Getting external funding is one of the hardest things for a startup. A lot of us spend months (or even years) to get the right Angel/VC on board.
Here are 12 tips improve your odds:
- Build your personal brand and let people know you are an expert in your area – blog, tweet and comment on topics related in your field
- Network, Network, Network – Meet as many people as possible and keep track of the conversations.
- Get a good mentor – using the experience of somebody who has walked the track can both save you lot of pain and convince the VCs that you are on the right track.
- Identify the right business trend and be clear in how your startup addresses a problem in that trend
- Prepared a well thought out business plan - This is a great book to take you through that. Do a good amount of market research and clearly convey to your readers about the soundness of the plan
- Keep tuned to the social media and understand the VCs and Angels who can potentially fund you. See the topics they are interested in, contribute if you can in their pet projects and know how they prefer to be contacted
- Commit your personal investment – cash and sweat. If you are not convinced to invest in your baby nobody else will
- Assemble a good team that gels together and complements each other
- Build a good advisory board
- To paraphrase Paul Graham Ship early, ship often – don’t wait to perfect
- Get a pilot customer
- Improve you competitive advantage – patents or original designs might help
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