“Almost Everyone I Counciled Got Funding”

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 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.

12 thoughts on ““Almost Everyone I Counciled Got Funding” – with Adeo Ressi

  1. Great interview Andrew. I really enjoyed listening to Adeo – incredible insight.


  2. Deep Patel says:

    why is “getting funding” from outside investors such a celebrated milestone for most tech/internet entrepreneurs? I’ve been networking in the VC & professional angel investor community in SoCal and I noticed many entrepreneurs are in the business of raising money, versus delivering value to customers.

    After being around investors, I have noticed that, to be successful you have to find the right investors to be successful. Going after the first person who cuts you a check can be detrimental to your company, because its more then the money, its about the value that investor can bring to the company besides the money.

    focus on customers, build a good company, and the money will come to you, but be picky about the partners you bring in to improve your customer experience. Pre-screen investors, a website like thefunded is great, even though it has made some investors very unhappy.

  3. Andrew Warner says:

    Deep: The disturbing part of what Adeo said in this interview is that, if you don’t take funding early on, it’s harder to get funding later.

  4. Patrick says:

    Hi Andrew,

    We met at Lunch 2.0 in Tustin a while back. Great interview.

    A lot of what Adeo talks about is congruent with Taleb’s Black Swan hypothesis ( power-law type distribution of returns etc etc). If you haven’t read The Black Swan, I recommend it.

    Co-founder, Invitacia

  5. Yu-kai Chou says:

    Great interview. It definitely has a lot of “unique” content that you don't find in public, like how much a CEO/Founder can get after a successful $100M sale in the VC model.

    Thanks for the great interview Andrew. This is definitely top notch quality. If there is a way to download all of them through itunes or such, that would be AMAZING. Getting your content distributed more widely can only help you build your legacy and network but better and faster.

    Keep up the good stuff!

  6. AndrewWarner says:

    Thanks Yu-kai!

    I sometimes feel like VC-backed startups are just glorified employees. They
    can be hired and fired at will. Plus they don't get to make a dime on the
    company till the VC's say it's okay.

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