Last Wednesday, we kicked off our first session of the Female Founder Growth Series – Autumn Cohort!
This workshop consisted of an open discussion around how to navigate the world of fundraising. Providing first-hand insight and advice, our Cohort members were joined by two Venture Capital experts and two investor-backed female founders.
It was fantastic to see our Autumn Cohort introducing themselves, forming connections, and walking away with well-rounded knowledge of the fundraising ecosystem.
In this blog, we’re going to highlight some of the fundraising tips that our co-hosts made.
But first, let’s introduce our fantastic speakers!
Sophie Fisher, Venture Relations Manager at Rise Ventures
Sophie predominantly deals with businesses at Seed-Series B stages looking to raise a minimum round of £500k. She focuses on positive-impact businesses, such as those within HealthTech and CleanTech.
Luisa Alix Orsini, VC Investor at Octopus Ventures
Luisa is an investor specialising in later stage businesses in the B2B Software sector, namely those advancing FinTech, DeepTech and HealthTech.
Elena Rueda Carrasco, Co-Founder & CEO at Dama Health
Elena and her team has successfully received investment for their personalised genetic screening technology that uses science to match women to the right contraception.
Peony recently raised a record-breaking Pre-Seed round by a solo female founder in the UK - £2 million! Her bladder care business, Jude, seeks to break the stigma around incontinence and provide preventative, holistic treatments for bladder issue sufferers.
💸 Navigating the world of fundraising - insider tips! 💸
#1 - Pursue Angel Investment!
When fundraising for your business in the UK, don't overlook Angel Investors! Elena pointed out that "Some businesses think VC investment is the ultimate goal. But the UK’s tax incentive schemes, such as SEIS and EIS, mean that we have an abundance of high-quality Angels that are interested in backing early-stage businesses."
#2 - Translate your message, clearly.
When reaching out to investors, be extremely clear and concise on your messaging. Your concept, product/service and aim should be crystal clear from the outset. Investors receive lots of messages from entrepreneurs, they won’t dedicate an extended amount of time trying to figure your business out.
#3 - Support your vision with KPIs. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) provide support for your business' growth potential. Luisa pointed out that KPIs don't have to be revenue-based! She advised that "In your pitch deck, you should try to work out some KPIs even if you aren’t yet in a position to present financials. Instead, present KPIs that demonstrate basic progress and traction - such as churn, engagement, subscriptions."
#4 - Target your investor outreach.
Something to avoid during investor outreach is to mass-contact investors with the same generic message. It’s very obvious when businesses do this! It's much better to take your time to research the specialist investors that might be most interested in your offering, and reach out taking a personalised approach. Mention their background and how your product/service might peak their interest.
#5 - Understand your desired market.
With Dama Health, Elena gained experience understanding the UK and US markets in her pursuit of investment. She argued that it's important to understand how these difference investor markets operate, and where you see your business best fitting in. "Securing funding in the UK is very dependant on evidence-based pitches, clear traction, hard facts and data. In contrast, investors in the US are more compelled by the 'big picture' appeal of a business, your story as a founder, and emotion."
These tips provide just a glimpse of the do's and don'ts we cover in our opening Female Founder Growth Series session. This intimate discussion sets our founders up with a foundational knowledge of the fundraising space and particular challenges they can prepare for.
Our Week 1 session is the perfect way to get our Cohort members started on their journey to becoming investor-ready!
Next stop - the practical workshops.
For the next 5 weeks, we'll be tackling individual components of business growth to put this new-and-improved knowledge into action!