Top Secret FundraisingThe big secret is that there is no secret.

I have done quite a bit of successful fundraising over the years, and founders frequently ask my advice about it. Few first-time founders believe me, but raising funds is by far the easiest part of growing a start-up.

Recently a plethora of seminars and courses have popped up offering to train founders in how to pitch their ideas to investors.  While practice is certainly a good thing, focusing on the pitch can be a distraction.  Some of the advice given in these seminars is ridiculously detailed and covers things like the correct number of people to bring to the meetings, which other companies to mention, what colors are most effective in the presentation slides, and even the best day of the week on which to pitch.

Over-thinking the pitch to that extent is distracting nonsense at best and harmful at worst.

Good VCs have heard thousands of pitches, and they pride themselves on being able to “see though” the pitch to evaluate the team’s actual chance of success. They far more experience at this kind of evaluation than both you and the people offering to teach you how to pitch for a fee.

Investors will not be swayed by the color of your powerpoint slides.

By all means attend one of the many free events that offer a chance to practice you pitch before meeting investors, but don’t over-analyse it. Focus on growing your business. Being able to tell a VC that you have a growing number of paying customers, has far more impact than a well-polished pitch.

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