How To Fundraise And Invest
Devin MillerThe Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
How To Fundraise And Invest
The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
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and building a little bit of relationship is always a great thing there as well because you're going to be in the deal with along with the investors for a period of time and and they know that too so they're looking to check you out you're looking to check them out so the key is you have to demonstrate the growth story so step one you must have a growth story step two you must be able to tell it or articulate it [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's grown several startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller iplock where he helps startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks if you ever need help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com grab some time with us to chat now today we have another great expert episode and i always love the expert episodes because not only do we get to go through people's journeys like we on the normal one but on the expert episode we get to hear a whole bunch of expertise and i get to learn a lot and hopefully you guys can learn a lot too so with that we have hal martin on and he's going to talk about one of the things that most startups and small businesses even growing businesses have the question on which is money now not just money as far as how you can spend it but how do you do fundraising how do you do investing you know where to begin and how to get started and how to find investors and how much should you raise and when you shouldn't raise too much and figuring out how much you need to raise and what evaluation you should put on your business and how do you finding you know yourself as a faster growing in a business and in the what markets and type of things and long-term planning and i don't know if we're going to get to all that this can be a great conversation so with that hull welcome on the podcast thanks for having me devin looking forward to it so before now before we dive into discussing money and investing and fundraising all those fun things or at least that i find fun why don't you tell us a little bit about uh yourself why you're an expert on this episode and why people listen to you great well i was working for a large company here in austin for about 20 years and they actually went ipo back in 1995 and i started doing angel investing and started to just start putting money into deals and started losing money and started realizing well this is harder than it looks and uh decided to start joining other angel groups to find out how best to raise raise funding and how to invest in them and ended up launching three angel groups in texas back in 2006 seven and eight and had good returns from those groups as well and then just kept going i actually started my company what's now called ten capital back then it was called texas entrepreneurs network in 2009 i started it and we were helping startups and investors connect for funding we did funding forums around the state of texas all the way out to el paso and back to dallas austin and houston and so it was a lot of fun and so have you spent the last 20 years working in the space uh working with startups and investors to connect making the helping the startups get their pitch ready get their documents ready and then helping investors do their diligence and make their decision and figure out their investment thesis and have just carried that that work on for over 20 years now and have just seen oh you know you know many many deals as well into the over 10 000 by now and pitches that went with them as well and then have talked to many different kinds of angel investors and how they invest and why they invest and so forth and have seen the you know the good the bad the ugly of of startup funding and investing itself and have have some experience to share with others for those who are interested well that's a great uh great a level of experience and a lot of it sounds like a fun time as well and uh definitely appreciate the introduction so now within it without any further ado let's get into the get into it with the topic of hand a bit so the first question i would you know i think a lot of startups and small businesses would probably have um is just kind of where to begin now if you've been a you know an event or if you've done a startup before you've been an investor or something that you probably have a pretty idea okay here's you know kind of where to begin here's how to get started but let's say you take the person that you know maybe you've everything from you have a great idea you have a prototype and you're looking to go get your investor dollars all the way up to you you know you have a business that has reoccurring revenue and you're looking to get investor dollars you know to kind of take the next level kind of within those that i get that's a very big category in a very big range but kind of where do you get started with uh within this if this gets your kind of first entrance in to doing fundraising and looking at or getting investors on board great well the first thing you want to do is make sure you have your business together you're ready to go you've got something that you know the market is excited about if you've got revenue that that is a big big step forward of validation and at the early stage what investors are going to be looking for is just that validation people are supporting you that is you are supporting you you're putting in money your family and friends are supporting you they're putting in money customers are supporting you they're putting in money and as you draw that circle wider everyone is signing up to be a part of this in some way shape and form and hard dollars on the table speaks louder than anything and so you're starting to gather those proof points as you go down the path the one thing you don't want to do is skip putting money in skip your family and friends money go out across and then