Monday, 15 June 2015

3 Essentials To Raising Money Without A Product

From my successful experiences, here are the three must haves:
1. Team 
You ever hear the saying, “we don't bet on the horse, we bet on the jockey”? It's a mantra for most sophisticated investors around the world. For some investors, team is the single most important factor they consider when placing their capital. Do not confuse that with previous success as there are plenty of inexperienced entrepreneurs that get funded. However, you need to be able to articulate why you are the right team for this opportunity to accomplish your vision. Assembling the right team for your mission will be a testament of your ability to lead, influence and enroll people into your vision. Don't underestimate the power of the right team. 

2. Demo
If you don't yet have a product (we are still in development), you best have some sort of demo. Long gone are the days where you could roll up to an investor meeting with a pitch deck and a dream (well, anything is possible, but being an entrepreneur is hard enough).
Without a product, some sort of demo is mandatory because it helps portray your vision, and shows anyone thinking about investing that you're serious enough to get started.

3. Validation

You need to be able to validate the market opportunity. If you're developing a mobile app, create a landing page and run Facebook ads to build an interested list of people who would sign up for your app. This shows a demand in the marketplace.
Referring back to the importance of team, sometimes an effective validation technique is to get someone of industry importance to join your team in some role. This can create the subtle notion that, “if this industry expert is going to be involved (and they obviously know much more about this space than I do), then this is probably worth pursuing." Plus, more often than not, that industry expert can navigate some of the nuisances and pitfalls of the space.
Boom. This should be easy enough, right? Don't be discouraged if it takes longer than you expect. Capital raises are tough and always more time consuming than anyone ever hopes.

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