The Fundraising Mindset - Netokracija CEE

The Fundraising Mindset

Fundraising is not easy. It is one of the most frustrating and time draining activities you as a founder will have to do as part of your company’s growth strategy. Unless you are really lucky and investors come to you, it will likely involve taking many meetings with investors of all kinds, both good and bad before you ultimately succeed in finding someone who believes in you.

(Photo: Mario Poje)
Fundraising is like dating, as funny as it may seem. (Photo: Mario Poje)

You will likely meet many types of investors along the process of fundraising, including:

  • Investors that doubt you as a founder/ceo, and your capabilities to execute.
  • Investors that are just meeting with you because they want to invest in your competitor.
  • Investors that don’t have the money to invest but want to be seen to be active by the ecosystem.
  • Investors that will want every inch of detail about what you will be doing for the next 5 years, when you both know your projections will be speculative at best and hogwash at worst.
  • Investors that don’t get what you do at all, but will have an opinion about your product because their child or spouse has a view on what you do.
  • Investors that are amazing and give you insanely relevant advice, but unfortunately say you aren’t far along enough traction-wise for their fund’s investment focus.
  • Investors that provide you with great feedback and would help you greatly if they were involved, but will only invest if someone else leads the round.

…And then… there is the one investor who ultimately believes in you and backs you. That’s all it takes. Just one.

The earlier the stage your company is in, the more that successful fundraising is about personal human connections and story telling. At the early stages of your business, as much as some investors will want to know your projected numbers (revenues, traction, etc), because there is so little to go on, it will always come back to your inherent abilities and vision as a founder. As such, fundraising meetings are mostly the way that founders can assess investors for value-add to their startup, but also for investors to see if they can work with the founders and to see how they think.
Because of this mutual assessment by both founders and investors during fundraising meetings, an analogy that people use frequently to describe the fundraising process is that of dating. As funny as it may seem, I do think the comparison works well…

Dating and fundraising

For example, in dating (as with fundraising):

  • You have to be willing to put yourself out there to meet anyone in the first place.
  • It’s a numbers game: you have to meet many people, this can be at in-person at networking events, parties, or online.
  • Connections usually happen in the least likely of places and are strongest when they come through a trusted 3rd party.
  • Being a good story teller gets people to laugh, open up, and remember you.
  • Chemistry matters.
  • Sometimes its just plain luck: being at the right place at the right time.
  • The better you prepare yourself, the better your odds get.
  • Being too eager to get back to someone or waiting too long can end things prematurely.
  • You have to go on several dates with several people before you ultimately feel someone is the right one for you.

Therefore, the fundraising mindset is really about four core things:

  1. Understanding that fundraising is a process and that it will take time. Only a very few are lucky to have it be quick and painless. 
  2. You have to embrace rejection as part of the process and not take it as a personal rejection.
  3. Treat every meeting as a form of practice that is merely making you better for the next meeting, rather than putting the full importance of any one meeting on your shoulders and beating yourself up if it goes badly.
  4. Analysing what was said during your meetings and learning how to improve on your mistakes is the most crucial aspect of reducing the time it takes until you find the right investor.

As you will likely never know where, when and how you will meet your future investor… as you go through this process, just remind yourself: Good news, Bad news – you never know…

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Popular

Social media

What does content creation look like when it’s not dictated by you, but the events on the sports fields?

When you follow sports at SofaScore, you watch the broadcast with one eye and the computer with the other, planning what to publish. But the whole story is very different from someone “paying you to watch matches”, they joke at SofaScore, Croatia’s biggest live sports results platform.

Startups

AGRIVI’s Guillaume Rabhi explains what Tinder has to do with hiring developers

The opportunity to work on a global digital product with a positive impact on food production, farmers, and the environment, prompted him to exchange his corporate career for a startup. And he looks for colleagues for whom positive influence is just as important.

Gaming

What makes game localization successful? The Nanobit team shared their experiences with us

At first glance, adapting casual games for a different market may seem banal, but it’s a multidisciplinary process which largely determines how successful the game will be, regardless of whether it is released in Chile, Russia or Australia.

What you missed

Startups

The Football Company launches NFT jersey of Croatian national football team for metaverse fantasy football

Virtual sports merchandise might become a multibillion-dollar industry thanks to the metaverse. Two Croatian founders in Germany have taken the lead to give Vatreni a head start.

Careers

From intern at Infobip to Engineering Department Director of Croatia’s first unicorn

Anja Hula begun her career at Infobip as an intern. Year over year she showed great progress as an engineer and a leader. Today she is responsible for the collegues and products of whole Data Department. We believe that Anja's story will inspire all who are already building a career in IT or just starting out...

Startups

Croatian startups finally got their association – CRO STARTUP

Hajdi Ćenan, member of the executive board and the president of the newly founded CRO STARTUP association, talks about how they will help startups to start, develop, fundraise, get first customers, educate themselves, and network.

Startups

The wellbeing in the workplace has never been more challenged. It’s time for new initiatives to step in.

The recent developments have eaten away the foundations of our wellbeing, and the consequences have spilled over our careers as well. So as employers shift their focus, we have turned to Q agency to see how they handle the challenge. With "Wellbeing for Qumans" initiative, their approach looks very promising.

Gaming

What makes game localization successful? The Nanobit team shared their experiences with us

At first glance, adapting casual games for a different market may seem banal, but it’s a multidisciplinary process which largely determines how successful the game will be, regardless of whether it is released in Chile, Russia or Australia.

Social media

What does content creation look like when it’s not dictated by you, but the events on the sports fields?

When you follow sports at SofaScore, you watch the broadcast with one eye and the computer with the other, planning what to publish. But the whole story is very different from someone “paying you to watch matches”, they joke at SofaScore, Croatia’s biggest live sports results platform.