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. 


“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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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.