What Does the Fundraising Process Look Like for the First Time?

Benjamin Debonneville
Founder & CEO
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For any aspiring entrepreneur, the path to success is paved with sweat, determination, and unwavering dedication. Building a start-up empire from scratch demands countless hours of hard work and a steadfast commitment to your vision.

Amidst this exhilarating journey, there's a crucial element that can make or break your dreams: fundraising. According to recent studies by Forbes, an astonishing 90% of start-ups fail due to inadequate capital.

Fundraising is the fuel that propels your start-up rocket into orbit. It's the catalyst that transforms your innovative ideas into tangible reality. However, let's be honest – the fundraising process is no walk in the park.

So, fasten your seatbelt for a thrilling expedition into the process of fundraising for start-ups.

Setting Your Goals: The Amped-up Ambitions

When setting your fundraising goals, think big, my friend. We're not talking about tiny targets that barely make a ripple in the crowd. We want goals that have investors shouting, "Encore!" Set your sights on milestones that will turn heads and make people sit up and take notice.

For example, imagine you're building a revolutionary new app that will change the way people interact with their pets. Instead of aiming to have a few hundred downloads in the first month, why not aim for thousands?

But remember, setting amped-up goals isn't just about impressing investors. It's about pushing yourself and your team to reach new heights. It's about creating a vision that inspires and motivates everyone involved.

According to a recent study, start-ups that set audacious targets raise 4 times more funding than those with modest goals.

If you have a clear vision for your startup and you've set goals that are as defining and clear as a rockstar's guitar riff, then congratulations! The stage is set, and now is the time to dig deep into this process.

Goal-Setting Frameworks

But how to set your startup goals? Here is the answer to this in three different frameworks for setting your business goals:

1. SMART Goals

  1. Specific - What you are aiming to accomplish?
  2. Measurable - What data will measure the goal?
  3. Achievable - Do you have the skills/resources to achieve your goals?
  4. Relevant - Why is the result important?
  5. Time-bound - What is the time frame?

2. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

Objectives are the ambitious and qualitative goals that organizations strive to accomplish, while key results are specific and measurable indicators of progress toward those objectives.

3. HARD goals

  1. Heartfelt - meaningful and important to you.
  2. Animated - vivid in your mind. You can visualize.
  3. Required - necessary for you to achieve your long-term vision and mission.
  4. Difficult - stretch beyond your comfort zone.

Before embarking on the fundraising adventure, buckle up with goal-setting frameworks. They'll steer you towards perfect goals, ensuring a smooth ride on the fundraising rollercoaster. Let's set goals that rock!

Assembling the Dream Team: The Band of Brilliant Minds

Just like a rock band needs a group of talented musicians to create a symphony, your start-up needs a dream team of brilliant minds to bring your vision to life.

Here are some basic tips you need to follow while selecting your team:

  • Look for team members who not only possess the right skills but also share a genuine passion for your industry and mission. Their enthusiasm will resonate with your start-up's vision.
  • Seek individuals who can adapt to different roles and wear multiple hats when needed. A start-up environment often requires flexibility and a willingness to take on new challenges.
  • Identify candidates who have a track record of thinking outside the box and bringing fresh perspectives to the table. They'll add a spark of creativity to your team's dynamic.
  • Consider individuals with previous start-up experience. They understand the rollercoaster journey and are more likely to navigate the challenges with resilience and adaptability.
  • Look for candidates who can handle setbacks and keep pushing forward. Start-ups face obstacles, and having team members with a resilient mindset is invaluable.
  • Seek out those who are willing to go the extra mile, fueled by a genuine passion for your start-up's mission. Their dedication and determination will drive success.
  • Choose individuals who have a hunger for continuous learning and personal growth. Start-ups evolve rapidly, and team members must be willing to adapt and acquire new skills.

Crafting an Epic Pitch: The Power of Storytelling

In the world of entrepreneurship, the art of persuasion is the vital ingredient for shaping the successful future of any business or idea. In that case, the most powerful tool is a Pitch Deck- a visual presentation of your business idea that captivates potential investors.

But how to craft an effective and engaging pitch deck? There are tons of opinions about what a perfect pitch deck should have or what are the key points that a pitch deck presentation should cover.

