Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Category Archives: How To Fundraise

Ask A Founder: Startup Lessons Learned from Squareknot’s Jason Rappaport

Jason Rappaport, Founder and CEO of Squareknot, has raised $1.3 million to date — his first $500,000 round came after a single email, pitch, and lunch.

We sat down with Jason as he shared what his fundraising journey was like, the startup lessons he learned, and his advice to fellow founders. Here is what he had to say:

HK: Tell

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Ask A Founder: Startup Lessons Learned from Planitar’s Kevin Klages

Kevin Klages, Co-Founder and CEO of Planitar, raised a $500,000 seed round after four pitches to angel investors.

We sat down with Kevin as he shared what his fundraising journey was like, the startup lessons he learned, and his advice to fellow founders. Here is what he had to say:

HK: Tell me a little about Planitar. How

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Raising Capital As A First Time Founder

A year ago, in mid September 2014, I walked out of a Starbucks in San Francisco with the very first check from an angel investor for Glassbreakers. Though it was only $5,000, it was enough to prove to myself and my co-founder, Lauren Mosenthal, that we could actually fundraise for our startup. We already had 1,000 women signed

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18 Ways to Make Your Financial Model Stand Out to Investors

The median investor looking at your proposal is in her 40s.  Her eyes are going, not to mention her brain.  I look at a lot of spreadsheets and analytic reports, and way too many are difficult to read and therefore hard to understand.

In an effort to make my life easier, I’ve summarized here the steps that will make it

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How To Secure A Lead Investor

By Paula Taas, Founder Institute

You’ve created an amazing founding team, you’ve built a brilliant product that has been gaining a lot of traction, and now you’re looking to expand your company. How do you continue to build your business? By searching for a lead investor in your next funding round.

The lead investor is the

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Should I give my seed investors anti-dilution protection?

What this investor is seeking is called “permanent, full-ratchet, anti-dilution protection”, and that is neither (a) in line with the market, nor (b) practical. Even if you were willing to give it to him, it is highly, highly unlikely to stand up beyond the next financing round, because there’s no way your next investor is going to take a dilution

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Crowdfunding: KickStarter, Indiegogo, AngelList, Gust: How to choose?

First, it’s important to understand that the four platforms you list fall into two very distinct groups.

Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are project-based crowdfunding platforms through which anyone can contribute money, either as a donation or with the promise that they will receive a tangible ‘reward’ of some kind if the project is successful.

Gust and AngelList are equity-based platforms, used by Accredited Investors  to facilitate the investment of money for an ownership interest in

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How do I get in touch with investors/funds with just an idea and no product?

There are many wonderful ideas, and they are not necessarily easy to come up with. So congratulations on having thought of one!


“Having value” and “Being fundable” are two completely different things. What the more experienced responders here are saying is completely accurate: while a good idea is usually a necessary ingredient for the formation of a good company, it is

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In a seed round, is it poor form to accept a lower cap from later investors?

There are a [very] few companies, mostly on the West Coast, that have done convertible rounds with differing caps, but it’s unusual, hard to do, and not something that will endear you to the less-fortunate investors.

What is the worst startup pitch ever?

Take your choice (these are both real, honest-to-God pitches, and I’ve got the originals in my possession):

Contestant A CluelessCo is an internet startup company seeking $2 million of equity financing to fund our company for at least one year. CluelessCo will become the main consumer outlet for the internet, digital cable and satellite TV, and cell phones and PDAs.