Step-by-step guide

Get Your First Investor

Are you a business founder seeking to raise external funds for your company? Here, I’m going to walk you through my own proven process you can use to:

  • Develop and hone your investor pitch.

  • Build an engaged investor audience.

  • Start a conversation with ideal prospects.

  • Turn at least one of these prospects into your first investor.

How to get your first investor
How to get your first investor

Executing these milestones and steps systematically will greatly enhance your chances of securing funding for your business.

Each phase is designed to not only attract investors but also to build a solid foundation for long-term success.

Milestone 1

Get Commercial Ready

Is your business sustainable? a great presentation cannot overcome deficiencies in any of these key areas. If need be, therefore, put off your fundraising efforts until your story becomes much more attractive to investors.

  1. Analyze your business’s commercial viability.

  2. Perform risk assessment and brainstorm 5 to 10 options to de-risk it.

  3. Strengthen your value propositions.

Milestone 2

Get Financial Ready

Figure out exactly how much capital you should raise and create your milestone chart and funding requirements to reach each milestone.

  1. Establish your risk mitigating milestone chart.

  2. Build a robust financial model to support your funding requirements.

  3. Establish a comprehensive capitalization table detailing ownership structures.

  4. Determine a realistic company valuation and collect information to defend it.

Milestone 3

Get Investor Ready

Develop a prioritized, targeted investor list, supported by a fundraise tracking system and an online data room for due diligence.

  1. Set up an investor pipeline tracking system.

  2. Fill your pipeline with qualified investor leads.

  3. Construct a data room for due diligence.

Milestone 4

Get Pitch Ready

Once you have lined up a list of pre-qualified investors, the next thing is to map out, plan and assemble your fundraise materials with your targeted investors in mind.

  1. Clean up your online branding.

  2. Build an effective elevator pitch.

  3. Hone your pitch and materials.

Milestone 5

Get Meetings

With a qualified list and a tracking system in place, It’s time to start reaching out, talking to money folks, and build rapport.

  1. Make initial contact with various pull and push strategies.

  2. Build rapport and increase the chances of getting a positive response.

Milestone 6

Get Commitments

Now your fundraise is in full swing, your job is to generate momentum, and the best way to generate momentum is to have a lot of meetings. Every day, every week, until you get commitments from multiple investors.

  1. Start by soft pitch your business, test water, get advice, fix and update your pitch deck.

  2. Once you have enough interest, open your round and start pitching for money to all prospective investors in a short period of time (in one or two weeks).

  3. Follow up and keep the momentum going - create a competitive market for your equity.

Milestone 7

Get Funded

After you have completed all follow-up actions, and presuming that you have not received a hard “We’re not interested,” it is now time to negotiate and close the deal.

  1. Negotiate deal terms to minimize dilution.

  2. Have your data room ready for due diligence.

  3. Get your investment contracts signed and close the deal.


By now, you should have enough working capital to last your 12 to 18 months. If you have any questions about this guide or need help, feel free to reach out.