Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora
This is the second monthly update within my 1-year challenge.
My vanity and actionable metrics keep showing interest in the funding opportunities and it is a follow-up to the first monthly update.
While there are many duplicating efforts in setting impact investing platforms that connect impact investors with impact founders/ventures, it is not a solution to the problem impact founders have. There is no lack of information on the funds and individual impact investors (you can check the opportunities provided by the platforms listed in the first monthly update or order the Collection of Funding Opportunities for Impact Ventures with updated information and working links), and still only up to 2% of the business ideas submitted to potential investors actually get funding.
Although there are various reasons for this, I suggest focusing on what can be done by you:
- Have a team/co-founder(s), as investors tend to choose teams over solopreneurs.
- Investors provide financial support when there are metrics showing clients and growth (or at least validated ideas). Validate your impact business idea first.
- Work not only on the idea but also the way you present it. By making your pitch deck succinct and easy to understand you increase your prospects for getting funded. And ”easy to understand” doesn’t mean ”oversimplified”. It does mean providing essential details for investors to make a decision.
- Do not overlook angels/individual funders – there are higher chances they back the very early-stage startups.
- Start with sector-specific funds (experts in your specific field). You will not only speak the same language. Expert support will be offered.
- Train before you pitch your impact business idea.
- And most importantly, if you keep receiving ‘no’, learn from this feedback and measure what matters (instead of giving up). On a positive note, the research shows that bootstrapped projects have more financially sustainable business models.
Other common mistakes founders make are listed in one of my latest blog posts (do’s and don’ts).
All in all, prior to searching for external investment, you need to invest in yourself and your impact business idea. Be your first investor (both time and funding-wise).
External funding is optional, external expertise is essential. As paradoxical as it may seem, sometimes you need to slow down to get results faster. And here are dozens of growth opportunities for your impact venture: online programs, fellowships, challenges, pitch competitions, bootcamps, incubators, accelerators. These are mostly global opportunities unless otherwise specified in the below table. The updated version can be found here.
If you still decide to opt for a quicker solution, individual guidance is the best option, and you are just one step away.
You can find more learning and funding resources for your impact venture in the following blog posts:
Get access to dozens of upcoming deadlines (online programs, fellowships, awards, competitions, pitch events, incubators, accelerators, and more). You can also follow #LVfinds on Twitter and Linkedin for occasional updates.