State of Nation
A macro overview of venture capital at the time of your cohort. We read and analyse over 10 industry reports to build a summarised version that will help you understand the good, the bad and the ugly happening in venture currently (updated for every cohort, with the latest reports published in that quarter).
Where is the money coming from? Who is investing more – funds, angels, corporate venture? Which stage is getting more cheques and the average sizes of these rounds? Are female founders still massively overlooked when it comes to fundraising? Who are the top investors in each market? Is Europe still leading ESG investments? We do the work so you don’t have to; you get a summarised, digestible and explained version of the current landscape.
Why most founders fail
We see it everyday: a lot of founders go out to raise capital without a basic understanding of Venture Capital. In this session we cover the most basic mistakes that lead to (a scary) 99% of founders failing to raise from prestigious investors. We’ll also explain the fundraising process, how long it takes, the number of meetings you need (according to each round), what investors focus on on your deck and more. All backed by the latest market data.
Understanding the structure and the business model of a VC firm is key when fundraising. If you don’t know what motivates a VC, what sort of returns they expect, the timeline of a fund, etc, you are more prone for falling into traps. Besides, how can you impress and convince your audience if you don’t understand their world and their priorities?
Why raise from VC (and why not)
Venture Capital is not for everyone. It’s complex, risky and full of complex terms. Liquidation preferences, board seats, control rights, anti-dilution… what? Yes, we’ll make sure you fully understand what you’re getting into and have clear reasons to move forward. And if you decide you won’t move forward…
Alternatives to VC funding
We’ll also cover alternative forms of funding. There are at least seven other options when it comes to raising capital. Although we don’t focus on the more in depth details of each of them, the Bootcamp will give you a good idea of the options you have if Venture Capital is not for you (right now or ever).
What investors expect of you
Often enough founders see VCs as a walking cash machine, ready to give them money just because they asked for it, and failing to realise investors also run a business, have goals and expectations. This session details the spoken and the unspoken in the complex dating game of raising investment.
What they don’t tell you
“We don’t have competition”. Strike: out! You’ll also get a detailed list of instant disqualifiers and rejections (again, spoken and unspoken ones) so you can map yourself against it and avoid obvious red flags.
How they use you
Sadly, not everything is friendly in the world of Venture Capital. Investors might be using you as we speak, disguising that in interest for your startup.
VC lingo, key terms, BS & fund hierarchies
An entire glossary of VC lingo and jargon. Everything you need to know to speak their language and level up with the best investors. Don’t get into a meeting without mastering this. Plus: your process timeline, seasonalities for fundraising and your game plan for closing a round successfully.
Key nasty terms
Sometimes investors will screw you into accepting a term sheet that favours them and hurts you, your team and your business. Yup, it happens. We’ll explain the most common term sheet tricks and how to negotiate your way out of them. This session alone can save you money, time and pain. The stuff we learnt along the way (sadly by making our own mistakes) and that no Tech Crunch article can teach you.
The most active founders are not those you think. Forget what the press says, we’ll drop the common misconceptions and point you in the right direction.
The Investor kit
Full investor pack
don’t go out without it
If you think a pitch deck is all the documentation you need to fundraise successfully, uhh, you’re very wrong. This session will cover the entire documentation pack you need, how to build it and how to distribute it. We’ll cover in detail and give examples of: Executive Summary, Pitch email and 1-page summary, short pitch deck, long pitch deck (IM), financials, and printed Q&A list.
Full-size deck overview
A full deck guide
Examples of good and bad pitch decks, common mistakes, and what’s expected of you. A full guide on how to build your own pitch deck and what needs to be answered/ addressed in every slide.
Live pitch Analysis
How to pitch well
You don’t have to be a native English speaker or actor to pitch well. You don’t have to overcomplicate your pitch just because your technology is über complex either. And we can prove it! We’ll show you examples of good live pitches, that challenge the usual conceptions about pitching.
How to set your valuation
Simple methodologies on setting up your valuation. It’s simpler than you think.
