Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

What is your biggest challenge as a startup CEO raising money ?

I'm only interested in answers from those who just now starting their company or did within the last 2 years. Assuming you have a great founders team and a large market to serve.

20 Replies

Varun Mehta
5
0
Varun Mehta Entrepreneur
CEO of Disqovery
This is for a $100k raise. The biggest challenge has been getting each investor to finally sign the documents and send the check. It basically becomes a matter of poking and prodding. I try to make it as easy as possible by sending things pre-printed and providing a pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope. Even then things can move slowly.
Kodjo Hounnake
4
0
Kodjo Hounnake Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO at PickUpLater
Biggest challenge for me is finding an investor who's willing to invest in a single founder startup, even though business is passed MVP stage and generating revenues. Next challenge in order of magnitude is finding an investor/angel who doesn't say: Looks great but it's still too early for us.
Axel Schultze
3
0
Axel Schultze Entrepreneur
Founder Society3 Accelerator & Fundraising market place
Thanks Varun - very good point!

Kodjo - Thanks. I just added a comment to my question. Because I noticed through your question that it is an often raised concern but also a fact of life that single founders don't get funding - always exceptions but very rare.

For almost any investor there are two requirements that a startup has to come up with:
1) Having a bold idea that has a significant impact on a large market
2) Having a stellar founders team of two or more founders
These days single founders have almost no chance to get funding - take it as a fact of live. There is a multitude of reasons - some of them:
* It's almost impossible for one person to be a developer/producer/creator/servicing person and a sales and marketing promoter at the same time. And running a company with high potential it's literally impossible.
* People with big ideas attract big player to join the game. If not, the idea is bad or the person is not able to communicate and lives in isolation (relatively speaking) both not the fabric of a great founder
* People who attract a stellar team right out of the gate will most likely also attract customers, business partners ... and .... investors
I myself would not invest in a single founder company unless I've seen at least two of those who actually succeeded.

Find a cool person helping you - it's so much more fun to work through the rough times with somebody else anyway. ;)

Vijay Goel, MD
2
0
Vijay Goel, MD Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)
Biggest issues are unrealistic expectations around early user traction and domain expertise (for non-consumer plays).

If everyone is chasing a unicorn in the same spaces failure rates and burn rates will be high and who knows if what comes out will actually make money...except the sales and marketing folks that money is being thrown at today.

The less frothy market approaches of going for doubles and triples in less sexy places vs. multi-home run games in popular spaces seems to have gone out of vogue. Groupthink is the opposite of Peter Thiel's "competition is for losers" mantra.
Grace Soyao
8
0
Grace Soyao Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO, Self Care Catalysts Inc.
Raised $2.7 M in one year for a Patient Solutions, Informatics and Analytics company. The biggest challenges I encountered are finding the investors that understand an emerging industry, who will trust a person they don't know and building self confidence to articulate our company's purpose, mission. Most importantly being able to demonstrating our ability to generate returns on their investment beyond what's on paper. This was my first time to raise external capital of this size and the breakthrough during our capital raise process was our ability to find the alignment and intersection between our company's vision and the investor's desire to participate in the industry we're helping build. I understand that Pitch decks need to be perfected but until you find that emotional and rationale connection between you and the investor, Pitch decks are simply door openers. Then the real work begins ... we relentlessly establish credibility and trust to deliver results.
Britney J Lowery
0
0
Britney J Lowery Entrepreneur
Visionary at Triad Intrapreneur
For a nonprofit (501c6) that runs similar to a chamber of commerce, it is a challenge to just know where to look for funding. Grants are typically how most would approach this but with being the one doing all the ground work, it could become taxing. Reminds me me of a question I asked at an investors' forum: is grantwriting the only way to fund an organization such as this? It's certainly not charity but it's a boost to the economy without the setup of "selling" to a more experienced and/or capable group or person.

Garrett Wilson
0
0
Garrett Wilson Entrepreneur
Digital Marketer, Entrepreneur, Tech Expert
I have similar issues as others have noted. Single founder startup, no "traction" or sales (tough to do for a hardware company with only MVP prototypes), and most point to crowdfunding as a viable channel to raise funds when it's not. Crowdfunding is terrible, it takes money to build and run the campaign, success rates are still low, demographics skew male tech fans, Kickstarter traffic is down 40% YOY (this is public data based knowledge), and success rates are decreasing.

I've scaled back efforts to raise money, now just focusing no building hand made prototypes for beta test volunteers to establish "traction", testimonials, and feedback.
Mike Whitfield
0
0
Mike Whitfield Entrepreneur
Sr. Software Engineer, EPAM, Google
Awareness competition. Lots of people to compete for petty "awareness". Hard to bring substantive solutions to people's awareness or to self-discipline past the hype and groupthink.
Nathalie de C.
1
0
Nathalie de C. Entrepreneur
CEO: Food & Technology | International Business

I have 3:

1) Build the network to be introduced to the right investors in my industry.

2) Conceive a B plan "bootstrapping strategy" to move ahead if, for any reason I don't find funds or to late..competitors don't wait..

3) Conduct plan A & plan B in parallel (in mind) to rebound.


Axel Schultze
0
0
Axel Schultze Entrepreneur
Founder Society3 Accelerator & Fundraising market place
Thanks everybody - great stuff .
@Nathalie maybe a thought to reduce your challenges by 66%:
1) Yeah, building a network was a big challenge for me too when I started my first company - but it becomes very rewarding after a while :).
2) Agree, having a plan B is always a good thing. Basically create a scenario "what if" but then put it in the drawer and run on your plan A as fast as you can. Never touch your plan B again, and definitely don't run two plans in parallel - you almost attract disaster that way. So maybe removing that stressful, distracting and negativity generating dual plan management helps you achieve Plan A much better - and reduces your challenges to 2 items. Actually once you have your Plan B, remove it from the list and just focus on building your market? Easy said, I know, but give it a shot - you will see a lot of energy being freed up for what matters the most. :)

Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?