How to Raise Money

Lecture 9: How to Raise Money

Link: How to Start a Startup

(You can find notes to the other lectures here.) 

Marc Andreessen (@pmarca)

Ron Conway (@RonConway)

Parker Conrad (@parkerconrad)

How to Start a Startup

You’ve got to be a communicator and a born leader. (Rob Conway)

The venture capital business is 100% a game of outliers. (Marc Andreessen)

There are 4,000 venture fundable companies a year. (Marc Andreessen)

Invest in strength rather than lack of weakness. (Marc Andreessen)

The companies that have really extreme strengths often have serious flaws. (Marc Andreessen)

When you first meet an investor you should be able to say in one compelling sentence what your product does so that the investor you are talking to can immediately picture the product in their own mind. (Ron Conway)

You have to be decisive. The only way to make progress is to make decisions. Procrastination is the devil in startups. (Ron Conway)

You can’t count on there being capital available to you. (Parker Conrad)

Bootstrap as long as you possibly can. (Ron Conway)

Steve Martin said, “The key to success is be so good they can’t ignore you.” (Marc Andreessen)

You’re almost always better off making your business better than making your pitch better. (Marc Andreessen)

Raising venture capital is the easiest thing a startup founder is ever going to do. (Marc Andreessen)

Raising money is not actually a success. It is not a milestone. (Marc Andreessen)

Calibrate the amount of money you raise with the risks. (Marc Andreessen)

Don’t ask people to sign an NDA. (Ron Conway)

The relationship between investors and founders involves a lot of trust. (Ron Conway)

Do the fundraising process as quickly and efficiently as you possibly can. (Ron Conway)

After you leave a meeting (with an investor that agrees to invest) sit in your car and type out an email to the investor. Put everything in writing. (Ron Conway)

SV Angel invests in one company out of every thirty they look at which is about one a week. (Ron Conway)

There is an enormous difference in the quality of an introduction. (Parker Conrad)

At the seed stage the best thing you can do is find the right investors. (Parker Conrad)

There seem to be (valuation) thresholds for seed stage companies. (Parker Conrad)

Get the money you need and don’t raise any more than you need. (Parker Conrad)

In a series A you’re going to sell between twenty and thirty percent of the company. (Parker Conrad)

Venture capitalists are more ownership focused (percentage of company) than price focused (amount of investment). (Parker Conrad)

Half of people grow into a big job and the other half swell into it. (Marc Andreessen)

Airbnb is such a great company because all three founders are as good as the other founders. That is very rare. (Ron Conway)

When you start a company you have to go find somebody as good or better than you to be the cofounder. If you do that your chances of success grow astronomically. (Ron Conway)

Raise as close to the exact amount of money as possible. (Marc Andreessen)

If you’re going to raise debt you need to be very precise in how you run the company. (Marc Andreessen)

If everything goes great it doesn’t matter who your investors are but hardly ever does everything go great. (Marc Andreessen)

Everybody on the team should have the same goals and be pulling the same direction. (Marc Andreessen)

Once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur. (Ron Conway)

The big constraint on a top tier venture capital firm is opportunity cost (both from conflict policy and time). (Marc Andreessen)

Things almost never come to a board vote. And if they do they’re already broken anyway. (Parker Conrad)