Women raising money
It is harder for women to raise money. It just is and it pisses me off. I actually tell women founders to bring along their male CTO’s to the meetings because it will be easier to raise the cash. I preference that with “I hate to say this but…”
There are multiple reasons why it is more difficult. When more women are on the investment side of the table it will begin to get easier. As more women build big companies, it will begin to get easier too.
Here is some advice I have given to women pitching.
1 -Don’t ramble. Keep it short and succinct. State the facts. There is nothing wrong with a pause in the room.
2 – Always be selling. When you pitch assume that the people on the other side of the table are going to fund you. It changes the dynamic.
3 – Be bold. If you feel the temperature in the room is lukewarm, then wrap it up. No need to waste your time or theirs. If you feel the love in the room then engage the investors like they are old friends talking about your business.
4 – Never apologize. So what if the product isn’t perfect, the deck isn’t perfect. Guess what..only you think that.
5 – Be confident and show confidence. You know your company better than the person on the other side of the table does. You don’t need to be validated.
6 – Keep your cards close. Don’t share who else you are talking to unless of course this is super early and you are hoping for as many angels as possible to come in. If you have investors starting to do diligence then share that but don’t share names. It pushes a sense of urgency into the conversation. It makes you the master of the game.
7 – If you do have senior men on your team then bring them with you. I am hoping that in the future I will tell men that bringing a woman with you is key.
I do feel like there is a movement happening. Women would love to have a woman lead their rounds. I am seeing more than a handful of women start to raise $8-10m and that is not only good for the start-up world, it is good for the next generation of women coming up the pike.