Fundraising“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” — Lao Tzu

The first step in fundraising is an internal one.  What do you need to accomplish?  Why and how?  What evidence exists to confirm you’re on the right track?  How will investors make money and get an exit from their investment in your technology?

Each meeting with a potential investor provides a unique window on how they see your investment opportunity.  Listen very carefully.  Learn.  Comments from potential investors provide priceless information about how they see the market, unmet needs, risks and timeframe to exit, investment thesis.  Their questions reveal the mindset from which they are studying your investment opportunity.  As you learn the answers to investor questions, you become a stronger, more credible manager and researcher.  Investor meetings can turn into M&A discussions, if your science is a strong fit with a portfolio company.

Be an active participant: if your science is too early, what is the sweet spot for that fund to invest in future?  Which proof-of-concept experiments will prompt a second look?  Which investors might be interested in funding now?

Ensure your writing is clear and strong.  Verify that your budget and your science milestones are 100% consistent with your research plan.  For even the most theoretical research program, ensure that the commercial objectives are clearly spelled out, and how you will achieve them.

Syzent Partners never acts as a broker, and does not accept pure fundraising mandates.  When client research advances to the stage of potential company formation, Syzent will discuss with potential investors.