Tapping personal savings or invoking the friends and family plan are signature hallmarks of fledgling startup finance. Eventually though, the majority of early-stage founders will leave their bootstrapping days behind and turn to institutional investors for the capital infusion they need to grow.
It’s not easy for inexperienced, first-time founders to attract and secure their first investor. It’s a tough, but not impossible, nut to crack.
But you need to overcome a few more challenges before you ever get to the point of convincing an investor that you, your product and your startup are worth their risk. These include burnishing your communication and networking skills. Improving those capabilities will serve you now, as you work to increase both the size and quality of your network, and throughout your startup career.
Remember that you don’t just want an investor — you want the right investor for your startup. As you research potential investment firms, flip the script and consider things from their perspective. How might you and your idea help them meet their objectives?
Focus on building your network, in a non-transactional way, by getting to know investors and what they care about most. That knowledge will help you find the right investor and, with any luck, get them on board.
These are just a few broad strokes on some of the challenges early founders face in the run-up to finding and signing their first institutional investor. But broad strokes won’t cut it, and that’s why we’re thrilled to announce that Jess Lee, a partner at Sequoia, will provide a granular look at these challenges in her presentation, How To Get Your First Yes at TechCrunch Early Stage on April 14.
An investor at Sequoia Capital, Lee partners with early-stage founders, works closely with Sequoia’s engineering, product, design and data science teams, and helps run the company’s design program. Her investment portfolio includes companies such as CoCoPie, Faire, IronClad and Mos.
Prior to Sequoia, she was cofounder and CEO of fashion app Polyvore, which Yahoo! — now the parent company of TechCrunch — acquired in 2015. Lee is also a founding member of All Raise, a non-profit dedicated to improving diversity in the tech industry.
Join Sequoia’s Jess Lee to learn how to find, impress and get your first yes from the right investor. One excited investor on board can — more often than not — set more investment wheels in motion.
TC Early Stage sessions provide plenty of time to engage, ask questions and walk away with a deeper, working understanding of topics and skills that are essential to startup success. There are a limited number of $249 tickets left! Reserve your spot and register today before prices increase!