When you’re an entrepreneur, you end up asking people for a lot of things — time, advice, access to their network, and of course, money. For first time entrepreneurs, asking for all these things is hard and takes time to get comfortable doing, but asking for money can be especially daunting.
A lot goes into asking for money (fundraising) for the first time. Much of the “how to” discussion about fundraising is focused on the pitch deck itself. While every investor has their own preference, a couple great examples of what to include in a pitch deck are here and here. That said, there is a lot that goes into a successful first-time fundraise. Many of the most important activities happen well before you get to pull out your meticulously designed deck and pitch your vision to a room full of would-be investors. In the slides below, I share some thoughts on how an entrepreneur can (hopefully) make their first fundraise a bit less painful.