start saying well nobody back home would give me money how about you because that that's going to kill it right there because you didn't prove validation you didn't get support for it along the way some do crowdfunding along the way if you can make a good successful campaign on kickstarter or now the equity crowdfunding portals by all means consider that as well because that's even more proof points there as well that's how you kick it off is you start putting together your business start generating interest from customers my rule is you always when you talk to an investor bring up the customers that you're dealing with what they're saying what they're asking you what they're telling you and so forth because it shows you're in the market you're connected to the market so many people want to talk about the product that's fine but if it's just about the product and i never hear anything about customers i start to wonder did you do this all by yourself or did you do this in conjunction with the market and you want to be doing this with the market have market reality coming into it uh even before you build a product you should have market reality coming into it i hear many people say well i'm not going to generate revenue i'll do that later right now just work on the the product and i know with a 100 certainty you're going to build the wrong product if you don't have the market there with you you'll be down the wrong path so make sure you're there with the market or bringing them along the way as you go forward no and i think that's great there some great advice getting some of that validation and probably validation earlier on now a couple questions just kind of that i'm sure people have is to what kind of validation should they be going for and i'll give you you know you hit on a couple you could do everything from hey i'm in this i put in some of my own money i i have faith in it and you know i'm invested it could be friends and family that either they put in money or i've gotten my friends and family tell me this is a great idea and so i should go forward it could be you go ask you know actually start to pre-sell it or get you know and that can be whether it's crowdfunding or whether it's you know you simply just go out and go to your potential customers and see if they're willing to commit or at least give you an you know letter of intent or something of that nature and or you can go out and to people on the street new market surveys you know kind of within the different levels of validation and kind of what is the things that they should be doing here if they can only focus on a few of them where should they get started sure so we start with product validation and market validation product validation is the product works someone's using it and they're getting value and you can tell in the engagement you know they're engaging it on a regular basis and they're getting value if they can tell you what level of value you get that's huge as well you always want to come with numbers you don't want to just say my product's better you want to say my product is 2.5 times better than the competition and it shows you've really measured it and you know what you're talking about the other validation is market validation people will pay for it if it puts money on the table even if it's a discounted price or a a different rate price it shows that they're they're valuing it enough to put some money a third validation that you want to look for is competition many people don't want to talk about competition because they they're afraid the investor is going to think well you can't compete or you won't have the marketplace but if you're working in a very large marketplace usually there's plenty of room for plenty of players and one thing you'll find is competition especially among the venture capitalists they actually look for that because that validates your market if you're in a market where there's zero competition that they're going to walk away saying well there's probably not a market there if you're in a market where there is some competition well then now you know that other people have found this to be a good market so you're validating that market and competition is a sign of approval i also find the competition really helps explain what you're doing and many people they tell me my market is a 5 billion market and we're in the health care space well that's a very big space it could be a lot of things when they tell me who the competition is i start to get a better picture of exactly what they're doing which really helps because if people don't have context in what you're doing it's very hard for them to move forward and build on the rest of the story that you're telling so those are the levels of validation you want to look for no i think that that is great advice you know one of the things that i i think that makes sense is you know when you're looking for validation going out i think that what you hit on as far as a competitor in other words ever i think everybody has a competitor and if you don't you're not you're you're going too narrow and you're not broad enough in other words buy to take henry ford and let's say he's not the first one to create a car but let's say he was there was competition before you had trains you had horse and buggy you had walking and everything else and say well nobody else makes a car doesn't mean you don't have competitors it just means you need to broaden your scope and so i always think looking at the competitors and saying now they people often i think times will say we have those competitors are doing it so terribly or poorly or they're not doing it as well well that's great you can now highlight why you're doing it better what makes you the difference for you but to simply say i don't have any competitors i think 99 of the time you can push back and say there's competitors in some some form or fashion now with that so let's say i get out go out and i get a whole bunch of validation so i bootstrap it i put this on my own money i put in some of my family's money i do a kickstarter