Thoughts on startups by investors that
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Ask A Founder: Startup Lessons Learned from Work Truck Solutions’ Kathryn Schifferle

Kathryn Schifferle, Founder and CEO of Work Truck Solutions, turned being a woman in work trucks into an oversubscribed $2.1 million round.

We sat down with Kathryn as she shared what her fundraising journey was like, the startup lessons she learned, and her advice to fellow founders, especially women. Here is what she had to say:

HK: Tell

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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’s actually required to start or close a funding round?

Technically, a “funding round” simply means a company accepting one or more investments from one or more investors on similar terms within a certain period of time. As such, this could cover many different things, such as:

Your parents loaning you money to cover your expenses while you code your product 25 individual angel investors funding a startup on a

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How do I shake off needy investors?

Does the company have a board of directors? Are there any investor representatives on it?  If there is a “lead” Investor with whom you have a good relationship, you might try having him act as your front man. Otherwise, you might try sending ALL your investors something like this:

What happens when a company is acquired for less money than it raised in funding?

Every investment round in a company is made on the basis of extensive paperwork (often upwards of 100 pages in total) specifying *precisely* what happens when it comes time to pay out the proceeds (if any) from the sale or dissolution of the company. And since all prior investors sign such agreements—or are otherwise legally bound by them—there is never

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What are some good things about Gust that some founders might not know?

As the largest global database of startups (bigger than Crunchbase and AngelList combined, and more than double the size of StartupGenome), searchable by keyword and location, and with all entries written by the startups themselves, it can provide a quick sanity check before you go around saying “we have no competitors”. Rest assured that your potential investors have already used

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7 Steps To Making A Great Entrepreneur Impression

Entrepreneurs are all about firsts, and the most important is you making a great first impression – on investors, customers, new team members, and strategic partners. Poor first impressions can be avoided, but I’m amazed at the number of unnecessary mistakes I see at those critical first introductions, presentations, and meetings.

The key message here is “preparation.” People who think

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Why are some venture capital firms not funding women?

The facile answer to this assumptive question is “because some women are not seeking funding from venture capital firms”.

But there is actually quite a bit of truth in both statements. Women-led ventures definitely account for a smaller percentage of venture investments than  do ventures led by men, but women-led ventures also account for a MUCH smaller percentage of ventures

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Don’t Let Investors Conclude Your Startup Is A Hobby

Even when your startup is a one-man show and lots of fun, a “business” needs some discipline and controls to keep it from being defined as a hobby by investors, and assure some financial return. Like it or not, you are now entering the dreaded realm of specifying and documenting “formal business processes.” The right question is “What is the

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What are the most effective ways for an entrepreneur to argue that a convertible note should be uncapped?

For a sophisticated investor, there are none, because an uncapped note just doesn’t make sense (see my answer to “If a startup’s valuation is $x, how much larger should its cap on a convertible note be?”)