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"just pressing the cmd and dot keys :)"

27 years old

United States

Last Login:

   Contacting Alex

   Alex's Interests
General Internet, Movies, Reading, Football, Culture, Tesla, Philosophy, Running (kinda), Finding New Food, Weight Lifting, Hiking, Dogs, Travel

Music Bands: Sum 41, Fall Out Boy, GreenDay, Weezer, Blink 182, Linkin Park, Skillet, Daft Punk, Simple Plan, Three Days Grace

Solo Artists: Post Malone, Kanye West, juice WRLD, B.o.B, Logic, blackbear, ScHoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar

EDM: Daft Punk, ODESZA, Party Favor, deadmau5

Movies Films: Iron Man, The Dark Knight, 300, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, Crazy Rich Asians, Ted, The Social Network, Wolf of Wall Street
Television Mad Men, Silicon Valley, Billions, Breaking Bad, Halt and Catch Fire, Prison Break
Books Non-Fiction, How-To, Startups

   Alex's Details
Status: Married
Here for: Blogging, Friends, Networking
Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL
Body Type: 5' 10"
Sign: Aries
Smoke / Drink: No  /  No
Education: I'm an open book
Occupation: CommandDot

   Alex's Schools
University Of Florida
Gainesville, FLORIDA
Grad Year: 2015
Student Status: Alumni
Degree: Bachelors's Degree
Major: Finance / Information Systems
From 2011 to 2015

   Alex's Companies
San Francisco, California, US

Even Financial
New York City, New York, US

Birch (acquired by Even)
San Francisco, California, US


Everything I did wrong fundraising as a firt time founder:

Saturday, August 10, 2020 

Current mood:  wearing a mask
Category: Startups

Original Tweetstorm that went viral is here

In 2015, I went out to fundraise as a first-time founder. I was recently graduated and had been working on my startup for a year full time.
Here's everything I did wrong:

First - I was pitching a product and not a vision.

Really hard to see it at the time, but I was so excited by what we were building that I was always pitching what we had built and not our vision of what the world should be.

Investors take bets on the future and ours wasn't all that compelling - we knew where we wanted to be in 2 years but not 10

With that, I got way too caught up in the implementation details and didn't tell enough of a story.

I don't think anyone really cared about the exact way we were going to acquire customers, they just needed to find a point of conviction that we could maybe do it at scale

Almost milestones also don't count. No one cares that you're in the final round interview at an accelerator. No one cares that you *almost* are there on a key partnership.

I look back at some of my emails and cringe. Implementation details :)

I also gave away everything before meeting with investors. My pitch deck left me no room to 'surprise and delight'.

Investor meetings felt like sales pitches and not conversations about the business. IMO going through a deck during a meeting is a bad way to pitch

I also didn't have a good answer for "why me." And I think many (young) first time founders struggle with this as well.

I didn't have a track record, an ivy league degree, or worked previously at a large tech co..

I still don't have a good answer for why someone should have taken a bet on me as a 22-year-old kid.

In retrospect, I relied way too much on the product we had built to drive conviction (look what we can do) versus figuring out a way to pitch myself

To any first time founders reading this, my biggest recommendation is to build, argue, and learn in public via something like Twitter.

It's such a great way to build your brand (and meet people) when you've got a limited background and network

The other thing I did was meet with the wrong investors.

I think we had targeted a $1m seed round at the time (ya, ya it was 2015) but met with investors who were writing $3m+ checks. The economics for writing small checks just don't make sense for super large funds

I should have met with more angel investors and micro funds, full stop. Our largest investor ended up being an angel fund, hi @RebeccaDanta 🤗!

I didn't have concrete answers to how I was going to deploy capital.

Even if an investor doesn't agree, have concrete answers and stand by them. At the end of the day, you're building the business, not them, and they're making a bet on you.

I also didn't realize how important having traction was for getting enough momentum to get the round done.

Find some angels who don't mind being the first committed check and leverage the hell out of that to get more checks in. It's a snowball effect

Last thing I wish I would have done more of: sending targeted cold emails and DMs. I can't say this enough but I fucking love Twitter for this reason.

With the right cold outreach, people respond.

Finally, fundraising is really, really hard. The media makes it look so easy but it's not.

I had >150 meetings and got >149 no's. It's a lonely process - finding great mentors and friends that you can lean on is so important.

And try to avoid the make the same mistakes I made!

©2020 I ripped this from Myspace.
Glazed Donut