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Getting Ready to Raise Capital

To borrow money from a traditional bank, you need a good credit rating, a business plan or financial statement, and the willingness to personally guarantee the debt (i.e. use your personal assets to pay the debt if needed).

To raise capital (either loans or equity) from other sources (crowdfunding, angel investors, etc.), you need a Story, a Team, and Supporters.

Paul Niederer of Crowdfundbeat.com has summarized this:

  • A Story told with clarity. It needs to be convincing, compelling and credible
  • An enthusiastic, grounded Team. It needs to be a balanced (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak), passionate, capable and likeable Team.
  • Supporters who believe in what you are doing. There needs to be lots of suitable people to share the story with and engage with.
These have to work together to show:
  • Relevance. The story being pitched needs to be relevant to the supporters of the product, the service, the technology, the team, the geography or for whatever reason they are 'supporting'.
  • Capability. The team must be capable of implementing the story they are selling.
  • Credibility. The supporters need to see the team as credible and worthy of their trust.
Below, is Niederer's 50-point scorecard, which he calls the Fundability Evaluation Tool. If your audience doesn't give you a score of 35 or more... he says you're not ready to raise capital.