campaign and i blow it out i go and i get or talk with the customers i got some pre-orders i do all the validation and now i don't know that every company ever exists but let's say it did and they got a whole bunch of grade of validation and they said okay i'm pretty well validated or as validated as much as i can think i can now how do i go out and find investors you know because that's another question that people often ask is okay i think i've got an investable product or i think it's going well or i'd love to get investors and some of them are just way too early stage and all they want to do is have an idea and you know go get an investor and they think that once the investor hears their idea that's all they need to do but let's say you're a little bit more you've got that validation and now you're trying to go out and find those investors figure out where to look for them which investors are right and kind of which ones are wrong and should i shotgun it just go after everybody or should i be more narrow and tailored so open it up as to how do you kind of go out and go about finding investors so there's four kinds of investors you might want to look for that go to early stage companies one is the angel investor these are people that are putting their own money into the deals and you'll find them oftentimes in angel groups and so they're pretty easy to find if you go online you can find the angel groups in your area but also think that after the pandemic most angel groups are now online and they're in many ways open to uh deal flow from across the country so you can start to find those that are specific to your area like healthcare what have you the next one is you look at venture capital and usually usually venture capital is the first place people want to go to but realize venture capital has a very specific business model and you have to ask do i fit their business model can i give them a 10x return in the next five to seven years is it super high growth then you have to be very candid if this deal is in that category then it's worth going to the venture capitalists if it's not and there are many good businesses that are not well then you want to look at the other ones that we're discussing the other one that's coming up strong is the crowdfunding world it used to be crowdfunding was this thing where we did consumer products and so forth but more and more i'm finding many tech deals and healthcare and others are actually using crowdfunding because it is yet another crowd and it is something that you can put on the website that in a third of a second can somebody look at it get what you're doing and either get excited about it or not and you're reaching out primarily through social media there's many groups out there that will help you run those social media campaigns to drive traffic to it and so i'm not saying it's right or wrong i'm just saying it's you may need to reposition your deal so you fit into this world of crowdfunding what you'll find with angel investors is that they want three to five times their money in three to five years so it has to be just a good decent return venture capital if it's not 10x or more we we don't care so you have to be in that category and the fourth one is called family offices and these are like angel investors but on steroids they just have a lot more money they can put in i find they're a little bit risk-averse they want to come in a little bit later in the game but they're not tied to a 10-year fund window like venture capital where i have to deploy my money in the first three years my follow-ons in the next two years and then write it out they've got some fairly tight parameters family offices can be much more patient money they can be in there for much longer and they can do a lot for you as well so think about what is the right type of investor for your deal and you may have to talk to two or three of them to start to get a sense of where your deal is going to resonate now one question is paul because i think that's great and i think that there's definitely i think realizing that there isn't just hey i always go for venture capital well maybe you need to go for an angel maybe you need to go for crowdfunding maybe you need to do a combination of your crowdfunding first credit or social market traction or market fit and but are people wanting it validate like we talked before and then go for those others but one question kind of the tag along with that is for those different kind of categories i know it's a pretty broad question is when you're about your when you're figuring out how much to raise is there sometimes you're just saying hey if i only need twenty thousand dollars and i'm making up the number but a low number relatively um you know should you just not consider one of the platforms or another in other words you know because sometimes you've got a business and you only need you got a food truck business and i don't know food truck is the greater best ball business but you know you're saying all i need is thirty thousand dollars to get one food truck to prove out the concept so are some of the deals too small should you be evaluating it too high or how do you go about evaluating how much you should raise or should be raising sure so if you only need a twenty or 30 000 that's really family and friends just go get three 10k checks from family and friends and be done with it and go out and prove the next step what you'll find with the other ones venture capital angel and even crowdfunding is it's a fair amount of work to put those together you have to put together investment documents a data room which is all the key documents that one would need in a diligent setting and then you have to come up with a term sheet in most cases convertible node or safe node and if you're going out to raise money and you're doing all that work for thirty thousand dollars investors will probably look at that and say well that's probably not enough money to really give you runway so i found that the minimum for angels that you should ask for is 250 000 anything below that they're