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Equity and Funding - If, When and How

If you and your cofounders (if any) are serious about your startup, then you've discussed at some point whether or not you need to raise money.

Some people dread this phase of the startup. Meetings like the one on the right (ok, maybe with a projector instead of a white board but not always), due diligences, the poking and prodding and rejections. But whether you look forward to this or not, it's an inevitable part of many, but not all, startups. So buckle in and figure out if this is in your future and how to make it the best and most efficient experience you can.

I've been invited to mentor a Founder Institute ( class on Equity and Funding. They're the folks that, if you've ever considered having an advisor, have the FAST template that you should be familiar with - (but more on that in another post).

I put together a deck with some help from FastCTO members and my friend Ben Hron over at McCarter and English ( for this class, but it's really useful for anyone - whether you've done fund raising in the past, considering doing it in the future or have a deck that you're not sure works.

The most important slide, in my opinion, is this:

Obvious things investors look for...

  • A well-defined and provable problem

  • That addresses a sufficiently large population

  • That your company/product(s) can solve to some reasonable degree

  • With a team that can prove that they can execute and grow the company

  • And make money doing it

  • In a reasonable amount of time (3-5 years)

  • With an exit strategy that can make investors money

  • Where only the funding you’re asking for stands in the way

If you can't defend every bullet point on this list, you're not ready to pitch, regardless of how much money you're asking for or how great of an idea you think you have.

There are many other important points in the deck and you should really at least skim through it.

Here it is:

Here's a link for anyone that wants to look at it right in Google Slides.

Feel free to reach out to me ( or contact FastCTO through the form on the bottom if you have any questions.

Happy fundraising!

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