3 founders discuss how to navigate the nuances of early-stage fundraising

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Fundraising is not a monolithic event, but a series of meetings and joys, each of which has its own vibrancy and nuance. Yet many pieces of fundraising advice to founders portray the process with a broad brush.

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We heard from three founders at TechCrunch Disrupt last week: Amanda Doamaral, Fiveable’s co-founder and CEO; Arman Hezarkhani, founder of the Parthians; and Sara Do, co-founder of Alloy Automation, each of which has raised the extreme highs and lows of the past 18 months. He talked about navigating the process, what worked (and what didn’t) and how to adapt his pitch to navigate the many subtleties of fundraising.

For DoAmaral, it was important to spend time researching which investors might actually support his company. She said that despite having no real intention to invest, she has held meetings with investors because of the warm introduction.

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“My co-founder and I got into a car and moved to Tennessee thinking we’d get this check. And this guy didn’t even believe me that I wanted to attend the event. They didn’t write the check. have been,” Doamral recalled. “People are not going to take me seriously if they are not going to see me as someone who is their equal.”

Do said it’s helpful to do due diligence on potential backers beforehand to find out not only whether they can actually invest in the company, but also whether it would be a good idea to work with them. This is especially true for early-stage founders who are looking forward to a longer relationship.



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