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Resources for Impact Ventures

Founder’s Bias, and Startup Lessons for Impact Entrepreneurs

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impact entrepreneurs

Weekly Digests (upcoming deadlines for impactpreneurs: programs, fellowships, challenges, pitch events, bootcamps, incubators, accelerators, funding opportunities)

There are many platforms and tools connecting impact founders with funders 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 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, funding opportunities. These are mostly global opportunities unless otherwise specified.

Stay tuned on Linkedin and Twitter for more useful resources and updates on online programs, fellowships, awards, competitions, incubators, accelerators.

Other helpful blog posts:

Upcoming deadlines for impactpreneurs – Weekly Digests

Opportunities for Women Impact Entrepreneurs. Part 1: Learn and Grow

Opportunities for Women Impact Entrepreneurs. Part 2: Funding Solutions

Be Your Own Mentor. Part 1: Tools and Online Platforms

Be Your Own Mentor. Part 2: Online Programs and Courses

Be Your Own Mentor. Part 3: Mentorship Support, Online Communities, and Talent Pools

Be Your Own Mentor. Part 4: Pitch Decks, Raising Capital, Impact Investing

Growth Opportunities for Impactpreneurs:

Part 1.1: Global Food & Agriculture Global Programs

Part 1.2: Regional Food & Agriculture Regional Programs 

Part 2: Global & Regional Water Programs

Part 3: Global & Regional Mobility & Transportation Programs

Part 4: Global & Regional Smart Cities & Urban Innovation Programs

Part 5: Sustainability & Circular Economy Global and Regional Programs