going to say well you're doing a lot of work for probably not a lot of benefit you have to be above 250 or better 500 and now you'll have some real runway to work with on this same thing with crowdfunding you'll find you have to fill out forms go through some compliance work fill out different registrations and if you're doing all that for 20k it's probably not going to pay back the time you spent into it so you want to go for at least 100k on a crowdfunding uh platform as well venture capital you know the micro vcs those who have a sub 100 million dollar fund of which there are plenty out there they write 150k checks on the first round and then uh more 250 500 on the next round and the bigger funds write bigger checks as well but but they're going to go through a very rigorous diligence process and you're going through a very rigorous time of actually getting to meet with them and pitch them and take them through the process as well so again uh 500 250 500 is really a minimum amount you want to raise when you go talk to those different groups no i think that makes sense and that kind of gives you a milestone if you're saying hey if i'm in below 5 you know 50 000 or below 100 000 really below 250 000 i should strongly either find the small or the funds that are willing to invest make those smaller funds which some of them are out there but most of them are and do a much more due diligence but to your point most of those funds are going to look and say hey we it's going to take us a considerable amount of work if we only do this small amount it's probably not going to have the returns that we're looking for doesn't mean it's not a good business this means it's not necessarily investable so now the one of the additional questions is you know and i think we chatted a bit before the podcast is there's also the ability so one let's say you go out and figure out this is how much we need or this is how much we can justify it two you can show the validation and maybe have some recurring revenue now how do you figure out how much you should ask so let's say you could go you could justify you could show validation you could go ask for five hundred thousand you get to go ask for five million dollars and you know you could probably justify it either way but you're gonna give up a lot more equity along the way is there is there a time when you shouldn't ask for as much or you should ask for a lower amount or should you just ask for as much as you can as quick as you can to blow it up and to show that you're a unicorn sure yeah so i'm a big advocate of you raise for each milestone break your fundraise down into smaller steps that way you don't spend the rest of your life just raising money you actually get to go build a business too and one thing you'll find is that at the very early stage of the business your valuation is very low so any money you take in will be costing you quite a bit in dilution so you take in the minimum amount that's why you're really trying to see how much can i do with 500k and see how far that will get me down the path of you know raising revenue and actually running the business and so forth and then you know you can then do series a and or other raises afterwards to continue to grow the business but you actually don't have to your your valuation will be taking a stair step function up every time you go and generate revenue and build team and build product and so bigger raises later will not be so expensive for you as well yeah and you know they'll show you that usually the first money in is the most expensive money and so i think that definitely agree with you that if you're saying hey yeah we could if the fund is offering us five hundred thousand or five million dollars but we really need 500 000 to this milestone is better to make conserve that equity because you can once you validate it once you take that 500 000 you build out the next phase you hit the next milestone your business valuation should increase and the next money is going to be less expensive or at least it doesn't dilute you as much so now with that kind of right-handed glove to that because one of the things that the i'm sure that the funds are going to ask is you know how do you how do you or substantiate your valuation in other words hey you're saying you're worth 15 million dollars and you've only you only earned a hundred thousand dollars for this given year probably is a bit of a disconnect generally unless you have something that you can show otherwise but how do you kind of go through that justifying or valuing your business and justifying your valuation such that when you go to pitch it to someone that it stands up to that that test and make sense and is otherwise in line with what where should be sure so one of the evaluation techniques to use is what are called comps or comparables you look for similar businesses that either exited or sold and use the same metrics there if it's a sas business and they are selling for 10x revenue you can consider putting 10x revenue on your sas business assuming you have revenue and so you're looking for similar businesses that are not too far away so that's one technique the other technique is what i call the rule of four and it says for every um you give yourself a million dollars for each of four things and so that sells this team that's product and that's intellectual property so if your sales are fully in place give yourself a million dollars if they're you know a little bit in place but not all the way there we'll give yourself 500k if your ip is fully in place everything is patented and awarded and so forth give yourself a million dollars if you have three provisional patents well let's give ourselves maybe 250k because we don't have it all the way there you apply that to the team and also to the uh the sales product market and the team you actually apply to each of those areas so you can actually put value on the business itself because the key here is to articulate the value in the business if you have three rock star team members they're all signed up give yourself a million