Applying for funding can be daunting at times. If you are a first-time entrepreneur, you may have never needed to construct a pitch deck before and the phrase “diligence hub” might sound like something for your car.
That’s why we created this Toolkit. You can refer to the Toolkit for answers to common questions that may pop up throughout the application process and for tips to improve the quality of your application. The Toolkit is organized by application step, so once you finish one step, check out this page to find the tools you’ll need to complete the next step!
STEP 1 CONNECT
Email address, first & last name, company, description, team size, category, website urlYour Elevator Pitch
Investors have heard hundreds and even thousands of startup pitches. To stand out, fill a tangible need with an innovative solution and tell a good story. Even the best products or services will struggle to be successful if you don’t tell the story well. Here are the basics on what to include and inspiration for creating your pitch.
TechStars Tips for a great pitch:
Fundraising is hard. Setting yourself apart from thousands of other applications and inquiries to a VC firm is one of the first hurdles you need to jump. As you may have guessed, cold calls/emails/online applications are the least effective way of attracting VCs’ attention. So what should you do instead?
STEP 2 SHORT SURVEY
Address, investment to date, revenue for the past year, number of usersCap Table Template
Get started using this simple Cap Table.
Here is a more comprehensive Cap Table Template that might be useful to you.
A convertible debt is a loan from early stage investors (angels or VCs) that at some point later down the road may convert into equity ownership (stock) in the company. It is commonly seen in early rounds of fundraising and bridge rounds.
Click here for detailed guidance on how to create a financial forecast.
STEP 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1 page executive summaryExecutive Summary Tips
· Keep it SHORT: a one-pager is the best option
· Be clear, to the point and jargon-free
· Define the problem and your solution
· Identify your unique value proposition and market potential
· Use bullet point and tables to organize your story
Still not quite sure how to get started? Take a look at these examples:
STEP 4 PITCH DECK
Updated pitch deckPitch Deck Template and Resources
STEP 5 DETAILED SURVEY
Delaware C Corp, US visa, preliminary diligence hub urlIntro to Diligence Hub/Data Room
A diligence hub is essentially a place where you put in all the documents that you want investors to see for a fundraising campaign. For now, simply create a cloud-based shared folder and upload your incorporation documents. We may request more documents in the future.
Check out these posts:
STEP 6 TEAM VIDEO
Team video url, LinkedIn profiles for each team memberTips and Tutorial
Pull out your stage voice and pitch like a pro. Here is a blog post from Y Combinator teaching you how to make a quality VC application video.
STEP 7 CUSTOMER REFERENCES
Submit customer referencesWhy Do We Ask For Customer References?
If you’re new to the startup world, you might be new to the idea of customer references. In a nutshell, VCs might ask for these even at a seed stage because they want to know who, why and how customers are buying your product. Here’s an in-depth look from Quora on why VCs ask for customer references.
Now that you know why, here’s how to prepare and execute strong customer references.
STEP 8 INTERVIEWS
Prepare for an interviewHow To Prepare For Your Interview
Here is a checklist for you before going into a VC meeting.
Remember to bring:
- A Well Prepared Pitch
- Your business model
Here are some common questions you might be asked:
STEP 9 DILIGENCE
Extended diligence hubMaster Your Diligence Hub/Data Room
Here is a list of essentials that you should consider putting in your diligence hub:
Click here for a Google Drive template to get you started. Read the Checklist folder first to get a sense of what is required and what is recommended so you won’t be overwhelmed.
Google Drive is the easiest way to set up your first diligence hub. If you’re concerned about data security, we also recommend OneHub or other data room providers.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCESList of Great Resources
Here is a list of books that we recommend: