Behind The Veil of Tech Fund-raising
Editor's WriteWednesday, October 27, 2021
We hear many stories about companies raising incredible amounts of money through VC funding or Angel investors. We've also heard about extraordinary grants rolled out to various groups for those who don't necessarily want to give up equity.
But what about those of us who continue to be on the struggle bus for fundraising? What do we need to be aware of so that we can better navigate this space? Let's examine some of the challenges we have to overcome.
Common challenges that tech organisations face:
Fit - some startups are not a good fit for taking on investors and don't often find this out until they've already signed over equity for their company. Many have not figured out their exit strategy or can't handle the demands from structured Angel investment companies. Others fall under the strain of delivering to the more aggressive VC funding groups and may buckle under that pressure.
Sexiness - there's so much competition for the traditional donor dollar it has made even grant funding a significant challenge. Since the pandemic, competition between public and private sector needs has created additional hurdles that well-intended entities have to jump through to qualify for funding support. Competitive advantage now comes through having more sexy, innovative ideas beyond the traditional mandates that firms usually have as their mission. These ideas must now clearly qualify and quantify impact and ROI.
Communication - not everyone is trained in the art of pitching or clearly articulating what and why your organisation exists and how getting access to funding will help you solve a critical problem. And while we may have thought that fundraising for a tech startup is different from fundraising for an older non-profit tech organisation, the truth is the path is pretty much the same. With this in mind, it's now more important than ever that leaders of any company, public, private or non-profit, be equipped with the tools to deliver an “ASK”. The requirements now include the ability for storytelling and influencing and, of course, making it sexy.
These are just a few considerations to get started down the path of better fundraising. Other things to think about include being transparent with areas that need work to make the delivery work. Open up to the skeletons in the closet so your funding entity doesn't run into surprises. Delivering is another area that, while it seems to be a no brainer, is the challenge that isn't thought about ahead of time. Showing this capability upfront is one that can go a long way to building trust and confidence.
At our upcoming conference, BizTech2021 held on Nov 10th - 12th, we have multiple conversations about this with local and international experts who have successfully supported funding technology businesses. We will also be launching our funding platform exclusively for local and Caribbean technology projects. For more information on how you can get listed, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.