3 founders discuss how to navigate the nuances of early stage fundraising • TechCrunch

Fundraising is not a block events that are a series of fun meetings and chats, each with its own vibe and nuance. However, many fundraising tips for founders paint the process with a wide brush.

We heard from three founders at TechCrunch Disrupt last week: Amanda DoAmaral, co-founder and CEO of Fiveable; Arman Hezarkhani, Parthean founder; and Sarah Du, co-founder of Alloy Automation, each of which has risen to extreme highs and lows over the past 18 months. They talked about navigating the process, what works (and what doesn’t), and how to customize your pitch to navigate the many subtleties of fundraising.

For DoAmaral, it was important to spend some time researching which investors might actually back her company. She said she had investors meet with her due to the warm introduction despite no real investment intentions.

“My co-founder and I got in the car and drove down to Tennessee and thought we were going to get this check. And this guy didn’t even trust me to like, become an attendee of this event. They don’t write checks,” DoAmaral recalls. “People won’t take me seriously if they don’t see me as their equal.”

Du adds that doing due diligence in front of potential backers is helpful, not only to find out if they’re really invested in the company, but also if they’ll do a good job. This is especially true for early-stage nurturing founders who are looking for a long-term relationship ahead.

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