Investors in the startup ecosystem range broadly in form and function. They include high net worth individuals looking to extend their investment portfolio beyond the traditional securities markets and banking products, and fellow entrepreneurs or early employees of a startup who’ve done well on an exit and want to dive back in. They are former CEOs, they are product engineers from Google, they are retired day-traders living on boats in the Cayman Islands. They provide access to capital necessary to bring ideas from the lab bench to big box retail, and from the whiteboard to the mainstream, when no other source of funds is viable.
Seen at times as a necessary evil, and others as brothers-in-arms in the fight to survive, grow, and thrive, they are quite certainly a critical component of startupdom. Typical perception among the early stage entrepreneurial community is one of an adversarial chess match played between hard working entrepreneurs, bathed in blood sweat and tears, defending their equity from robber baron investors who want to take a majority equity position and run the company. Its not the case that this is never accurate, but its certainly not the norm.
Investors are instrumental to startups. We created this guide because navigating the various, nebulous sources of information on the different types of investors, where to find them, how to approach them, what they are looking for, and what turns them off, can be a frustrating and challenging process.
Who Should Read This?
We wrote this investor guide for startup teams and entrepreneurs who want to engage in raising funds from investors to launch and scale businesses. Our hope is that it will serve as a trusted advisor and North Star as you embark on your search for capital.