A Voice for Founders



So much is being written about what Start-Up Founders “need” to do to impress investors. BUT, not enough has been written to support founders who are struggling to find the right funding in Australia.

Guess what?? IT MAY NOT BE YOU

I have met so many founders and listened to their stories about their experiences in the early seed stage of capital raising. I see how deflated they have become and how close to packing it in they are after all the rejections. A few pointers for founders that you simply may need to hear but no one is telling you right now.

1/ Australia is still new at this.

Unfortunately we are simply not as sophisticated as the US in assessing deals. This means it takes more time to get a deal done that what it would in other countries who have had more practice. Our angel investors are also more conservative.

If you plan on starting a business then make sure you have a plan to build it on an oily rag. .

2/ We are generally more conservative

I know how hard it can be to reconcile all the stories about companies getting funding in the US and how easy it was,… but we are NOT in the US. So unless you plan on buying a ticket and basing yourself in another country, you need to deal with what’s in front of you.

Australian investors are more conservative and won’t take as much risk. We have a great deal of old money as compared to the current ecosystem of investors in the US who are mostly new to Millionaire alley, and as such are willing to take more risks. They have missed out on enough deals where they learned is more about the man (or woman) and less about the plan, where in Australia we simply have not had this pain yet.

So go out prove to all those that said no to you, that they were WRONG!

3/ If they don’t get your idea then maybe you don’t want them in the first place

Sometimes when you feel investors don’t get what your pitching, you are probably right! It’s not about your IM, or your message, or what piece of information they needed from you about traction or team or blah blah.. it is simply that they don’t get it – so why would you want them on your team.

If your the shit then act like it. An investor should add value to helping you reach your goals as you definitely won’t have all the answers. So if they can’t show how they can add value, exercise your option to say no thanks. This doesn’t mean they are not smart… it simply could be they don’t get your space.

So get on with it and build an awesome business!

It’s not always about what your doing wrong. You could do all the right things but just not be meeting the right people at the right time. I have seen many start ups that should be a slam dunk, but still struggle to get funding for no other reason than timing. There is a limited amount of companies that seed fund businesses in Australia and they can only do so many deals at one time. It will often be the case that you will get the money when you don’t need it…. in which case you simply revisit your terms.

Like anything, the more certain your investment becomes the more you can dictate the terms of the deal, and what your business is valued. Stand up and be proud of what your building and don’t let investors determine if your idea is valuable – that’s your customers job! Keep building, Keep hustling, and you will succeed.

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