I have spoken a lot in this book about how capital (cash) is the oxygen of your startup. Without it you won’t survive. Raising capital — ensuring you secure the right amount from the right people at the right time — is one of the founder’s most important roles. If you do it right, it will provide the platform for your startup to flourish.
As a founder and VC, I am often asked my views on the best way to raise capital. This chapter outlines my thoughts on fundraising for startups (what I call funding fitness), and in particular taking an investor-centred design approach to your raise. It is not intended to be a comprehensive authority on capital raising. Rather, I will share some of the valuable lessons I have learned from many years of raising millions of dollars from both private and public investors. I will focus on private capital raising. While there are commonalities between the private and public approaches, the complexities of public capital raising are beyond the scope of this book.
One of the core principles of the Hollywood Method is to take a human-centred design approach to understanding your customer. As discussed in the previous chapter, by putting your customer at the centre of your product design process and by developing great empathy for them, you create a product and value proposition that is desirable, relevant and feasible. This is the basis of design thinking.
Investor-centred design means applying ...