Gijs Verheijke

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Actual early-stage fundraising tips for founders

23 March 2022

Actual early stage fundraising tips for founders

  1. Write out your pitch word for word. Start with your own introduction and how it led to founding this business (founder/market fit).
  2. Now that you don’t have to improvise your pitch on the spot anymore, you have the headspace to watch and listen carefully. Read between the lines, take copious notes if you can. Write down every question you get.
  3. Get to the real feedback: At the end ask them: What was the most convincing part of our story, and which part gives you the most pause? Ask every VC and keep track of the answers. Adjust pitch accordingly.
  4. Create backup slides for next meetings: After the meeting, go over the questions. If a question is good or you got it more than once, craft the best possible answer and create a slide for it. Put it in your back pocket (appendix) for next meetings.

IMPORTANT: In the first 10 meetings you are NOT RAISING! You are “just hoping to get some feedback on an early draft of your deck.” You definitely have plenty of runway and don't need any cash, but considering potentially raising a round in the next couple of months. Play this game until you have some genuine interest and 3-5 VCs are asking for more info and scheduling 2nd meetings. You can now tell other VCs that there is lots of interest and your raise is going much faster than expected, and whether they would also like to take a look at the deal.