30+ free resources to help you raise pre-seed/seed funding in 2023
Years of the collection went into this, so feel free to spread the word and share this with others! #startups #fundraising
Sam Altman, arguably one of the most influential founders and investors of our time thinks that 2023 is the best time to start a startup:
“The only thing that is easy in the mega-bubble — capital. It was a great time to raise funding for a startup from about 2015 till the end of 2021, but everything else was pretty hard: hiring people, rising above the noise, and doing something that matters without thousands of competitors. Now, raising funding is tough, but all the other stuff is much easier.”
He is not alone, because the recession is great for building. And sure, you can bootstrap for a while, but at some point, you will need to raise your first check, which is usually “the hardest to get”.
I’ve raised about ~$1.5M myself (across the 3 companies) plus helped other founders raise at least ~$3M — and I gathered a ton of useful experience/advice/resources/databases along the way.
In this post, I’d like to share some of these free resources with you. ChatGPT did not write this! Years of the collection went into this, so feel free to spread the word and share this with others :)
Y Combinator (YC) learning resources
The most famous (deservedly so?) accelerator produced a ton of useful content over the years, and fundraising is not an exception. Here’s a summary of the best resources from them:
Three “intro to raising capital” videos from the various years of YC Startup School. IMO all of them are good and are worth watching:
An old (from 2014) but gold 50-min Q&A with Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, and Parker Conrad
Paul Harris also did a more casual 40-min podcast in 2020, worth listening to
And if you want to dive into the legal fundamentals (SAFEs, priced equity rounds, etc) — watch this video from Kirsty Nathoo (YC CFO)
Wanna see their FULL library? Look here
Garry Tan (current YC CEO) also has had a great startup channel for years. There are no specific videos to highlight, but def check out the list
Other learning resources (from VCs and founders)
NFX (one of the best early-stage VC funds) has a huge library of materials around fundraising. They also gave a great free resource for deck sharing called Brieflink
A text (and Twitter) guide from Elizabeth Yin, a former founder who’s reviewed over 30,000 pitches as a General Partner at Hustle Fund and Partner at 500 Startups
An honest and no-bullshit guide from Steph Mui, founder of PIN and former VC. You’ll also find a bunch of people you can subscribe on Twitter to
25-min video on how to raise your first $500k George Levin, founder of Hints and GetIntent
A “how to seed” video from John S. Kim, CEO of SendBird (Y Combinator W16), raised more than $120M
Brett Adcock, founder at Figure, Archer ($2.7B IPO) and Vettery ($100M exit) shares a lot of useful stuff on Twitter
Pitch/presentation examples and templates
What does the stat tell us? DocSend shared a bunch of useful insights with TechCrunch
Good deck template from Haje Kamps, TC reporter, and a former VC
What should you put on your deck? Slidebean has a nice overview of various schools of thought
Mercury has prepped one of the best investor databases, period. Downside — can’t easily scrape, need to use with caution :)
Signal (from NFX) is also not bad, but more limited than the Mercury’s one (no emails, for example)
110 funds that lead seed rounds from Outset Capital. Use with caution
Taskable’s pre-seed investors’ list
Bonus: a clip from the Silicon Valley series (go watch it if you haven’t yet) on how NOT to raise
BTW, I’ve recently started an early-stage startup fundraising community as a side hobby to help more first-time or technical founders tackle this problem.
It’s super practical and expert-driven (with folks from YC, Flo, Reface, Snap, Pinterest, and more joining via private office hours).
If you’re currently raising, or planning to raise pre-seed or seed capital — reach out and we’ll see if you’re a good fit. The amount of participants in the first cohort is very limited and there is a strict selection process.
You can apply or learn more here:
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