Open Source Funding Documents

Cooley, one of the top startup law firms, has open sourced the legal documents required to do a Series Seed or Convertible Note financing.

10 Steps to Perfect Your Startup Pitch

Startup guru Guy Kawasaki explains why asking investors for money is like online dating.

How to Close Investors

Your round isn’t anywhere near closed unless you have enough investors who are very serious about investing. However, it can often be difficult to figure out if an investor is actually serious about investing or just being positive about your business. So how can you tell who is actually serious and who isn’t?

Why Do So Many Corporate VCs Die Young?

Specific staffing choices and high investment levels can prolong the lifespan of corporate venture capital units.

All the Public Startup Pitch Decks in One Place

Andy Sparks and Joshua Levy have assembled a list of reference pitch decks for founders to view when building their own. Some notable inclusions: YouTube, LinkedIn, Mint, BuzzFeed, AirBnB, Tinder, Foursquare, Moz, and Buffer.

David Heinemeier Hansson

In the abstract, economic sense, a 30% chance of making $3M is as good as a 3% chance of making $30M is as good as a 0.3% chance at making $300M. But in the concrete sense, you generally have to make your pick: Which coupon is the one for you?

The strategies employed to pursue the 30% for $3M are often in direct opposition to the … [ Read more ]

David Heinemeier Hansson

People who make lots of little bets on many potential unicorns have christened themselves angels. Angels? Really? You’ve plucked your self-serving moniker from the parables of a religion that specifically and explicitly had its head honcho throw the money men out of the temple and proclaim a rich man less likely to make it into heaven than a camel through a needle’s eye. Okay then!


Angels … [ Read more ]

How We Raised a $7 Million Series A from Foundry Group — our Top Choice VC

Ultimately, fundraising success requires:

fundraising execution + a compelling story/vision + evidence of traction + sheer determination + good fortune (luck)

This article focuses on the first of these five variables: fundraising execution. Below I lay out a 7 step framework to guide you through your fundraising process, and share some lessons learned having now successfully raised money for three separate ventures (and made plenty of mistakes … [ Read more ]

Seed Fundraising — How to Get a Meeting

The first part of fundraising is getting the meeting and 90% of startups fail at this point. Here’s how to make sure you get meetings with the right investors.

16 Definitions on the Economics of VC

Scott Kupor of Andreessen Horowitz attempts to clear some of the opacity of how the VC industry works, by defining some basic terms, beginning with a bit of history.

Common Startup Timing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

There’s a lot of advice on the web about what to do once you’ve raised money, but not when to do it. This is unfortunate, because poor timing can kill a company. This post will describe some common timing issues, as well as a framework for avoiding them.

The Law of Large Numbers

Rafe Furst of Quantitative VC uses data analysis and poker references to try to understand if VCs are good at investing in startups or if it is all just luck.

Marc Andreessen at Startup School 2016

In his conversation with YC Partner and COO Qasar Younis, Marc outlined two tests investors run on entrepreneurs before working with them. Later in the conversation Qasar asked Marc who he looks up to.

Wade Foster

Since many of a startups’ earliest advisers come from the fundraising world, they’re likely to offer advice from one particular perspective. Traditional VCs have a playbook that they run across their companies, and their business model works for them. Their goal is to place strategic bets in a handful of companies. Founders, though, aren’t managing a portfolio. They need to base their decisions on the … [ Read more ]

When Is a “Mark” Not a Mark? When It’s a Venture Capital Mark.

The WSJ wrote a story on venture capital returns that claims “Andreessen Horowitz’s Returns Trail Venture-Capital Elite.” Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Kupor offers a rebuttal by explaining how arcane and obtuse venture capital valuations can be.

Jessica Livingston

We often get emails from startups saying “we’re running out of money, so we’re going to raise a series A now.” As if it were like making a second trip to the ATM. And when we ask how they’re doing, the answer is usually a combination of slow growth and high expenses. We have to tell them they have no hope of raising a series … [ Read more ]

31 Investor Questions Startups Should Be Prepared to Answer

I’ve heard thousands of investors ask tens of thousands of questions. I’ve also learned that startups’ answers to these questions can be far more insightful than a rehearsed pitch. This is a list of the most frequently asked investor questions.

Geoff Ralston

Investors write checks when the idea they hear is compelling, when they are persuaded that the team of founders can realize its vision, and that the opportunity described is real and sufficiently large. When founders are ready to tell this story, they can raise money. And usually when you can raise money, you should.