dollars and so that's what you're trying to do if the product is fully featured and shipping you're ready to go then a million dollars but if it's a beta let's give ourselves maybe 350. then you go add up what was your score on each of those three things and that's your valuation because no matter what number you put out there on the valuation the investor will push back and say how did you arrive at that and the right answer is well these are the values in the business and this is market rate uh the wrong answer is well i did the math to figure out how much i want to own at the end of this process and so it must be worth 20 million dollars so you have to show that the value is in the business today no fair trying to look at tomorrow's valuation but for today's fundraise which we see a lot of out there well one day it'll be worth a minute you know a billion dollars therefore i must be worth 50 million now not necessarily you have to show me that you have that in the business right now and if you can show that well then you have an argument that will go forward no i think that you know that's always a temptation well once you invest in the dollar in the business it's going to be worth billions and so just invest now well yeah but now you're asking me to pay as if it's already a billion dollar business when it's not even close to that yet and they're going to say i'm not going to invest until it's actually worth that and then you can ask for that valuation one of the other things you know you hit on is i think you know when you're evaluating the business i'll or i guess i'll circle back to the question within within each of the different funds and whether it's you know crowds or crowdfunding whether it's angels whether it's venture or any of the other ones is there a minimum requirement for the different types of funds that you actually have to have a product out and out in the marketplace or selling or otherwise have revenue or if let's say you're in a situation where you have a great team together you have some great intellectual property you're bootstrapping it you're building it but it's going to be a much more expensive business in other words it takes you know three to five years of r d but the upside is really great is that too early on and you just simply have to continue to bootstrap it or can you kind of like said the other categories and say well we don't have sales yet but we have a great team we have some great intellectual property we have other things in place and value it off of that or how do you go about doing that if you don't if it's going to be a reasonable amount of time before you're able to get to the sales part sure well if you're in a place uh like biotech where there's fda validation you probably won't have revenue in fact you definitely won't have revenue if you because you have to go build the technology before you can actually build a product before you get the validation and so it's really a different game there it's not so much on revenue it's really upon uh two things one the intellectual property that you have what have you actually licensed or what have you actually appended and or two and what i find very interesting is uh you know clinical trials is a key thing if you have a clearly defined path to clinical trials and you know how you're going to pass them that helps and then three is uh what i see more and more is what i call partnership agreements you know the pharma is very very much looking at uh buying companies that are successful and so they're out writing partnership agreements with those who look like they have successful technology so one of the questions i ask those without revenue that are in the biotech space spaces what does your partnership agreement list look like who have you signed up because that's great validation because if a big farmer looks at it says yeah we'll sign an agreement that means there's some there's something there from the quote unquote market side of it there are pre-revenue uh vcs those who see a great team or see a great technology or you're in a hot space they will come in and invest a little bit of money up front as well you can go out and raise a little money from angel investors i find a lot we'll just throw 510k at a deal if you get uh enough of them you can raise to 500 and so at the pre revenue level you can get those kind of checks but if you want real checks you have to be in the market with revenue and now you want 100 200k checks well now you're going to have to have some revenue going with real nice traction and good metrics that are on it as well so it just depends upon what sector you're in and also uh what what level of investment that we're looking for or to get going no i think that's a lot of great advice and definitely makes sense and now kind of almost following a bit along that shipping gear slightly is one of the things we also talked about before was you know defining your depending on how what market you define your business in or kind of how you define your business it can have difference in multiples of valuation and so looking to get into the categories that are most favorable you for you is often favorable as you're going out and raising so maybe help us understand a little bit about the difference between a slow growing market or a fast-growing market and how you might define yourself to get that more more favorable view of it sure so when you go out to the market you'll you'll find at any given time there are certain technologies and markets that are hot and at some level you want to be associated with those markets because you'll get some lift on valuation and interest from the investors if you're part of it in today's market cyber security is very hot blockchain is very hot uh climate change is very hot so if you can tie into those worlds and position your deal as being a part of that space then you will get a lot more interest and it'll be a lot easier if on the other hand you know you're not necessarily a lot of people say well i've got a deal that's you know does x so therefore it's just that well if you just