds, it’s all about networking. Especially in a little country like Belgium. So get out there and connect with people in the community of startup investors. Luckily that is one of the strong points of Start it @KBC: we’ve got some great partners to talk to, like our brand-new partner Volta Ventures, who provide seed and early stage venture capital for internet and software companies in the Benelux.
#4 Prepare your pitch
You know your startup is solid: it’s convincing other people that’s the tricky part. Of course delivery is everything. Don’t reinvent the wheel here: take some tips from those who know, like Silicon Valley guru Guy Kawasaki. The essence of his advice is thorough preparation. That includes thoroughly studying the backgrounds of everyone you’re talking to, making sure you are well covered on the technical side, keeping an eye on your timing to get your most important messages across and making it personal and engaging. Of course we also have our own gurus to help you out, right here in Belgium! Hit up one of our 169+ mentors who have all been there, done that.
#5 Play the long game
We know you want to see results right now, but patience young grasshopper! It takes time to do your homework, nail your pitch, and get familiar with who’s who. There are no shortcuts to experience, and it’s important to join forces with the right investors who share your vision. By the way, the best investors want to know that you care about creating the right partnerships instead of doing it all for the money. That’s why it’s important to start doing all the leg work today, so you can reap the benefits and get the capital boost you need tomorrow.
What are you doing today to bring in your cash for next year? Good luck, and may the force be with you!