I had the pleasure of meeting Sanjay Parekh a month or so ago, and I knew I had to share his story on The Startup Foundry. In this interview, Sanjay talks about how he pitched 200 Venture Capitalists in 10 months to secure funding for his startup. This 7 minute video is chalked full of great advice for startups raising money. Sanjay talks about the “highs” and the “lows” of entrepreneurship and lessons he has learned along the way. If you’re unable to view the video, I’ve included text highlights below.
1. Slides changed dramatically after 10-15 pitches. The first several pitches helped Sanjay truly understand what he was pitching.
2. Pay attention to the questions VCs are asking to learn what you need to improve on. If the same questions are brought up over and over again, you must improve that part of your pitch.
3. Raising money can take a while. If you’re going to commit, be in it for the long haul.
4. Understand why they said “no”, and learn from it.
5. A VC had to pull out because they didn’t have the cash. Sometimes crappy things happen to you that are out of your control. Keep pushing forward.
6. Raising money is hard work. Raising $41 million before you have any customers is the exception, not the rule.
7. There is really bad times, and really high times. Entrepreneurship is a bipolar existence.
8. You have a responsibility to your employees to keep pushing (even when you’re discouraged).