work on it a little bit you might be able to put yourself into a different category i had a company come to me once that was in the edtech space and so i went out to my edtech investors to offer the deal and that that worked well for those guys and then i realized they have a recurring revenue model so i had another group of investors that were interested in sas based businesses they didn't really care what you did as long as you had that business model so we just repositioned the deal emphasized the sas metrics and went out to them and then we noticed that they also had an impact offering going on in the same business and so we highlighted the impact metric and went out to our impact investors so we do a lot of repositioning to make it relevant to the investor that is of interest there and find the deck is the same but what you emphasize on the front of it is what you're really doing for the repositioning so think hard about there are many different kinds of investors and how do i be relevant to more than just one no i think that is a great a great piece of advice and that kind of is you know to a degree you're tailoring your business or your pitch and your and your how you're presenting it to the different investors which requires that you know what the investors are looking for which requires you to do homework now one question that i get a lot and we didn't talk before but i'll throw it to you anyway is you know the question is is people always want to say well i don't know how to do this is just you know usually it's kind of like is there a guy that i could just go higher is there someone that you know that does assault for me and i don't have to worry about and is it better to say hey you know the best people are to go figure out how to go raise and to do that are the people that are the founders that know the technology know the business and go do that or is there a guy that you can go higher that can go do that and it is specialized and can do it just great for you kind of how do you address that if they're saying hey i don't know anything about this is it better to hire someone else is there someone else even out there or should i be doing this myself sure so we actually do that at tin capital we help with the fundraise at heart we're investor relations and introductions i got into it because i found when i ran angel networks that the hardest part that the startup had was getting the introduction and the the next hardest part was actually keeping the dialogue going with the investor because when you run it run a fundraise at heart you're building a relationship with those investors and many entrepreneurs were just very busy with building product and hiring team and uh closing customers that the investors tended to fall off the list of things to do and so that's what we do is we we handle that aspect of helping build that relationship and and you have to do it by repeatedly going out and giving updates on how the business is going and they look for updates in the area of what you're doing which primarily is focused around sales team product and fundraise those are the core four that investors are interested in and so we're helping carry that campaign forward after you have the initial introduction to show that you are having a growth story you are making progress for it and so attend capital that's what we do is run those campaigns to help you become successful it's a high touch you know these are people that we know we're making introductions by email they're expressing interest and then we're carrying it forward and then we also coach through valuations and negotiations for those who need that as well no i think that's definitely a great resource to have because i think you know just like when you get into whether it's intellectual property whether it's manufacturing whether it's you know sometimes the management finances and all those are areas that you may do awesome at and have experience do great on their other areas that you're just less familiar sometimes you have to come up to speed because you don't have a choice but a lot of times finding those experts and those people that can help you out can make it a leverage the time and resources of money you have in order to make it more profitable now i'll follow up one more question then i do have my last question always hit on the podcast but before we get there you know i've seen now i've taken my personal bias a bit you know there are some great where i see you know there are businesses out there you know and i won't name any that or pitch themselves as hey we'll we'll get the you know you come with come to us with an idea and we'll do it all for you we'll make it and we'll find the investors and we'll sell for you and you just come with us an idea now within the investor community you see some of those that are you know kind of the stakeholder salesman in the charlatans and the sen said hey the wolf give me some money hire me on and i'll go find a whole bunch of investors for you and then i see that you know it doesn't work out so and there are some awesome ones that are worth more than what you're paying for and more than what they're taking their cut because they do a great job of having the connections finding the businesses but if you don't know how to select other than going with you which i definitely recommend but if they're just looking for generals kind of some guidelines as to how to find those people that will help them or throughout this portion of the journey what are some kind of tips or red flags or things you should look for things that you should avoid well you look for those who have a track record and the kind of deal that you have there's many different kinds of startups and you're looking for those that are successful in the area in which you are you have a network and they have an experience in that space that you can look at and say yeah they know this space very well and they've done this for other people also so that's the first thing to look for and the second thing to look for is you know just just how much are they