Investors Want a Winner: 5 tips from a VC turned startup founder - with Bo Abrams

Apr 03, 2024

Not a lot of early-stage startup founders have had the privilege of working in the VC industry and getting an inside look into how decisions are made, and what sets apart the winners. One such founder is Bo Abrams. He is the co-founder and CEO of kommu, a home-sharing platform connecting users with and through their personal and professional networks. Before founding kommu, Bo worked for several years in the VC industry, giving him a unique fundraising perspective. 

Bo was our guest at The Meet.Capital Startup Podcast. He told us of his unique journey and shared 5 pieces of advice which he found helpful when raising capital.
Here they are:

1. Be strategic about who you reach out to, to hone your pitching skills 

Pitching is harder than you think, and you will get better at it mainly by doing it. This also means you must be strategic about the investors you approach first. Practice your pitch with lower-priority investors first to refine it before approaching your top choices. Don’t talk to your most sought-after investors till you’ve gained enough traction talking to other investors. 

2. Don’t send the same updates to your investors and prospective investors. 

Your investors should receive a monthly update, detailing your progress.
However, prospective investors shouldn’t receive unnecessary information, which might be shared with your competitors. Keep them informed with less frequent, strategic updates. You want to keep them in the loop, but you also want to keep them curious, so that they might want to reconnect and invest later on. You want to be able to get them on a call when there is a specific reason for them to engage and invest, such as when a round is coming to close, after an important business update, etc.  

3. Send separate, regular updates to your supporters and connectors

Create a list of people in your network, especially other founders, willing to help you connect with investors. Keep them updated on every successful raise and other related achievements, thanking those who helped you with introductions or advice. This will encourage your network to make the extra effort and connect you with new investors. Other founders, especially, will be happy to hear about your progress and see who else is in your network and helping you. 

4. Be bold in your fundraising efforts. 

It sounds trivial but it’s easy to forget. Be bold, almost shameless, to get yourself in front of more and better investors. You can’t hold back, you must push yourself. This approach will also help you handle the inevitable, numerous rejections you will face, as it will get you accustomed to moving on quickly after rejections and acting on your next opportunity. 

5. Investors want to see a winner. 

Don’t try to get their sympathy by telling them about your difficulties and failures - leave those for your closer circle, or co-founders. You need to signal confidence, leadership, and positivity when communicating with investors. Focus on presenting a positive, successful image to investors, emphasizing achievements and future potential over difficulties. Investors want to invest in winners, let them know you are one. 

Listen to the full episode on our podcast.

 

Watch our conversation on YouTube.  

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