Planning to get some startup funding or raise small business grants? Eat this.

Kickstart funding your ventureGetting funds for your startup somehow seems to be ‘THE’ issue most of the startups are facing. To me this is utter crap. Something like joining Gyms to lose weight. You dont know what you will gain out of doing excercise, when, where and hows of it. All you know is that you need to look good and for that join a gym near by. How many of us who join the local gym actually continue? How many really get the leaner abs?

First for idiots looking for startup funds (80%)

Most of the times we criticize the thing we dont have any control on. Thats a nice trick the mind plays. If your mind said you can succeed if you kicked your arse and get some work done, it would be difficult to implement. But if your mind said your venture is not succeeding because your startup is not funded. Now thats what I call as a real issue! right?

If you have attended any genuine startup meetup or networked with atleast decent ones like me (shameless plug) we are shouting from the top of our lungs that time wasted hunting for a VC to fund a half baked product, can be better utilized in developing a better product customers can help you bootstrap. It just makes so much sense but what your brain says? The problem is outside me and not with me.

Now to the genuine ones looking for some funds (20%)

Hey if you are the one who fits into the above section please leave. You owe your time to the awesome venture you are supposed to build. If you belong to the 20% who genuinely need some funds – Welcome. I have had my experience working in a startup couple of years ago and know how lack of funds can really burn your dream. Though a small disclaimer I never got any of my startups funded where I worked, but rest assured the thing I am talking here doesnt come from thin air. It comes from closely working with hundreds of Entrepreneurs via my non profit┬ásome of them looking to getting funded and some who are ready to invest.

Why invest in your startup? = Why get a life insurance?

Read the above line. Thats the secret key I am disclosing to the world and it really works. Let me elaborate with a nice example.

An insurance agent meets you in middle of something and starts pitching you to sell a new product to get better insurance. How should he approach you.

Approach One:

Here’s the product with xyz benefits for YOU. This is how it secures YOUR family’s future. And worst case scenario if YOU dont die (pun intended), this is what YOU will get back on maturity.

Approach Two:

Sir, Please invest in OUR best product till date xyz. WE have been able to provide OUR customers x% year on year. YOU can compare us with the COMPETITORS. WE do blah, blah, blah and WE ARE blah blah

Which version has a better chance to sell a policy? Duh that was ridiculously simple.

Same happens in the Startup funding game. You talk more about YOU. The first question (and the big one) why is the investor ready to shell out his hard earned money. There is a reason. For him you are not just a startup but an investment vehicle.

We all know so many policies to invest in, saving schemes in the market are dime a dozen. We invest in what we believe is the future and what we believe will give us handful returns. At times we risk more for getting more rewards. Same is the case for an investor/angle or a VC. If you understand this well. All of a sudden things change.

  • You start understanding why exit section in your business plan makes sense to him, while you feel its useless
  • You understand why you need to show who is your competition, what are the risks and how will you mitigate
  • You understand why he needs a stake in decision making. (Same as you want power of switching funds in a Mutual Fund portfolio)

Its not about your startup getting an investment. Its about him/her finding a better investment vehicle.

Feels ironic? Who said Money matters are like candle light dinners!

So how do you get money for your dream venture?

Let me repeat. All of this really really helps. It helps to think that your customer(investor) is a human being. It forces you to think about competition. It forces you to say how will you differentiate among the masses. If slaps you on your face when you say crappy things like the world is my target market, or stuff like “This is the next facebook killer”.

Your dream is your dream. Its cozy. Lovely and what not. But it blinds you from reality. Startups are in existence for a purpose. However along with purpose there is business involved and just the machoism of hey I have this cool idea! might not work.

Consider an investor as a investor. A human being. You dont need karate chops to get your startup funded. Just a small paradigm shift will make the difference and think

  • What is in it for him.
  • How can I raise his odds of success
  • How can I assure that its a sane investment
  • How can I influence and gather trust

Money is not something that can make a startup successful; however lack of it can make one go home. This was just an attempt to add sanity in your startup fund raising and giving the poor investor some sane choice.

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