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  • Writer's pictureAnna Mazarsky

Beyond the Pitch Deck: How a Founders' Agreement Can Make or Break Your Startup Fundraising

startup fundraising, expert tips, funding round, investors wanted
Unlock the secrets of successful startup fundraising with expert insights and tips. founders' agreement

Picture this - you're about to embark on the rollercoaster ride that is fundraising for your startup. You're consumed with perfecting your pitch deck, finessing your product, and nailing down those intricate financial forecasts. Makes sense, right? After all, these are the big-ticket items that grab headlines and seal investment deals. But, if there's one thing I've learned from my years of working with startups, it's this: it's often the 'small' things that cause the biggest stumbles. And one such 'small' detail with a great impact is the founders' agreement.

"Preparation is key in every aspect of fundraising, and the overlooked details often have the potential to create hurdles that could stop the investment in its tracks during the due diligence stage."

Yes, you heard me right. The founders' agreement, that document that you might have drawn up during the initial stages of your startup and then left to gather dust, can actually be a deal-breaker when it comes to securing funding. Missteps here, no matter how minuscule they may seem, can actually thwart your fundraising efforts. When I work with founders, I ensure they are fully prepared for this, even with the seemingly 'small' things. It's all about looking at the full picture.

  • Is your founders' agreement clear and concise?

  • Does it outline roles and responsibilities, and what happens if things don't go well as planned?

  • Are any legal ambiguities that could cause potential misunderstandings addressed?

  • Do you even HAVE a founders' agreement?

Let me share a recent experience with a client of mine. He found himself in a predicament with a co-founder who had become more of a hindrance than a help - a significant obstacle on the path to securing funding. When we started collaborating back in May, I strongly advised him to either buy his co-founder out or have him sign a founders' agreement. This agreement would ensure that he wouldn't create further issues down the road. Fast forward to today, four months later, that internal roadblock has been cleared, paving the way for smooth fundraising and growth.

Now, you might be thinking, "Why should you be concerned with this? Isn't it unrelated to fundraising? I thought your primary focus was on the pitch and narrative." And you're not wrong to think so. However, my ultimate objective is to see YOU successfully secure the funding you need. A stellar pitch deck alone won't cut it if other areas are falling short. That's why I'm here - to ensure that my clients are thoroughly prepared and covered. When your pitch and story resonate with a promising investor, I want to make sure there are no other internal issues that could prevent you from securing the funding you need and successfully closing the round.

Let's dive a little deeper into why the seemingly insignificant aspects, like a founders' agreement, can potentially derail your fundraising success.

The role of a founders' agreement in fundraising:

It's undeniable that a well-crafted pitch deck and a compelling product are integral to enticing investors. However, these are not the only factors that investors consider. Just as important are the "small" things like a solid founders' agreement. Why is this agreement so significant? Here's why:

  1. Division of Equity: A clear division of equity among the founders is crucial. Any ambiguity in this area can lead to conflicts later on, which may deter potential investors.

  2. Vesting Schedules: Having a proper vesting schedule in place shows investors that the founders are committed to the long-term success of the company.

  3. Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly defined roles and responsibilities prevent potential miscommunications and misunderstandings, which could adversely affect the company's operations.

These are just a few examples of the potential pitfalls that can be avoided with a well-drafted founders' agreement. However, many startups overlook the significance of this document and fail to give it the attention it deserves during fundraising.

Underestimating the importance of a founders' agreement could cost you dearly in terms of time, effort, and the potential success of your fundraising effort. Don't let it become an afterthought.

And it's not just about the founders' agreement. There are other legal hurdles that may crop up during the fundraising process. You need to be prepared for these as well. That's where I come in.

Working with me:

What do I offer?

Why does it matter?

Full-picture analysis

I ensure all aspects of your startup, including legal aspects, are in order. This gives you the best chance at nailing your fundraising.

Personalized advice

Every startup is unique. I provide tailored advice to ensure your startup is best positioned for fundraising success.ddd

Experience and expertise

With years of experience and a solid understanding of the fundraising landscape, I can help you navigate potential hurdles and secure the funding you need.

The path to successful fundraising is not linear. It's a complex journey filled with potential pitfalls. But you don't have to navigate this path alone. Together, we can ensure that your startup is fully prepared for the fundraising journey - even the "small" things.

Overwhelmed by the complexities of fundraising? I can relate. It's like trying to hold water in a sieve, isn't it? Potential deals just seem to slip through your fingers while time keeps marching on. But what if I told you there's another way?

Imagine if we could change the game. Transform your fundraising journey from an uphill battle to a joyous stroll. What if those missed opportunities could turn into successful collaborations, and your valuable time could be spent on fruitful tasks instead of chasing shadows?

Are you up for such a transformation?

Let's explore how we can make this a reality together. Sometimes, the first step towards a big change is as simple as a conversation. How about we schedule a time to talk?

And until then,

Happy fundraising!



Founder and CEO

pitchUP - startup fundraising solutions


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