What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

I spoke with a founder who’s smart, and the solution he’s looking to build could bring real value to customers. He wants to raise capital but isn’t familiar with the venture capital process and doesn’t know anyone who’s been through it. Recognizing his knowledge gap, he wanted some pointers.

This founder’s approach is a good one. Try to fill your gaps and build a network of people who are knowledgeable about raising venture capital before you begin trying to do it. I suggest getting as many perspectives as possible. Socialize your idea with investors and ask for feedback. During those chats, you can ask them how their firms’ investment processes work and what they’re seeing in the market. Founders are a great source of knowledge too. They can give you their takes on current market dynamics and valuable insights gleaned from their experiences.

Maybe you don’t have physical proximity to any of these people, but you always have digital proximity. Blog posts, Twitter threads, YouTube videos—investors and founders have put out a lot of content about fundraising.

In the end, you want to avoid being in a situation where you’re at a disadvantage with respect to information or knowledge about the process and current market when you start raising. Not knowing can have a big impact on the outcome of your fundraising.