My greatest piece of advice for the early fundraising rounds in the life of any startup has to come down to hard work and preparation. Every other thing that popped into my mind while writing this still comes down to what you put it into it. Having done all of your homework, and then some, is really what it takes. You need to have every single document together. Be ready to answer any question thrown your way about your company, its’ accounting, processes, etc. You must be able to do this while staying on your toes – no fumbling with papers or your ipad to answer the question. Preparation really is everything in the fundraising world.
After assuming that you are going to put in 110% to every aspect of your startup, then I’ll give a few additional pieces of advice that worked for me. Your paperwork, business plan, etc. must be in working order and ready to go. Potential investors will not only quiz you on this material but study it themselves. Additionally, I recommend utilizing an attorney that specializes in startup fundraising. They will be able to assist with any contracts and negotiations. If this is your first time doing this, you do not want to be outmaneuvered by more seasoned investors.
There is a great article on my company’s blog that goes into more detail on everything to expect during your first round of funding: Planting the Seed: What to Expect in the First Round of Funding. If there is anything more you need to know or would like help being matched with a skilled fundraising attorney, feel free to reach out to my company LawTrades.