A Thought Leader Guest Post from David Friedman, President of Tech Coast Angels Orange County:
When an Entrepreneur Should Seek Seed Funding
As an angel investor, I have been asked numerous times by entrepreneurs: when is the best time to seek seed funding?
I tell them it is broken down into two parts. First, they must build awareness for their product/service/company and at the same time build relationships with potential investors. Second, only after a certain point in time, do you approach an investor with your story and pitch deck to get funding.
I believe that every founder/CEO should start the process to pitch as soon as their company is formed. That might sound early; however, I am a big believe in beginning with the end in mind and then figuring out the best ways to get to that end point. They want to build excitement, create awareness, and trust in them as the CEO who can deliver results.
I, and my colleagues at TechCoastAngels (TCA), participate in events such as Wayfinder at UCI, Face to Face with Entrepreneurs, OC Startup Day, Masterminds, Expert Dojo, Black Dog Events, Quick Pitch competitions, AI Med, and San Diego Venture Group meetings among others. The investors start getting to know the entrepreneurs and over time see how their short pitch (1 to 3 minutes) evolves. At this point, investors rarely see the entire pitch deck. I initially met a company called Shoperoo about 18 months ago when they just started. I have seen them evolve, met with their founders on occasion and now they have applied to TCA for funding. I know them, like them, and trust them. I can recall many others I met and encouraged them to practice, grow their business and keep us in mind for future funding. And eventually they will apply to TCA.
These activities should take place at least 6 months prior to seeking seed funding from the first institutional investment round by angels. It provides time to refine the story, the pitch and to craft a short memorable “home base” i.e. the essence of their business upon which to build a pitch deck. During this time, the entrepreneur may...
Thanks for this Guest Post and its graphics to David Friedman, President of Tech Coast Angels Orange County.
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