Adeo Ressi is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of TheFunded.com, an exclusive web site where startups talk about investors and help each other get funding. In my interview, I asked him to teach us how to get funding. Here’s some of what I learned:
Adeo Ressi, The Founder Institute
Adeo Ressi is the founder of The Founder Institute, a global network of startups and mentors that helps entrepreneurs launch meaningful and enduring technology companies.
A few lessons from this program
Identify bad investors early
Adeo told me stories of investors who made his life miserable when he ran his past companies. One demanded so much information that he couldn’t comply and run his company at the same time. Another kept him from selling his company at what he considered a fair price. He built TheFunded.com to help entrepreneurs alert each other to bad investors and identify the good ones.
Narrow your list of potential investors
Not everyone with money is a good fit for your company. As you might have heard at past Mixergy Forums or interviews, you need to put together a list of investors who really are a good fit for your company. Once you have that list, Adeo says get to know them BEFORE you want their money. (Download this interview with Peter Pham to hear a smart way to do that.)
Do some “throwaway” pitches
Adeo recommends you pitch to a few investors who you do NOT plan to do business with. Do it for practice.
Quit trying to close the deal by email
Because he introduces entrepreneurs to investors, he’s often CC’d on many of the emails that startups send prospective investors. He says that too many entrepreneurs flood investors with attatchments and details in an email. Instead of trying to close the deal, your goal should be to spend more time with the investor.
Don’t pitch local investors first
Many startups pitch their nearest venture capitalists first. Then, when they get turned down, they head to Sillicon Valley and pitch there. Adeo says this path means local investors hear the practice pitches while Valley investors get the improved ones. If you want to stand out, practice with outside investors and bring your A game to local investors.
Do you have any other suggestions for the funding process? Tell me by email or in the comments.