Expert Tips for Startup Fundraising and Investor Meetings

Play video
This article is a summary of a YouTube video "Aaron Harris on Fundraising and Meeting with Investors" by Y Combinator
TLDR Prioritize product work and customer feedback before fundraising, pitch to multiple investors at once, choose investors carefully, and prioritize relationships over money for long-term success in startups.

Fundraising Strategies and Tactics

  • πŸ€”
    Many founders mistakenly believe that they need to constantly hustle to meet investors, but the reality is that they should first focus on building a good enough product with customers before switching over to fundraising.
  • πŸ’‘
    "It's less about fully communicating a unique insight as showing me something interesting that I didn't know."
  • πŸ”„
    "The main trick to a good fundraising process is parallelizing it."
  • πŸ’‘
    "Some of the investor meetings that go best are the ones where the investors end up doing a lot of talking and they get themselves really excited about what you're doing and talk themselves into a deal."
  • πŸ’°
    The most important thing for founders raising money is to get the money they need to build the business without losing control of their company, regardless of valuation or investor stories.
  • πŸ“¦
    Investors want every meeting to be a decision point, so founders should create a situation where they remain uncertain about the potential of the company, keeping investors engaged and interested.
  • πŸ’‘
    "Investors are excited about founders who are building big things and will make them lots of money."

Impact and Ambition

  • πŸ’‘
    The story you tell to an investor is different from the story you tell to a customer because investors want to hear how you are going to rewrite the future and capture a major market, while customers care about you solving their problem.
  • πŸ’‘
    "Investors invest in people who are very ambitious, so you just have to make it really big but believable."
  • πŸ˜…
    Succeeding with a startup at the highest level requires a lot of sacrifice in other parts of your life, and you have to be okay with that or not.
  • πŸ’Ό
    If you're considering taking venture capital and building something big, you have to find a way to make it work or a lot of people, including yourself, will be disappointed.
  • πŸ’°
    "When you talk to people who've built gigantic companies, the thing they're most proud of is not how much money they've made, but the impact they've had in the world and the change they've wrought in the way humans live."
  • 🌍
    Nothing else in history has moved as fast and impacted as many people as Google did, highlighting the incredible power and potential of startups.


  • When should founders focus on fundraising?

    β€” Founders should focus on product work until it's good enough to have customers, and then switch over to fundraising.

  • What do investors want to see before pitching to them?

    β€” Investors want to see evidence of product work and customer feedback before pitching to them.

  • How should founders approach seed stage investors via email?

    β€” Founders should keep the email short and informative, do research on the investor, and make a clear and concrete ask.

  • Why is it important to pitch to multiple investors at once?

    β€” Pitching to multiple investors at once helps avoid negative feedback and creates positive buzz.

  • What should founders prioritize when choosing investors?

    β€” Founders should prioritize relationships over money for long-term success and carefully consider the incentives of potential investors.

Timestamped Summary

  • πŸ’‘
    Focus on product work and talking to customers before fundraising, keep emails short and informative, show progress relative to time spent, make a clear and concrete ask when reaching out to investors.
  • πŸ’°
    Pitch to multiple investors at the same time to create positive buzz and avoid negative feedback when fundraising.
  • πŸ’°
    Startups should prioritize time over money, have a credible plan with clear milestones, and choose investors carefully to succeed at the business.
  • πŸ’°
    More people are investing in startups, but founders should be cautious of undisclosed funding sources and build relationships with select series A investors to create intrigue and uncertainty.
  • πŸ“ˆ
    Share limited metrics with investors to build relationships and focus on a strong business for fundraising success.
  • πŸ’‘
    Remember that YC is just the beginning, success requires sacrifice and balance in your personal and professional life.
  • πŸ’‘
    Be realistic about your goals and prioritize relationships over money for long-term happiness, while recognizing the potential impact of startups on history.
  • πŸ’°
    Starting a startup can be expensive.
Play video
This article is a summary of a YouTube video "Aaron Harris on Fundraising and Meeting with Investors" by Y Combinator
4.8 (57 votes)
Report the article Report the article
Thanks for feedback Thank you for the feedback

We’ve got the additional info