Any firm that is within 12 months of needing new investment capital should already be aggressively planning its fundraising strategy. We see many tragic situations where otherwise great ideas and entrepreneurs run out of runway just a few months short of attaining a critical milestone because they either started the fundraising process too late, or they relied on the belief that insiders and close friends could deliver funds in time. In spite of the challenges, right now, indeed, may be the best time to start a new company or raise expansion funds for existing companies.
The passage of the JOBs Act in 2012 and its many regulatory exemptions for smaller companies, coupled with the growing crowdsourcing movement—which is already having a positive impact to expose companies to more potential investors through firms like Kickstarter, CircleUp, HealthFundr, and so forth—suggest that new fundraising paradigms are about to blossom. I will comment further on several of these new approaches in the chapters ahead. If you are planning to raise external funds (equity or debt) for a new or existing business at any stage, the insights in this book will be invaluable to you.
Its core is a description of the 12 Magic Slides—the slides that describe the essential elements of your pitch and that, combined with your presentation skills, hugely increase the chances that you’ll find the capital you need. While the 12 Magic Slides were originally developed to assist start-up entrepreneurs to raise their first rounds of external capital, we discovered that the process worked equally well for later-stage firms and even public company companies that were seeking secondary financing.