How to Prepare for Raising Capital: A Primer for Startup and Real Estate Principals

At ThinkFISH, we field roughly 600 inbound inquiries each month from prospective clients who are founders of startups and principals of new and existing real estate companies. Depending on your experience raising capital from investors, what you're about to read may seem obvious. However, for the many founders and other amazing leaders we meet, we must help you understand the fundamental insights we need to help you raise capital.

Whenever we meet with a founder or business leader, we seek to understand as much as possible about your business, where you are now, and your goals. To evaluate our ability to help you connect with qualified investors, it's essential to help us understand the following insights. Providing these details will enable us to assess the potential collaboration more effectively.

  1. Business Idea and Market: Concisely describe your business idea and the target market you intend to serve. Any market research or customer feedback you have gathered would be valuable.
  2. Team: Share information about your team members. Highlight their relevant experience and qualifications in the industry. LinkedIn profiles and bios are welcome.
  3. Financials: Share your startup's financial status, including revenue, expenses, and profit margins. If available, provide annual reports or financial statements.
  4. Investors: If your startup has received investments, inform us about the funding rounds and the investors involved. Any press releases or news articles related to funding would be appreciated.
  5. Competitors: Identify your competitors and provide insights into how your business compares to them. Data from sources like Crunchbase can be beneficial.
  6. Legal Structure: Share details about your startup's legal structure, whether a corporation, LLC, or another entity. Include relevant legal documents if possible.
  7. Technology Stack: Describe the technologies and tools your startup uses. This information can highlight your technical capabilities.
  8. Customer Base: Offer insights into your customer base, including demographics, case studies, or testimonials from satisfied clients.
  9. Revenue Model: Explain how your startup generates revenue. Is it through subscriptions, advertising, or other means? Share your business plan or revenue model details.
  10. Growth Plans: Outline your plans for future growth and expansion. Any strategic announcements or press releases related to your expansion strategy are valuable.
  11. Regulatory Compliance: Provide information about compliance with regulations relevant to your industry, primarily if you operate in any country outside of the U.S.
  12. Cultural Considerations: Discuss any cultural factors that may impact your business operations outside the U.S.
  13. Political and Economic Environment: Share your assessment of political and economic stability for companies outside the U.S.
  14. Security Measures: Describe your data security and privacy approach, mainly if your business deals with sensitive information.
  15. Success Stories: Highlight any success stories or case studies related to your startup. These examples can showcase your achievements.
  16. Pitch Deck: Providing a current pitch deck suitable for prospective investors, stakeholders, etc., helps us understand your story or pitch.

In conclusion, ThinkFISH is dedicated to assisting startup founders and real estate principals like you to raise the capital needed for success. Every business is unique, so we request these fundamental insights. Providing us with the information outlined in this article enables us to assess your potential collaboration more effectively and tailor our support to your specific needs.

Remember, our goal is to empower you to secure the investment you require. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or new to raising capital, ThinkFISH is here to help bridge the gap between your vision and the resources necessary to bring it to life.

We appreciate your interest in partnering with us, and we look forward to working closely with you, sharing your success stories, and contributing to the growth and prosperity of your venture.

The Nuts and Bolts of Raising Capital: The ThinkFISH Investor Outreach Process

At ThinkFISH, we realize funding is hard for founders, real estate firms, and everyone else seeking equity capital. In contrast, the list of willing and able lenders is always long. But when it comes to raising capital, there are several essential questions every founder or person raising capital needs to ask:

  1. What is my highest and best use of time as a founder and leader? Doing a task that is not of the highest and best of your time is simply another lost opportunity cost.
  2. What is the best process for raising capital? It takes a lot of hard work, a bullet-proof process, and people committed to doing the hard work. If a founder agrees, delegate the tasks and responsibilities to those with the experience to do the job right the first time.
  3. Who’s the best person to meet with qualified investors and make the pitch? Founders and clients of ThinkFISH tell us they are best suited to pitch to investors.

The ThinkFISH Process for Raising Capital

Given the hard work involved with finding, reaching, and engaging prospective investors to invest, let’s look at the many steps taken daily by the ThinkFISH team of over thirty professionals:

  1. 1. Research and Planning
    1. We research and identify accredited investors likely to be interested in your startup or real estate venture.
    2. We clearly outline your value proposition to communicate the value you offer.
  2. Developing Sales Materials
    1. We create compelling sales copy using persuasive and clear messaging tailored for LinkedIn, email, and warm outreach to potential investors.
    2. We review and optimize best-in-class pitch decks highlighting the key features, benefits, market potential, and your team.
  3. Technology Platform Licensing and Integration
    1. We ensure the digital platforms we license are fully operational, secure, and ready to deploy your message and drive qualified investors to your calendar.
    2. These platforms include LinkedIn, email servers, calendar links, and access to remote meeting solutions such as Zoom.
  4. Outreach and Relationship Building
    1. We launch LinkedIn campaigns using the client-approved sales copy to connect with and message targeted investors.
    2. We send personalized emails to a curated list of potential investors with a compelling message and invitation to discuss further.
    3. We leverage our existing network for introductions and referrals to potential investors.
  5. Scheduling and Confirming Meetings
    1. We qualify investors who seek to book a time for a pitch meeting, thereby saving you time and money.
    2. We send confirmation and reminder emails or messages to ensure high attendance rates.
  6. The Investor Pitch
    1. We help you perfect your story and pitch with the ThinkFISH Pitchdeck Mastery coaching process. We help you craft a strong narrative that connects emotionally with investors, outlining the problem, solution, and journey for investing with you.
    2. We empower you to schedule a compelling, live demonstration or a detailed walkthrough of your investment thesis and offer.
    3. We engage potential investors by sharing testimonials, success stories, or endorsements from credible sources to build trust.
  7. Follow-up and Relationship Maintenance
    1. We help you with the art of timely, professional follow-up with investors. Follow-up includes sending a thank you message after meetings and providing additional information or answers to any questions.
    2. We coach you to nurture relationships with potential investors about your company's progress, milestones, and news or press.
  8. Negotiation and Closing
    1. We coach you to present your investment terms, expectations, and agreements.
    2. We ensure you have the processes and platform to finalize the investment with legal documentation and funds transfer.
  9. Post-Investment Relationship
    1. We help you maintain regular communication with investors, providing updates and seeking advice when necessary.
    2. We support you continuously to keep investors informed and engaged, potentially opening doors for further investment or referrals.

In conclusion, ThinkFISH understands the challenges founders, private equity, and real estate firms face when raising capital. It's crucial to focus on what truly matters and delegate tasks efficiently to experienced professionals. Founders are often the best-suited individuals to make the pitch to investors, but the journey to securing funding involves a series of well-planned steps.

So, if you're a founder or seeking equity capital, remember that the path to success involves hard work, delegation, and a dedicated team like ThinkFISH to guide you through the process. We can help you achieve your funding goals and advance your venture.