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The art of raising venture capital

Guy Kawasaki is a name familiar to most of you I believe. He is currently the chief evangelist of Australian design startup, Canva. Formerly, he was an adviser to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple.

Last week, I came across with some videos where Guy is sharing his top 5 tips on how to raise venture capital for an early stage business and I wanted to share the learning with you.

If you have the time, I definitely recommend to watch these videos, but for those lacking the time, I have written a summary of the tips below. I hope you’ll enjoy it, learn from it and raise some money by taking it on board. If you do, make sure you’ll let us hear about your success! :)

  • Tip 1) Consider whether you are a ‘fundable’ business. You business might be highly viable, but not fundable. A good indication is asking yourself the questions “in 3-4 years time, will this business make 75-100 million?” If the answer is no, it might not be a VC type of deal.


  • Tip 2) Pitching to investors is like dating. There are 2 types of dating sites: the “hot or not” type, where you are shown someone’s photo and you make a decision in that moment if you are interested, or not. The other type is “e-harmony” where you are matched with people based on compatibility, interest, etc. Raising VC is like “hot or not”. You have 10, 15 seconds max to make an impression or you are out.


  • Tip 3) Present a clean deal. It is important to make sure there are no pending law suits, issues around IP, etc.  If there is something you need to share, make sure you do it at the second meeting and you don’t wait until you are found out in the due diligence process.


  • Tip 4) Use Power Point for your presentation, and keep the 10-20-30 rule. It goes like this: have 10 slides, present in 20 minutes using 30 points font on the slides. The 10 slides should include: title slide including your contact details, problem slide stating the problem you are solving, solution slide, business model explaining how you’ll make money, ‘underlying magic’ slide on why you’ll smash it, marketing/sales slide, competition slide, team slide, your projections and status/timeline explaining where you are at the moment.


  • Tip 5) Drill a lot of holes. Keep trying and trying, it is also a numbers game. The money might not come from the investor you were hoping for, but hey, all money is green…

Any comment or story to share? Post it below! 


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One Response to The art of raising venture capital

  1. Great pointers on raising capital. So often, as true believers of our business, we forget that first impressions really matter and we need to make a positive, high-impact impression on potential investors. If you, as the business owner, don’t have the gift of gab to ‘sell’ the product, I think you should engage the help of someone like WE to help you condition the ‘selling-muscle’ to help in your approach to investors. Thanks for the tips!

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