If there’s one idea from this blog series that I hope sticks with the most startup folks, it’s that entrepreneurs should go out of their way during the fundraising process to meet as many fellow entrepreneurs as possible.
This may seem counter-intuitive. Fundraising is supposed to be a ‘full-time job’. No time for ‘having coffee’ with a ‘random entrepreneur’; just “put money in the bank”. That’s the advice I always got.
However, fundraising is a very exhausting process. We pour endless energy into an investor and hope that something sparks in their minds.
Conversely, in meetings with entrepreneurs, energy flows back and forth, as each party fills with excitement while discussing their vision and goals. Worst-case, a meeting with a fellow entrepreneur turns into an impromptu counseling/commiseration session, with both sides bitching about a disrespectful investor or sharing the constant fear of missing payroll.
I’ve found that these meetings are a great way to recharge along the fundraising path. They are also often great sources for investor introductions and references, which can actually make the journey significantly shorter.
For me, this was one of the most important features of joining a startup accelerator. Having thirteen other CEOs available for support and feedback was incredible.
Remember: Never startup alone!