What investors expect from your financials
Confess: you are guilty of screenshoting your P&L, pasting it to your deck and praying investors don’t ask. There’s a point to VCs questions around your financials: we’ll translate what they request and what it actually means.
What’s your financial storyline?
If you’re pitching for investment, you need to show VCs what is in it for them – and by that, we mean, how big a return on the investment you can get them. Most founders don’t even know they need a financial storyline, let alone how to build that narrative. This session is focused on the reasons to build one, how to do it and successful examples.
Which KPIs are important for your documentation, what truly matters if you’re a SAAS business vs. e-commerce or app. How to present these KPIs in the simplest and most impactful way.
Presenting your ask
If you’re pitching investors you need to know how much money you are asking for and where that money is going. We’ll explain the logic behind this slide and how to neatly present that information.
Cap Table basics, a good example and templates you can start using immediately.
You’re not special (enough)
Yeah. There are thousands of new startups in the market every day. Your competition is fierce and investors are tired of seeing the same old same. How do you differentiate in a sea of startups? We have the answer.
Changing the reality field
Or if you don’t have anything that actually makes you different or special, we’ll show you how to work around that by distorting the reality field.
90% of your IP, so make it good
Investors back people. Final stop. You need to make sure you present yourself and your team in the best light possible. And by that, we don’t mean with giant pictures of your face.
How to research VC data
How to research VC data
To build your investor documentation you will need to be a an astute data researcher. We’ll share all tricks and data tools we use so that you can find the reports, articles and information that backs your vision. The powerful stuff investment bankers have and mere mortals don’t, until now.
FB European VC list
We’ll explain our 4,500 investor list (UK, EU, USA and APAC), with verified emails, which you get for free as part of the programme. How to navigate it, and how to use it intelligently.
How to find and assess your investor targets
Not all VCs are the same and you shouldn’t treat them as so. We’ll explain what you need to consider when assessing investors and how to put a target list together.
Pyramid of Priorities
POP: our own Bootcamp methodology on how to prioritise investors and how to approach them in an order that makes sense – which we’ll bet, is the opposite of what you think!
Gain access to our own investor tracker, so you can manage your outreach process in a simple and consolidated place.
There are a number of things you need to consider when deciding who are the best investors for your startup. We’ll explain them in detail and our tricks to obtain that information.
Raising in Europe vs. the US
The key differences (pros and cons) of raising in Europe vs. the US and the different expectations VCs have in each region.
Meeting investors and process
How to get intros to each VC
Introductions are the way to go around when it comes to meeting VCs. We’ll teach you the steps and tools you need to do that effectively.
How to avoid VCs fishing for info
Yeah, you read it right. It happens, we’ll show you how to recognise and avoid the trap.
Pitch email + 1 pager
Mastering your first approach email is key for first impressions and getting the best response rate you possibly can. We’ll show you our tested and proven templates.
How to cold email (and how not to)
If you can’t get introduced, cold emails work too! As long as you do them the right way. We’ll dissect a good cold email and explain how you can build yours. Plus, fail-proof templates.
How to follow-up
Like any good email campaign, you’ll have to follow up and chase investors. There’s a right and a wrong way to do it. We’ll explain both.
Timings, stages, priorities
Fundraising is a process and it’s critical that you understand the stages and timings of that process and how to prioritise accordingly.
How to create a competitive deal “platform”
If everything goes well, you’ll be dealing with multiple investors at the same time. We’ll share our secrets on how to handle and play the dynamics so that you create FOMO and close the round in your timeline, not the investors’. Tricks you can only know if you’ve fundraised multiple times.
Pitch Delivery with Ginny Radmall
Learn the ins and outs of pitching face to face and over video. Exercises and techniques for the perfect delivery.
Investor Pack Prep and Review
During Bootcamp each company gets four one-on-one sessions focused on their documentation pack, their specific fundraising goals and challenges (not sure how to present your financials? We can help!). We usually use these sessions to give feedback on your pitch deck and to discuss the iterations you work on. We do this in a group setup so that you can also learn from other founders and their challenges. If you could have an investor building your pitch deck for you, this would be it!