Here's our straightforward, step-by-step guide on how to charm your audience, with a perfect pitch deck, into saying yes to your groundbreaking business idea.

  • First Impressions Count: The Opening Hook: Investors are busy people. Keep your deck simple, around 9 to 10 slides. Grab investors' attention from the very beginning with a captivating opening that sparks curiosity and sets the stage for your pitch.
  • Problem Identification: Identify a specific issue that your target market grapples with, and demonstrate how your offering can solve that problem like no other alternative in sight. Take investors on a journey by telling the story about the problem you're solving, and how it has personally affected you or others.
  • Why Now? Try to paint a perfect picture for investors that why the specific problem you are addressing is demanding attention. Focus on the urgency for the solution of the problem that your product or idea is addressing.
  • Your Solution: Now that you have identified and presented the problem, it's time to present your solution – the magic ingredient that sets your business apart. Try to communicate concise and clear solutions that your potential investors should follow.
  • Your product or Idea: If it is a physical product, show some professional and unique pictures from different angles and if it is an idea or online tool add some screenshots that showcase the unique features.
  • Highlight the Market Opportunity: Demonstrate a deep understanding of the market opportunity and showcase the potential for growth. Use data, market research, and real-life examples to illustrate the demand for your product or service.
  • Address the Competition: Acknowledge the competition but emphasize your unique advantages. Showcase your understanding of the competitive landscape and articulate why your solution is superior or has a strategic edge.
  • Traction and Milestones: Highlight any traction, user growth, revenue, partnerships, or accolades that validate your potential and demonstrate that you're moving in the right direction.
  • Team and Expertise: Introduce your rockstar team and highlight their relevant expertise and accomplishments. Investors invest in people as much as ideas, so showcase the skills, experience, and passion of your team members.
  • Financial Projections and Funding Needs: Present realistic and compelling financial projections that demonstrate your growth potential. Clearly articulate how the funding you're seeking will be utilized and how it aligns with your roadmap for success.
  • Call to Action: End your pitch with a clear call to action, inviting investors to take the next steps. Whether it's scheduling a follow-up meeting, providing additional information, or joining your journey, makes it easy for investors to engage and move forward.

The Perfect Match: Sniffing Out Your Ideal Investor

Picture yourself as the protagonist of this adventure, armed with determination and a keen eye for detail. You navigate through a labyrinth of potential investors, searching for the one who will not only provide the necessary funds but also align with your start-up's values and ambitions.

It's a quest filled with excitement, uncertainty, and the promise of a partnership that could shape the future of your venture.

As a start-up, it's crucial to identify your target investors, and while this task may appear challenging, however, worry not, here are some key considerations that can make the process more manageable.

  • Look for investors who have a strong understanding of and experience in your industry. Their expertise can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your specific market.
  • Dive into the investors' track records and analyze their previous investments. Pay attention to whether they have backed start-ups similar to yours or have a history of supporting innovative ideas.
  • Participate in industry conferences, start-up competitions, and networking events. These gatherings provide opportunities to connect with potential investors and build relationships within your industry's ecosystem.
  • Utilize online platforms like AngelList, CrunchBase, and LinkedIn to discover and connect with investors who align with your start-up's goals and values.
  • Consider joining incubator or accelerator programs that have established networks of investors. These programs often provide access to mentorship, funding opportunities, and valuable connections.
  • Connect with industry thought leaders through social media, blogs, or forums. Engaging with them can help raise awareness about your start-up and potentially attract the attention of investors who follow their insights.
  • Participate in pitch competitions or demo days where investors are present. These events offer exposure to a range of investors actively seeking promising start-ups.
  • Look beyond financial backing and consider strategic investors who can offer more than just capital. Strategic investors bring industry knowledge, resources, and potential partnership opportunities that can fuel your start-up's growth.

Remember, finding the perfect investors requires a combination of research, networking, and strategic targeting. By applying these unique tips, you can increase your chances of finding your perfect investors.

Reaching Out to Investors Through Cold Emailing

Reaching out to investors through cold emailing can be a game-changer. Craft a catchy subject line, keep it short and personalized, and highlight your start-up's uniqueness.