actually charging in this case uh i find that the those broker dealers for example they work very well in the middle market but when they come down into the startup market it gets to be harder for them because they may or may not have the network there or it may not be as easy to sell because there's still a little bit of a future things going on with the startup itself so i wonder about brokers that come into the seed stage are they really ready for that because they're they're better positioned for the later stage for sure no it sounds like very kind of summarize that do your deal just like you should on every other party business do a bit of due diligence on their company that you're looking to make a connection with their or do an arrangement if they have the experience they've done deals in the past and these same the same or similar things and for the kind of evaluation or the type of raise you're trying to do then it can be a good match and you should or connect with them and vice versa if they don't have experience then it may be or continue to move on or look forward so we can chat and this is a fun area at least for me i love to talk about it just because i you know it's a certainly a big part of the startup in the business world but as we are wrapping towards the end of the podcast i always ask one question at the end for the expert episode so we'll jump to that now which is you know we talked about a lot of things everything from how to get fund or how to get started how to find investors how much you should raise you know when you should cap it you know finding out about uh you know or how do you define what markets hearing and we talked about a whole lot now if we were to boil that down because that's a whole lot and it's typically going to be overwhelming but if you're to talk to someone that's you know in the startup small business phase and kind of looking to either get started starting to get into the fundraising or get growing and wanted to add some fuel to fire they could have just one takeaway one thing that they really should get started on or get going today what would that one thing be oh if you're raising money the key is you you have to demonstrate a growth story not just predicted because when i ran angel networks what i saw is entrepreneurs coming in and pitching to my room full of investors 90 would pitch once go away we would never hear from them again i don't know what happened to them they just disappeared on us 10 percent though came back gave us updates reminders and on the fourth update out came the checkbooks and what investors were doing was trying to see that are we really growing are we really hitting the milestones uh sales team product are they moving forward and they don't have to hit you don't have to hit your forecast you just have but you have to show that you have some traction and some momentum behind it and you can't really can't do that in one pitch you really have to do that over a period of time uh one two three months in most cases to show that yeah we are moving forward so the key is and building a little bit of a relationship is always a great thing there as well because you're going to be in the deal with along with the investors for a period of time and and they know that too so they're looking to check you out you're looking to check them out so the key is you have to demonstrate the growth story so step one you must have a growth story step two you must be able to tell it or articulate it and 90 of those people that walked out that door i think a fair almost half of them probably had a growth story but they just never came back and told us so they just never picked up the money for that reason no i think that's some great takeaways find it figure out what your girl's story make sure you have a girl story figure out what it is make sure you well convey and then even the third one you hit on is stay in touch in other words just because you pitch them once a day it may not be the right time or the right to deal for them today but as you continue to cultivate those relationships and maybe down the road and maybe as you continue to grow and show that growth story that they may be or opening up the checkbooks later on so i think that is definitely some great takeaways well as people want to whether they want to be in an uh they want to pitch you they want to see if you can either invest in them or find someone to invest in them they want to be an employee they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you contact you find out more our website is tin capital.group.group there's no dot com on that the dot coms were taken up years ago but 10capital.group is where you reach us and you can always leave a message for us to ask if you need to help find raising funding or you need to invest or you want help on your business we have uh sessions we have 15 events a month love to have you come out to some of those to connect with us as well but yeah that's the best way is the tin capital.group and that's 10 with the t or just for those listeners 10 is spelled out ten right it's not the number but the the spelling out so 10 with ten capital dot group definitely encourage people to go out there connect up and uh and use it as a great resource well thank you again hall for coming on the podcast it's been a fun it's been a pleasure now for all of you that are listeners that are out there um if you have your own journey to tell and you'd like to be a guest on the podcast or you have an expertise that you'd like to share we'd love to have you on just go to inventiveguest.com and apply to be on the show we'd love to have you a couple more things make sure to listen make sure to subscribe make sure to share because we want to make sure that everybody finds out about these awesome episodes and last but not least if you ever need help with patents trademarks or anything else in the business just go to strategymeeting.com grab some time with us to chat we're always here to help thank you again hall and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thanks for having me