Carta Collective

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  • 1.  Networking/Accelerators/Mentors/Advisors

    Posted 12-01-2023 12:00

    Hello! I've been working with my business partner on a project for the last several months which we've bootstrapped so far. As we look toward the future, we'll obviously need some more cash to grow and operate. 

    We don't have a great network of investors currently. We're working with a few advisors that we've spoken to about fundraising and I think that they have some solid contacts where we could start pitching. 

    My questions for you all is, what do you think is the best path to find investors? Should we look into accelerators? Are there any good resources out there to find networking opportunities to meet investors? Should we focus on those contacts from our advisor? Look into Mentorships? How did you get connected with your investors? 

    Appreciate any help that you're willing to share. 

    Milos Galanis

  • 2.  RE: Networking/Accelerators/Mentors/Advisors

    Posted 12-03-2023 10:34
    Without knowing what your project is and what industry you are working within, it's hard to tell you where to find investors. Generally speaking investors come from 2 pools: either friends, family and/or business colleagues or else organized industry or trade specific groups whose purpose is to connect founders with investors. Again, it's hard to give you specific advice with more information. But believe it or not, you could start with LinkedIn as a way to reach out to organizations that work within your industry. You mentioned your advisors - they might be useful in this respect. As for accelerators, there are a lot of programs out there and the quality varies widely and from my personal experience you have to assess whether the time and energy you need to put it into it is worth it in terms of the level of money, exposure and potential connections to investors you could get out of it. The best accelerators are hard to be accepted into, and if you win, they will demand a lot from you, and the investment money they offer comes with terms that are not all that attractive. Hopefully this is somewhat helpful to you. Good luck

    Marc Elliott

  • 3.  RE: Networking/Accelerators/Mentors/Advisors

    Posted 12-04-2023 10:25

    Hi Milos - I agree with Marc re: it being dependent on your industry and financing goals, and also re: the accelerators (quality varying and long-term commitments being a significant consideration).  I've had clients have much success with accelerators, but have also seen the other side.

    I just wanted to jump in to add that it's important in this stage to be mindful of general solicitation pitfalls, and of the concept of accredited investors.  Depending on how you're structuring your future fundraise and which exemption(s) you'll be relying on, you'll want to make sure that you're aware of whether your 'pitch' activities are considered general solicitation.  I mention this only because we've had an influx of new clients that are already mid-fundraise that weren't aware of these nuances and it can change the direction significantly on the securities side.

    (as always, this does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such)

    Teresa-Judith Chartrand
    Blackgarden Law

  • 4.  RE: Networking/Accelerators/Mentors/Advisors

    Posted 12-05-2023 15:30

    Hey @Milos Galanis! First I have to say that Marc's and TJ's answers have some great information - they both know a lot about this area of business!

    I want to add something about what Marc said -

    This may not be everyone's favorite thing to do, but I've seen some major success among some of my friends by 'building in public' on LinkedIn. They talk about their business all the time - the problems it solves, case studies, challenges they face as they build, and so much more. They also talk about themselves as Founders and the journey it is. This can be AMAZING at getting eyes on you and your company and product. It also can attract investors to you, as it's critically important what TJ mentioned about 'soliciting funds' and the regulations surrounding that.

    Make sure you also have an awesome attorney who understands your company and the fundraising process - in my opinion, that's one thing that can make or break your fundraise.

    Best wishes and let me know if you have any questions I can help with!

    Chris Hoffmann
    Founder, Equity Admin Co. - Carta admin for pre-IPO companies

  • 5.  RE: Networking/Accelerators/Mentors/Advisors

    Posted 12-06-2023 13:36

    Thank you for the insights Marc, Teresa, and Chris. This gives me a good springboard to jump from. It's hard to put yourself out there sometimes and build your network.

    Milos Galanis