Fundraising 101: How to Build a Successful Fundraising Strategy in Silicon Valley

Fundraising 101: How to Build a Successful Fundraising Strategy in Silicon Valley

Fundraising in Silicon Valley isn't an easy task, but this first-time founder is here to share his insights following his successful seed raise. He's answering the hard questions, but most importantly, he's saying, here's what a good fundraising campaign is and how to set one up.

Top Takeaways

1. Questions to Answer Before You Raise Money

Is this opportunity venture scale? Why will I (instead of other people) win the opportunity? How do you know people and/or companies want your product? 

2. The Number One Thing

The number one thing you want to build when fundraising is FOMO. That's fear of missing out. Make the people you come in contact with, fear missing out on your project, brand or service. You want your investors to fear missing out on working with you. 

3. Meetings

At first, you're going to want schedule a lot of meetings, because - truth be told - a lot of people are going to pass on your opportunity. When you have these meetings, you're also going to want to have truly valuable information to share with your potential investors. Educate them on what it is you're selling. Why does it matter? Who's going to buy it? Who are your potential customers? Read market reports. Know your facts and know your stuff. 

4. Building a Network

One of the best first places to start building a network is within accelerators. They're there to help you. Within them, you can access both an existing network and resources. While it doesn't guarantee anything, being a part of an accelerator is a great place to start getting introductions and getting in front of potential investors. 

But how do you build your own network beyond an accelerator? 

There are two classes of people that you want to know. There are founders and then there are investors. Some of the best introductions come from fellow founders introducing you to their own top investors. When it comes to connecting with these founders, don't be shy. Anyone you could potentially have a connection to, make that connection. 

5. Materials You Need for a Pitch

So you created a network and have your meetings set up...what do you need now? There are a few materials you'll want to have on hand before you make a pitch. First, a blurb - this is the short, 30-second, quick read version of what you're offering. Then, there's the "sendie" deck, maybe 10 slides that are quick to get through, that's just a little bit longer than that blurb, that's an easy send through an email. Then there's the actual pitch deck and appendix, where you can go way in-depth on your topic. Lastly, you'll want an internal list of customers, advisors, technical providers and etc. that you can provide to your potential investor. 

6. Extra Tips

A few extra tips for fundraising: always get back to potential investors' emails extremely promptly! No waiting around a day or two! Always meet in person, when possible, and, at the end of the day, you only need the CEO. Then, remember, this is your full-time job. Act like it. And don't forget to just be personable. 

Check out photos from our event here!

Learn more tips like this at HardwareCon 2018, the Bay Area’s Premier Hardware Innovation Conference on April 19th-20th.  Experience two full days of keynotes, panels and workshops focused on the most important topics around building a successful hardware company. Get your tickets here now if you want to meet the hottest startups, investors and industry leaders across the global hardware ecosystem.

About The Speaker

Zach Stein

Zach Stein

CEO and Founder

Zach Stein is CEO and founder of Osmo Systems - a company building technology for fish farms of the future. Zach is a first time founder who recently wrapped up his seed raise and is going to share the lessons on what he learned made it successful.

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