In each group, discussion explored these overarching challenges:
- How to find the right investors;
- What to prepare to present to investors;
- How to honestly assess whether your achievements thus far are impressive enough to appeal to new investors;
- How to recognize when potential funder might not be ready for the stamina game and how to diversify investors based on their experience and likely commitment to the company’s long-term development.
Another pressing question revolved around when to bring marketing and PR into the mix. We heard repeatedly that it’s essential to have a communications expert on-hand from Day One to work with company executives to build the brand and find new and creative way to tell its story. It’s a piece of advice we here at Red Fan agree with whole-heartedly. Many startup execs mistakenly assume it would be too expensive to involve such a strategist early on. And yet, at every twist and turn in my 25 years of public relations experience, I’ve witnessed confident businesspeople with great products and services lack a story and strategic plan for raiding the funds they need to properly scale.
The meeting reminded me we all have our strengths, and knowing what you are not good at is as important as knowing where you excel so you can bring the right complementary partners into the fold from the start.
I’ve created a special offering that we extend to select entrepreneurs each quarter. Read about it and let us know if you’re one of them.