Want to find out the right funding route for your startup? Look no further.
We convenued an all-star lineup at our funding MeetUp, and are here to share their insights and advice for future founders looking to start on their funding journey.
Dhruvin Patel, founder of Ocushield, Jeroo Doodhmal, founder of Pip & Henry and Sutin Yang, Head of Scaleup at Virgin StartUp joined host Ben Keene on our virtual stage with hundreds of founders watching online.
Where to start and what to ask yourself
Ben explained that the start of the process is all about “crunching the numbers”.
“The Virgin Startup Loan business plan is a great way to do it because it makes you look at your own personal finances and your business projections. You’ve really got to try and get them as close to reality as possible to work out how much you need,” he added.
Our panel also put forward the questions you should ask yourself when thinking about funding.
“Are you willing to exit the company if you are going to go the equity route? All equity investors will be looking for an exit.” - Sutin.
“What kind of investors do you want? Are you looking for investors, partners or collaborators?” - Jeroo.
“Do you fit the requirements of that fundraising channel?” - Dhruvin.
When considering funding, as well as understanding how much your startup needs, it’s important to consider different factors too, including which funding path will be most impactful for your particular mission.
If you’re new to the game of funding, it can feel overwhelming with the various routes that are available to your startup. From bootstrapping to crowdfunding, Start Up Loans to angel investors, and even family and friends - there are so many options.
But have you ever thought about alternatives to the ‘traditional’ funding pathways?
Jeroo recently won a £250,000 grant from The Circular Future Fund, launched by the John Lewis Partnership. She encourages every founder to enter competitions that could help with their startup’s growth, “if you're not, you should!” she says.
But when is the right time to get investment or fundraise to scale your startup? Funding expert Sutin had some advice.
"It's about doing the calculation on cost of living expenses and how much you've saved up," she said.
"Make sure you have enough to afford living costs and what your business needs for at least 12-18 months."
You’re not alone
Dhruvin and Jeroo opened up about how, like many other founders, they get affected by imposter syndrome.
Even after scaling their businesses and very quickly becoming household names, they still get thoughts of doubt.
"At every stage you will get imposter syndrome, it doesn’t go away," said Dhruvin. He also gave out some tips when pitching to investors, even if you feel like you’re an imposter.
- Show you're trustworthy
- Be confident - they want to be able to know you can execute
- Have humility
“I’ve had imposter syndrome massively,” admitted Jeroo. “I feel like an outsider to the fashion sector because I don’t have that background, I feel like an impostor in the entrepreneurial sector - I’ve never had a business before, and in the fundraising space - I’ve never raised before. So I constantly have imposter syndrome.”
She told the MeetUp audience that her advice is to “get mentors, get advisors and seek the advice you need to feel more confident."
Did you know that when you get a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp, you get paired with a mentor to support you on your founder journey?
Our panel answered so many live questions and gave us an inside scoop into the reality of funding.
To hear more in-depth insights, and an explanation of the different types of funding by Lissa Gillot, Head of Funding at Virgin StartUp - watch the full MeetUp session on our YouTube. It will be published soon, so subscribe to be the first to know when all of the funding insights are live on our channel.
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