For many first-time founders, the dream goes like this: You meet a VC that believes in your vision. You send an immaculate and well-polished pitch deck. The VC is blown away and writes you a check. With funding in hand, you build the next big company.
It almost never happens quite that way (unless you’re incredibly lucky). Usually it’s a slower process of networking widely, honing your message, and keeping prospective investors in the loop about your startup’s progress until it’s time to raise money.
That’s why Carta has made it easier for founders to approach, communicate with, and keep in touch with people who are important to the success of your company. You can do all these things, easier than ever before, through the Carta Communications Center.
Here are some of the things you can do to make raising money easier and more effective, using the Communication Center.
1) Gain the CEO muscle
It doesn’t matter if you’re the founder of a pre-idea company or the CEO of a multinational conglomerate. One job never changes:
You tell people what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it, and then you go and do it.
At a later time (ideally, no more than a month), you tell folks how close you were to that target.
Carta’s Communication Center has made this easy for you with best-in-class templates and engagement tracking, making it easy to communicate with stakeholders and potential investors.
2) Tell your story to supporters, and rely on them to keep you honest
Another CEO job that never goes away is networking and getting people interested and excited about your ideas. This will be helpful in finding co-founders, employees, partners, vendors, and more. So start practicing skill #1!
In six months time, you should have sent at least six updates. During this time, keep increasing that list so that those recipients grow from being casually informed, to actively supporting.
Carta’s Communication Center will track how engaged your supporters are:
3) Focus your energy
As a founder, your headspace and energy are two assets that you control, and you’ll find they will be in smaller and smaller supply over time. You can’t follow every lead and every idea.
Focusing on the supporters that are actively engaged with your updates is key. Carta Communication Center enables you to easily see which recipients are paying attention to what you’re sending them. Ultimately, this helps you nurture relationships from “nice to meet you” to “send me your wire information.” (By the way, you can issue SAFEs and request wires all through Carta.)
These are new, or sometimes aspirational, relationships with those who could be your biggest supporters someday. Any little bit of insight will help you get your foot in the door.
When the time comes to send a pitch deck that shows your progress and your vision, you can use the Carta Communication Center and turn on Attachments Analytics. From there, you can see which users are looking at your files, where they are spending the most time, and where they are dropping off.
4) Make connections
It’s your job as a founder to find potential investors for your company. Carta has compiled a list of investors (link to public investor site) that you can search by the stage, the industry, and location they have invested in. Figure out a way to get an intro, and communicate a message that goes something like:
“I’m the founder of [company name]. My co-founder(s) and I have been working on [solving problem / value you bring to the world] and we’re having some early traction. We’re not fundraising right now, but I understand that you invest in [industry name]. I’d love to keep you in the know and let you know of our progress. We’d likely be raising in six months. At that point, you’ll have more data points on us and if you are interested in investing, we can have a much easier conversation.”
A few key points:
Sending cold emails and getting introductions will always be your job as a CEO.
If you’re raising money from professional investors, the expectation is that you’ve already used your own savings and tapped friends and family for funding.
Startups are a team sport. Yes, many founders do it alone. But if you can’t convince another person to work on the problem that you’re passionate about for equity, you haven’t mastered skill #2.
If you’re managing your equity with Carta, you have access to all of these tools in the Communication Center. If you’ve just established your company and want to manage your equity on Carta, you can join Launch for free. If you have not started your company yet and want to follow this process, join Founder Studio for free.
Explore the Founder Studio
DISCLOSURE: This communication is on behalf of eShares Inc., d/b/a Carta Inc. (“Carta”). This communication is for informational purposes only, and contains general information only. Carta is not, by means of this communication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business or interests. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or interests, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. This communication is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Carta does not assume any liability for reliance on the information provided herein. ©2023 eShares Inc., d/b/a Carta Inc. (“Carta”). All rights reserved. Reproduction prohibited.