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Building an Investor Pipeline Spreadsheet - keep your funding flowing!

Raising capital is a major time suck for most founders. But it's so much worse when a founder pitches the wrong deal to the wrong investor. These slides provide a simple methodology for building a killer investor pipeline spreadsheet to help the fundraising process move along. It also includes a Google Spreadsheet template to get the process started.

Check out the template:

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Building an Investor Pipeline Spreadsheet - keep your funding flowing!

  1. 1. Keep Your Funding Flowing @jefielding
  2. 2. Get that Investor Pipeline Spreadsheet in good shape! Jenny Fielding Managing Director, Techstars NYC General Partner, The Fund 2@jefielding
  3. 3. Eat Sleep Raise I help founders raise capital. It’s how I spend ⅓ of every day 3@jefielding
  4. 4. Here are a few of the companies that I’ve invested in and helped raise capital: 4@jefielding 4@jefielding
  5. 5. 3@jefielding 5@jefielding pipeline doc critical Raising capital has many dimensions, but the actual is one of the most
  6. 6. 95%ofthefoundersIcomeacrosshavenotbuilt outakillerpipelinedocument:( 6@jefielding
  7. 7. 6@jefielding 7@jefielding 10x harder Getting organized is a real time commitment that most founders don’t focus on Lack of a great framework makes fundraising
  8. 8. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin
  9. 9. Here’s how it usually goes 9@jefielding
  10. 10. Founder: ‘Hey Jenny, can you intro me to (insert brand name VC)?’ Jenny: ‘I can try. Let’s first review your investor pipeline doc.’ 10@jefielding
  11. 11. Founder: *silence* 11@jefielding
  12. 12. 12@jefielding Founder: ‘Um, we use Airtable & Streak & Pipedrive & Notion... so we can’t really share the entire doc’
  13. 13. We don’t have one. In other words: 13@jefielding
  14. 14. wrong investors detrimental Hitting up the can be to fundraising It can impact this raise and subsequent fund raises as well 14@jefielding
  15. 15. 15@jefielding wastes an amateur This tons of time and makes you look like
  16. 16. time fundraising Founders will spend way more than they ever imagined over the life of the company 16@jefielding
  17. 17. 17@jefielding wrong Although there’s no one right way to fundraise, there are many ways
  18. 18. 100+I’ve spoken to people who help startups and this method resonates 18@jefielding
  19. 19. organizedAn processisthe 19@jefielding
  20. 20. thorough build out Give yourself enough time to do research and a killer pipeline doc 20@jefielding
  21. 21. right investors look up who invested Do the work finding the on Crunchbase, Pitchbook, Angellist Then find startups in your space and in them 21@jefielding
  22. 22. you don't have toDon't do work ... For US seed/micro funds: see this list by SVB’s Shai Goldman For European seed/micro funds: see this list by Techstars 22@jefielding
  23. 23. successful still Some of the most founders I’ve worked with are using their first investor pipeline doc 23@jefielding
  24. 24. Now let’s build the spreadsheet! 24@jefielding
  25. 25. Google SheetStart with a 25@jefielding
  26. 26. Yep - I’ve tried tons of fancy tools and always come back to Google Sheets Nope, don’t use Excel 26@jefielding
  27. 27. 27@jefielding Depending on your stage, make a few tabs in the spreadsheet: Angel / FF Microsfunds / seed Series A Growth
  28. 28. stage you are at now one stage later You’ll want to build out the spreadsheet for the plus 28@jefielding
  29. 29. Sometimes which tab to list an investor in is unclear as they invest across stages That’s okay, do your best. This is a living document that will change all the time 29@jefielding
  30. 30. Add these columns to each tab: 30@jefielding Fund name Investor name(s) Check size Lead / no lead Fund size Contact info Last contact Relevant portfolio companies Who can intro? Theme
  31. 31. Why? 31@jefielding Fund size: the size of a fund gives a sense of what an investor can actually offer. * This will help you stay ahead of those tricky investors who talk a big game but only have a 1m fund... Theme: what the investor invests in like healthcare, network effects, fintech, female founders, etc.
  32. 32. 32@jefielding Check out a template here
  33. 33. Don’t forget the column titled ‘who can intro?’ 33@jefielding This is the key to the entire thing
  34. 34. editable not going to erase the doc! Make sure the doc is fully You are sharing this with your closest confidants. They are 34@jefielding
  35. 35. ask an insider Before you send out to a larger group, to take a quick glance 35@jefielding
  36. 36. trusted people make intros Send this spreadsheet out to who can help and think of other investors you may have missed 36@jefielding
  37. 37. Good introducers can be... 37@jefielding Mentors Advisors Current investors Founders in the target investors’ portfolio
  38. 38. Bad introducers are... 38@jefielding not written not that into you Potential investors who have a check already Please don’t get sucked into this trap. Many investors are trying to be nice and help - but if they are passing you along to another investor, they are just . If the investor has not written a check and they typically invest in your stage / vertical, it’s a lousy intro. Cold outreach or people who can’t really vouch for you Not everyone agrees with this but I feel strongly about it.
  39. 39. nice note the purpose Write your introducers a when you share the spreadsheet stating of the doc and the аsk 39@jefielding
  40. 40. 40@jefielding Dear [first name],
 Hope you’re doing well. I’m reaching out to share my investor pipeline doc with you. The aim is to keep track of potential sources of funding. I’d really appreciate it if you could put me in touch with investors who you feel may be relevant - happy to provide a customized intro email if this would be helpful. Thanks so much
  41. 41. Include forwardable info on the bottom of your email for easy sharing 41@jefielding
  42. 42. custom emailsWrite for each intro; some introducers will prefer that Alex Iskold, former Techstars NYC MD and Managing Partner at 2048 has a helpful post on this here 42@jefielding
  43. 43. FOMO works! 43@jefielding
  44. 44. fill upThe spreadsheet will with names of people who can make each intro. Anyone not making an intro will feel pressured to do so… :) 44@jefielding
  45. 45. one week wait for a positive response Give the introducer around for the double opt in Each introducer will want to before making any intro 45@jefielding
  46. 46. If you don’t get a response, politely follow-up... 46@jefielding
  47. 47. Ask another personStill no luck? for the intro! 47@jefielding
  48. 48. trusted people Make sure that you have a good selection of who can help you with intros 48@jefielding 5-10 should work well
  49. 49. Be sure to follow-up with anyone that makes an introduction for you. Let them know how the conversation went, whether good or bad. It's helpful for the introducer to know! Close The Loop 49@jefielding
  50. 50. Some common mistakes 50@jefielding
  51. 51. 51@jefielding categorization is off You did not spend enough time researching the investors and therefore your
  52. 52. 52@jefielding already spoken You asked for intro even though you’ve to someone else at that same fund This is a big no no. Transparency is key.
  53. 53. 53@jefielding cold email You sent a It seems to be on trend for VCs to claim they don’t prefer a warm intro and are happy to receive cold intros that are well thought out. I don’t really buy it. Sure, it happens, but why take the chance when you can likely get an intro with some additional effort?
  54. 54. 54@jefielding Now you’re off to the races! Go build that pipeline :) Do the research. Build a pipeline. Ask for intros. Follow-up. Get TLDR:
  55. 55. 55@jefielding Good Luck
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Raising capital is a major time suck for most founders. But it's so much worse when a founder pitches the wrong deal to the wrong investor. These slides provide a simple methodology for building a killer investor pipeline spreadsheet to help the fundraising process move along. It also includes a Google Spreadsheet template to get the process started. Check out the template:


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