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Ready to Raise Bootcamp: Crafting Your Story and Perfecting Your Fundraising STRATEGY


Founders are facing a tougher fundraising market than anything we’ve seen in over a decade, and figuring out what investors are looking for has become an increasingly challenging task. However, despite the uncertainty, there is still money out there and deals are getting closed.


In an exclusive Angel Club event, Robbie Crabtree, Venture Partner and Founder of Competitive Storytelling joined me for a three-day bootcamp to discuss founder storytelling, investor psychology, and fundraising strategy to share what it takes to tell the right story, run the perfect process, and close your funding round fast.


Founder Storytelling in Venture Capital

Effective storytelling of your journey as a founder will give you the edge to nail your pitch and tell your story in the most impactful way to grow your business. Oftentimes, founders focus too heavily on pitching the technical features of their product and can lose engagement from potential investors. While it is crucial to communicate your expertise and the logistics of your product, the story of who you are as a founder is what investors are betting on.


“The more you get an investor in the logical side of the brain, the more objections you're going to get,” Robbie mentions. “The more they're in their emotional brain, the easier it is to get them to start using their imagination to start buying into that future to start being involved in a shared vision of what's ahead.”


Robbie shares that there are two core stories to craft as a founder: your origin story and your future story. “The origin story is what allows an investor to know why they want to bet on you… and the future story is what that world looks like when you win, when you succeed in the biggest, boldest, most ambitious vision that you possibly have.”


Emotional storytelling starts with your founder origin story. This is your opportunity to build a connection and show investors who you are. When beginning to tell your origin story, there are three questions Robbie says to ask yourself: “How did you get here, what makes you special, and why do you care?” Building out the answers to these questions and developing your narrative as a founder will uncover what is most important to share when building the vision of what the future will look like when you are successful.


When crafting your future story, “You have to speak about the future as though it already exists…there has to be that level of certainty and conviction behind it to make it come true,” Robbie says. Share your most ambitious vision of what the problem is, what your solution is, and why now is the right time. “It's about presenting it from this place of expertise that invites people to have the conversation with you and say, join us on this mission.”


For coaching opportunities on fundraising strategy and storytelling, you can reach out to Robbie and me at angel@angelclub.com, and check out the testimonial below for insight on our community from our members.


Investor Psychology and Fundraising Readiness

As a founder, you are almost always raising. However, different types of investors have different motivations, drivers, and processes, and defining the different types of investors will help narrow your pitch, and identify opportunities that align with your product.


While there are some things that will apply to any startup or business that is growing, there are also some things that are particular to your specific startup, your segment, your stage, your geography, and who you are as a founder.


For example, most VCs will typically invest straight equity or convertible notes depending on your stage, and accelerators might use safes and convertible notes. Accelerators also typically deal with the same stage as angels, but you need to think about who is running the accelerators. Many people who are running accelerators are hoping to build a track record so they can then go and raise their own funds, and understanding the accelerators' model is crucial to aligning investment and revenue goals to sell to investors with different risk profiles.


Investors are driven by a wide variety of motivations, and when it comes to engaging with angel investors, it is essential to understand how they approach their angel investments. Investors could be interested in social capital, and who is at the cap table, or they could be mission-driven and narrow their investments on opportunities that spur social and economic equity.


Investors will also be interested in what you can offer as a founder. Robbie mentions that one of the most valuable things you can extend to an investor is your network, and one of the best ways to meet investors and build your network can be through communities like ours at the Angel Club. On the first Friday of each month, I host Lunch with Angel open office-hour sessions to connect with investors, community members, and founders. Join me this Friday, May 5th at 12pm PT for a session and grow your network.


Approaching opportunities from an investor mindset will help identify what investors expect in a meeting with a founder, how they analyze potential deals, and what you can do to stand out from the crowd. Getting into the investor mindset by digging deep into the investors' experience and why they are investing will uncover motivations and help you identify who will be the best ambassador for your business.


Fundraising Strategy

Having an efficient fundraising strategy ahead of approaching investors is essential. “The reality is when you're raising your seed, you need to be thinking about how you're going to raise your Series B and your Series C. If you're raising your preseed, you need to be thinking about how you're going to raise your Series A and Series B, and understanding what the pieces are that you want to put in place,” Robbie says.


As a founder, Robbie advises you to start your process by building out your CRM. This will keep you organized and prepared for investor conversations. Robbie tells founders that “If you build your CRM ahead of time, it will help start conversations with investors, let them hear your story, tell them what you're up to, and build the relationship… [however] if you are unorganized, the result is going to be a lack of certainty that you are presenting to the investor.”


After building out your CRM Robbie tells founders to start crafting emails. “These are email blurbs that you're going to send out if you're doing cold email,” he says. “This communication piece needs to be done right. If you get this right, if it's clear, concise, and precise, you're going to be miles ahead of how most people go after it.”


During your outreach, knowing when to share your deck is key to a successful intro and raise. If you have had a warm introduction with the investor and they are familiar with you, sometimes sending the deck is not necessary. However, a lot of investors will not take a call if they do not have the deck first. Above all, Robbie advises you to “...lean into who you want to be as a founder, and do what makes the most sense for you.”


Post-raise strategy is also an essential element of your planning, however, managing legal transactions as a founder can be a large undertaking. For answers to your legal questions about fundraising, and access to advisory opportunities from legal experts, tune in next Friday, May 12 at 10am PT for a fireside chat with Tamara Thompson, Attorney and Partner at Thompson Legal Advisory Services.


Looking to become an investor? Join our next Angel Investing Course to gain valuable insight and explore whether angel investing is right for you.


🤓Investors looking for access to the dealflow that we get and share with our members can sign up here. Not a member yet? Join now and expand your network through curated resources, events, introductions, and mentorship opportunities from globally recognized investors, founders, and experts in the inclusive Angel Club entrepreneurship community.


😇Angel Club members can sign up here to connect with Robbie and other innovators and investors like her in intros, our monthly curated introductions.


🎞️A full version of the recording, in addition to investor and media databases, playbooks, templates, and tools can be found in the members-only Angel Club Resource Library.

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