Start-up woes-how to raise money from VC?

This post was originally composed for WebInnovation Blog and shares some key extracts one of the speakers (Bikash Birai of iviz) shared about dealing with venture capitalists, in one of the most humorous sessions at webinnovation08, Mumbai.

Felt this might be of some use to my blog readers, hence cross posting here with oral permission.

Here’re few notes from his talk: How to go about while seeking funds from VCs?

  • Have a strong team-VCs bet on jockeys and not horses. People who lead a startup are scrutinized more than the technology or business.
  • Identify customer pain to understand what would a customer want. Customer is not always bothered about security, but is naturally concerned about the impact on his business continuity. BC, Compliance and Trust building sells.
  • Develop a pain killer-you may be different, but how does that matter to the customer?
  • Stay focused and ask for advice- if you ask for money, you get advice, if you ask for money you get advice-(lol!)
  • First impression is best impression
  • Make a point to tell them who you are not-that might help them not to generalize you
  • Persuasion doesn’t work-seduction does. Early traction, global recognition, leveraging influences, phased excitements (not revealing all excitements at once but in phases) and moving fast are critical
  • How to chose a VC?- You don’t. They chose you. See if you can make VCs chase you.
  • How to negotiate? We don’t negotiate-create options
  • What to do after raising money?- reset expectations (joke)-meet and exceed the expectations
Similar: Start-up saturday at IIMB, 12th July 2008

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