by Ann Yu
When you want to realize your entrepreneurial dreams, money is the first things to come to mind. Digging for the first bucket of gold for your startup is pretty hard. Having merely a powerpoint about your ideas or maybe a rough prototype, you ask around to some angel investors to invest in your dream, or present your ideas in a pitch competition. But really, how do you ace in finding you first funding?
1) Ideas are important but people are even more important.
A million of people all could have had the idea of creating Uber once upon a time. However, only one team came to the final success in building this worldwide company. In the realm of entrepreneurship, multiple teams could have the same great idea. However, it is the people that make the difference. A great team could really bring a wonderful idea into realization. Show your investors that your team is the perfect team to launch this idea. Show them that you and your teammate are experienced and prepared enough for the success of your idea. Moreover, make yourself likable and approachable. After all, no one wants to work with boring jerks.
2) Have a good idea of how to spend that first funding.
When you get the money, how are you going to spend it? While some start-ups blow off their funding in the first month of launching their dream, some choose to budget it for the long run. No matter how you decide to use the money, show your investors that their money will be wisely spent. If you want to spend it all on marketing, show them WHY.
3) Have a solid profit model for the long run.
Investors care about their money (obviously). They invest in your ideas because they believe it will bring them profit back in future. Presenting a solid profit model is crucial in attracting investors’ attention. Show it will be resilient to external pressures and possible changes.
4) Try to get referrals from investors.
Even you don’t win a pitch competition, it is a great opportunity to get to know different investors. Don’t walk away after the pitch ends. Go around and gather some business cards, and keep in touch with all of the them. Even if one turns you down, don’t be discouraged – ask if they have any connections, someone who would be interested, someone who could offer some words of advice. Maybe there is an opportunity around the corner, and you’ll know when those personal connections have paid off.