Fundraising is hard. Any founder who’s been through it before understands this inherently.
And it’s probably a good thing that it’s so hard. Fundraising serves to toughen up entrepreneurs and subject them to the cold hard realities of the ‘market’, and at the same time, if done properly, fundraising can also be an incredible learning experience that helps founders and their companies focus on the most important things - by simply going through the process, and also by anticipating the process in advance and reverse-engineering what the company needs to achieve to be successful with an upcoming raise.
Ultimately, fundraising success requires:
fundraising execution + a compelling story/vision + evidence of traction + sheer determination + good fortune (luck)
This article focuses on the first of these five variables: fundraising execution. Below I lay out a 7 step framework to guide you through your fundraising process, and share some lessons learned having now successfully raised money for three separate ventures (and made plenty of mistakes along the way). If you’re looking for help crafting a compelling story, generating business traction, mustering up sheer determination, or being plain ol’ lucky, you’ll need to look elsewhere for advice (perhaps in a future Medium post).