I had a conversation with a founder today about fundraising during the summer, so I thought I’d write out some thoughts.
As you might know, the venture capital world experiences a slow down in August every year as investors take vacations. So what are fundraising entrepreneurs to do?
The reality is many entrepreneurs are operating with short runways and need to get something done on the funding front asap. And yet during the summer it becomes harder to nail people down and create the kind of pressure needed to close a round. (Yes rounds do get closed in July and August, but typically this is because the entrepreneur has brought everything together by the end of June and just the closing part is left).
So what to do?
Well the situation brings to mind the saying “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today”
If you are planning to close a round this year, the best thing you can do is start working now on your materials, your pitch, your story and your network.
Refine each of those to a world class level now so that when everybody returns from vacation you’ll be ready to strike.
There is a short window at the end of the year from September to mid-November to get rounds done. Investors are back from vacation, and they typically have two considerations in mind:
i) if they haven’t made their targeted number of investments for the year, they need to find those companies and make those investments, and
ii) they don’t want to be working during thanksgiving and Christmas!
So, to capitalize on this window, what you can do as an entrepreneur is to use this time now to lay all the foundations for your raise.
Get the story of your company and your raise written down and test it on people who know what works. Iterate until it’s dynamite.
Translate your story into slides that are uber compelling but that don’t give too much away.
And make as many connections as possible with investors and connectors so that people know you and your company, and come October will have been watching you for a few months. (Remember investors invest in lines not dots.)
The summer is a hard time to close a round, but it’s a great time to line up everything for a round that closes in the fall.
This is one reason we’re launching our next cohort of Fundraising Mastery on July 6th. Our 90-day signature program ends at the end of September, a great time to bring your round together.
Over the next three months we’ll work with our founders to develop a world-class fundraising skill-set, help them make world-class pitch materials, and introduce them to tons of angels and VC’s.
So if you want to massively up -level your results with fundraising at the pre-seed or seed level, and do it in community with other founders, this is a great cohort to apply to.
We’ve already started offering spots and filling up spaces in this cohort so if you are targeting a round this year, put in an application here.
(The best part of running Fulcrum is meeting entrepreneurs like you building the future. If you decide to apply and get in, I’m excited to meet you!)
And regardless if the program is right for you or not, remember to plant those seeds today, so you can harvest your investor desire in the fall.