I recently interviewed John Fanning, Jr., CEO of Zelgor, and asked him what advice he'd give entrepreneurs trying to raise funds. He recently raised over $500,000 on Netcapital. Here are his top tips:
John Fanning, Jr, CEO, Zelgor
1. Realize that Money Doesn't Rain from the Sky
Just because you're listed on a funding portal doesn't mean people will automatically flock to your offering page. Raising capital is a lot of hard work, whether you're raising from angel investors, VC's, or friends and family, and it's no different on a Regulation Crowdfunding portal.
You must put in the hard work if you want great results.
2. There's No Shortcut for Calling People
Whether you're raising funds via equity crowdfunding or another method, you need to put in the hard work by calling people and meeting with them in person. You must have the attitude that you'll need to get every dollar into your offering yourself.
3. Get Ready for an Emotional Ride
Raising money can be painful and emotional, even if things go perfectly (and they probably won't.) You will hear "no" a lot, and most people won't share your vision of your company's future. Stay focused on the positive and cherish the "high" moments. Zelgor had an influx of investments after an influential investor recommended it. These are the moments that keep you going through the no's.
4. It is Your Responsibility as the Founder to Generate Excitement
There's no shortcut for putting the work in. You have to approach your raise with the mindset that you are going to get every dollar of investment yourself by generating activity and excitement. Then potential investors who are inclined to invest via equity crowdfunding portals will see the activity you're putting in, they're going to see the momentum, and they're going to get excited about investing.
Your role hasn't changed. It's your job to generate excitement as the founder of your company.