Want to raise capital for your business or idea? We’ve designed an intense, focused two-day workshop to give you the best chance possible of success.
I have 15 years experience as an entrepreneur and have started four businesses: two sold, one failed and the one I’m still associated with - ‘Hey You’. I’ve raised more than $17M in venture capital from almost every type of investor. My first company launched a joint venture with Warner Music in 2008. Two subsequent technology businesses have attracted investment from high profile Angel investors in Australia, Silicon Valley, New York and Europe as well as large venture funds and the corporate investment arm of Westpac.
I’ve delivered more than a thousand pitches, and the first 700 were mostly unsuccessful. But in the process I built an enormous network of investors, refined strategies to target and approach investors, and honed a pitch style that works.
This workshop addresses five key areas:
- investor targeting and approach
- the right pitch for your business and prospective investor group
- deal momentum
- term sheet negotiations
- closing the deal
Each weekend workshop is limited to ten participants, enabling us to focus on your business, your pitch and developing the right capital raising strategy for you. I’ll deliver the course in person along with two advisors to provide expert guidance on the investment landscape (including raising capital in Asia and the UK) and the legal aspects of investment deals.
The workshops are intense: from 9 am– 5.30 pm each day with short breaks. We provide lunch, morning and afternoon teas. Sydney workshops are held in International Tower 3 at the new Barangaroo precinct in the CBD.
You will leave the workshop armed with everything you need to hit the hustle on Monday morning. You’ll have an initial hit-list of at least ten appropriate investor contacts and be clear how to approach them, what to ask for, and why they should say yes.
This workshop is suitable for entrepreneurs looking to raise seed to Series A capital rounds ($200K - $5M). Come to this workshop as a newbie or with a developed pitch and experience.
Our curriculum includes:
DAY 1: PROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS
9 - 10.30 am: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
We launch our workshop by clarifying your business objective. How much are you looking to raise and for what purpose? Define your ask.
- How to value your company.
- Build a cap table.
10.30 - 12pm: CHOOSING THE RIGHT INVESTORS FOR YOU
- Deep dive into the Australian, Asian, US and European early stage investor markets.
- Benefits and objectives of Angel groups, high-net-worth investors, corporate investors and venture funds.
By the end of this session you will have identified what type of investors are most appropriate for your business and why.
12 - 1pm: LUNCH DISCUSSION WITH VCs
Two high profile Venture Capital experts join us for lunch to answer your questions.
1pm - 2.30pm: HOW TO APPROACH YOUR INVESTOR GROUP
In this session, we cover a range of strategies to reach investors in person or on mass in each investor market.
- Get meetings with the decision makers.
- Set up meetings, ensuring that they are looking forward to your pitch.
- Our first advisory expert will share strategies to reach investor groups in Asia and Europe.
- We also discuss when a corporate advisor could help or hinder your process. On what terms should you engage them?
We work with each participant individually to develop a plan for you to reach your target investor group.
2.30 - 4 pm: THE PITCH
Different investor types require different pitches. In this session, we define the perfect pitch for your audience.
- Two of Australia’s top investors share what they look for in founders and their pitches.
- How investors expect you to present your management accounts and financial projections.
- We analyse a number of pitch decks and discuss how to develop the right pitch for your target investors.
4 - 5 pm: PITCH WORKSHOP AND PRACTISE
One-on-one support to develop and improve your business pitch.
5 - 5.30 pm: THE INVESTOR LISTS
- We provide you with an extensive contact list of investors in Australia, the US, Europe and Asia. We work with each participant individually to identify a first and second round target list.
By the end of day one, you will know which investors are the best targets for your business, why they are likely to invest, how to approach them and how to pitch.
DAY 2: GET THE RIGHT DEAL
9 - 10.45 am: IDENTIFY WHAT YOU WANT IN AN INVESTMENT DEAL
A specialist start-up lawyer delivers this section of the workshop.
- The benefits and costs of equity investment versus convertible and ‘safe’ notes.
- Key terms of a Shareholders Agreement and Company Constitution to protect founders.
- Why and how to carve out equity for an employee share plan.
- How to recruit and remunerate directors/advisors when it makes sense to do so.
- How to ensure corporate investors deliver on ‘special benefit’ promises.
By the end of this session, you will know how to structure the proposal you take to investors.
11 - 1 pm: NEGOTIATING WITH INVESTORS
- Founder vesting agreements. How they work and why investors will often insist you put them in place.
- Board representation and special voting rights requested by investors.
- Classes of shares including preference shares and special voting/veto rights.
- Anti-dilution and milestone adjustment provisions.
- Pre-emptive investor rights.
- Provisions to restrict founders and other shareholders from selling their shares.
- Provisions to restrict/control an exit.
- Provisions investors use to force an exit.
- ‘Equity earn-in’ and other special provisions often requested by corporate investors.
By the end of this session, you will understand what investors are likely to ask for and why. You’ll comprehend the long-term implications of each provision and be positioned to negotiate with confidence.
1 - 1.30 pm: LUNCH
Advisors available to answer questions one-on-one during the break
1.30 - 4 pm: CLOSING THE DEAL
Momentum is the key to securing investment on favourable terms. In this session, we discuss how to create and use momentum to negotiate and close investment.
- How to build momentum that leads to investment.
- The effective use of PR (includes comprehensive contact list of Australian finance journalists)
- Selecting and engaging lawyers and accountants. Get good advice and avoid ‘bill shock’.
- How to run an effective due diligence process.
- How to avoid investors that waste time.
- Binding versus non-binding term sheets.
- The closing process including the appointment of a ‘lead investor’, negotiating with multiple parties and the use of escrow accounts.
4 - 5.30 pm: AFTER THE INVESTMENT
- Setting shareholder expectations
- Shareholder communication
- Working with a board of directors
- Annual general meetings and extraordinary general meetings.
- When to become a public company and how to avoid accidentally becoming a public company.
- Using investment PR to help grow your business.