Let's make those cold leads warm up to your pitch!

But how to write an attractive cold email to investors? Here is our complete guide about a perfect cold email pitch for investors.

Showtime with Investors: Rocking the Investor Arena

Now that you have your pitch deck in hand, it's time for the thrilling showdown with your potential investors.

Picture this: you stride into the meeting room, decked out in your finest business attire, with your pitch deck tucked under your arm like a secret weapon. The atmosphere crackles with anticipation as you prepare to unleash your presentation prowess.

Here are our tips about how to rock the investor's arena and how to present your deck:

  • Create a professional and engaging environment for your investor presentations. Pay attention to details such as venue, lighting, and audiovisual setup.
  • Make sure everything is in place to enhance your performance.
  • Capture the investors' attention right from the beginning. Begin with a strong opening that grabs their interest and sets the tone for the rest of your presentation.
  • Engage them with a compelling hook that leaves them eager to learn more.
  • Project confidence and passion throughout your presentation. Stand tall, maintain eye contact, and use gestures to emphasize key points. Let your enthusiasm shine through, as investors are drawn to charismatic and self-assured presenters.
  • Create a connection with your audience by engaging them in a conversation rather than simply delivering a monologue.
  • Ask questions, encourage participation, and make them feel involved in your journey.
  • Clearly articulate the problem you're solving and how your solution addresses it. Showcase the impact your start-up can make in the market and the value it brings to potential customers.
  • Present a compelling vision for the future of your start-up. Share your growth plans, expansion strategies, and how you envision your start-up making a significant impact in the market.
  • Anticipate and prepare for potential questions and objections. Be ready to address them confidently, providing clear and concise responses.
  • Use questions as an opportunity to showcase your expertise and deep understanding of your start-up.
  • End your presentation with a strong closing that reinforces your key messages and leaves a lasting impression.

Saving the Day: Closing the Deal with a Bang

Now that you have presented your idea or product to investors via your pitch deck, it's time to close the deal.

It's the moment you've been working towards, where you have the opportunity to seal the partnership and secure the funding that will propel your start-up forward. Get ready to leave a lasting impression and make the deal of a lifetime.

To successfully close the deal, it's crucial to establish trust and confidence with potential investors. Showcase the credibility of your start-up by highlighting your achievements, the strength of your team, and your track record of delivering results.

Address any concerns or objections they may have and demonstrate your understanding of their perspective. By providing well-thought-out responses, you can alleviate their worries and build trust.

Once the deal is finalized, follow up with a personalized thank-you note expressing gratitude for their time and consideration. Reiterate your excitement about the potential partnership and offer to address any further questions or concerns they may have.

Post-Deal Follow-up: Keeping the Melody Alive

Once the deal is closed and the funding is secured, the journey with your investors is just beginning. Nurturing these relationships is essential for long-term success and maximizing the value of your newly formed partnership.

Expressing gratitude is a crucial step. Show appreciation for your investors' trust and support by sending a personalized thank-you note or email.

Seeking guidance and feedback from your investors is another valuable step. Leverage their expertise and experience by scheduling periodic meetings to discuss strategic decisions or market trends.

Invite your investors to exclusive events or webinars where they can network with other start-ups or industry experts. Provide regular updates on your progress through newsletters or reports, keeping them engaged and connected to your journey.

Regularly revisit your shared vision and goals with your investors. Ensure you're on the same page regarding the direction of your start-up and any strategic pivots. Keeping everyone aligned fosters a strong partnership built on shared values.


In the exhilarating world of fundraising for start-ups, success lies in a well-executed process that combines setting clear goals, assembling a dream team, identifying the perfect investors, crafting an epic pitch, delivering it with finesse, and nurturing investor relationships post-deal.

Remember, the fundraising journey is a thrilling adventure filled with challenges and triumphs. By following the process outlined in this blog and infusing it with your unique wit and charm, you're well on your way to achieving your start-up's dreams.

So, set your goals, assemble your dream team, captivate your investors with an epic pitch, and rock the investor arena with confidence. Together, let's make your start-up's success story one for the ages.

Benjamin gave great tips to my start-up Blend for polishing and optimising my pitch deck, refreshing perspective. Recommend!