October Roundtable: Actionable Takeaways for Women Entrepreneurs Looking to Fundraise

Founders often find the idea of fundraising to be a daunting and challenging pursuit. With the fundraising world being full of difficult technical jargon, closed networking circles and investors that are tough to please, fundraising can seem like a task too overwhelming to tackle. 

At our most recent Roundtable event, Women@Austin CEO & Executive Director Jessica Gaffney asked Venture Capitalist Bill Wood, Springdale Ventures General Partner Genevieve Gilbreath and TalentGuard CEO Linda Ginac to provide insight on what founders need to know before they approach investors. 

Following a lively conversation, each of the panelists lead dedicated discussions about how and when to give away equity, the pros and cons of bootstrapping vs. Angel vs. VC investment, and understanding the language of investors. The ideas that came out of those conversations are applicable across all levels of the entrepreneurial journey. We are continually wowed by the Women@Austin community and can't wait to implement some of these takeaways into our daily reminders!

How and when to give away equity

  • It is important to remember that raising money is difficult. It is often glamorized in the media, but in reality it often feels as if you’re just reaching out into a void.

  • Equity is expensive. As much as you can, pay, rather than give away equity.

“Be bold! Only 2% of VC money goes to women, don’t be afraid to use that in your pitch. Use every tool you have.” - Genevieve Gilbreath, General Partner, Springdale Ventures

The pros and cons of bootstrapping vs. Angel vs. VC investment

  • Know the differences between Angel networks and VCs.

  • Explore other creative ideas as a potential for growth, but don’t require a lot of capital upfront. (i.e. finding business partners, franchising or creating subscription models)

“When trying to please investors, don’t just hit the target. Move the needle!” - Linda Ginac, CEO, TalentGuard

Understanding the language of investors

  • Accept and understand that investors may not always tell you the truth. They want to come across as helpful and encouraging, so you have to figure out if the objections are addressable.

  • Know the difference between qualitative vs quantitative objections and metrics. Institutional VCs go where the money is, so lead with your metrics!

“It is never the wrong time to talk to Angels.” - Bill Wood, Venture Capitalist, Bill Wood Ventures

Missed our October Roundtable? Join us at our November Roundtable: Bypassing Obstacles: What Not To Do When Scaling A Company on Thursday, November 14 and our December Roundtable: The Lean Approach: Marketing On A Budget on Thursday, December 12.

Madi Finley