S2, Episode 11: Fundraising Tips for Startups

Season Two: Episode Eleven — An overview of funding options and specific tips for preparing for and executing the perfect pitch to potential investors. 

Episode Description:  Chloe Curtis (Fordham Law ‘19) and Daniel Salomon (Fordham Law ‘19) interview Gary R. Schall, Partner at WilmerHale, about fundraising tips for startup companies and specific tools for nailing a pitch to investors.

Episode Roadmap:

  • [:30] Chloe Curtis and Daniel Salomon introduce themselves and Gary R. Schall, Partner at WilmerHale. They define equity financing and highlight characteristics investors are looking for when considering an investment.
  • [3:13] ‘How does company type influence the ability to secure funding?’ and other questions startups need to answer before seeking funding. 
  • [7:40] Pros and cons of asking friends and family for initial funding. 
  • [12:03] The importance of obtaining legal advice to evaluate securities law issues, at the federal as well as state level.
  • [13:29] An overview of angel investors an ideal source of funding.
  • [16:58] Understanding the value beyond money that sophisticated investors can bring to the board.
  • [21:57] Equity crowdfunding as an option for raising capital, legal obligations, and funding limits that companies need to comply with when crowdfunding.
  • [29:48] Tips for approaching traditional venture capital firms and the first message you need to convey to them.
  • [34:33] Particular recommendations for female and minority entrepreneurs
  • [36:17] Recommendations for nailing the perfect pitch starts with stating the problem your company will solve and why they should care about it.
  • [42:51] How many investors should you plan on pitching to before securing any funding?  And what is the ideal timeline for making a pitch? 
  • [46:45] How to negotiate the amount of equity provided to investors. 
  • [50:15] The essentials checklist for the perfect pitch, and Gary’s top tips for maximizing your time with the investor. 
  • [53:58] Advice for maintaining positive relationships with investors over time. 

Tweetables:

“There is a lot of homework you need to do before you even think about raising money.” — Gary R. Schall

“There’s an expression ‘smart money and dumb money.' Sophisticated investors are considered smart money because they bring more than just a check.” — Gary R. Schall

“Being informed about what you’re getting into is very important with equity crowdfunding.” — Gary R. Schall

“A good investor is going to test you….and you’d better know the answers. You’d better be prepared.” — Gary R. Schall

Mentioned in This Episode:

Additional Resources: 

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The information contained in the Startup LAWnchpad podcast and any materials associated therewith (the “Podcast”) is for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or tax advice with respect to any particular circumstance. The Podcast is not a complete overview or analysis of the topics presented and may contain information that varies in different jurisdictions and is subject to revision, interpretation, or nullification after the date of recording. The transmission of information to you does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any host, guest, or their respective employer, including but not limited to Fordham University School of Law and Lincoln Square Legal Services, Inc. None of these parties shall be liable for any loss that may arise from any reliance on the Podcast. You should not rely upon the Podcast or treat it as a substitute for legal advice. You should consult a lawyer familiar with your particular circumstances and licensed in your jurisdiction for legal advice.

Startup LAWnchpad is the podcast that educates entrepreneurs about forming, growing and protecting a startup. Startup LAWnchpad is produced by the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic at Fordham University School of Law in New York City.