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5 Ways New Startups Can Secure Funding

Career

You’ve got your eureka moment, an idea you believe is going to ignite/disrupt the world as we know it, a concept that is forever going to redefine the way we use technology in our daily lives, and so on. The truth is that ideas no matter how simple and grandiose, need money and capital to be realized. Obviously, you also need other superb resources who believe in your goal and vision with the same sort of passion as you.


Convincing people about the viability and awesomeness of your personal this-is-it moment can wait, raising funding for your startup cannot. After all, someone needs to fuel up this thing before it can gain traction and admirers in the industry. So, let’s take a look at the hardest step in launching your startup from the ground. Not a simple undertaking admittedly, but with the right person, the right investors and the right confidence, closing the deal is possible.

We give you 5 options to look into when scouring through for funding:

1

Family and Friends Are the First Resort

Do you know most people may not believe in the ground-breaking idea you came up with but in the person behind that idea? That’s right, and you can imagine what if it was Steve Jobs who was floating a radical idea. Say what people will about his people skills but the man had a penchant for delivering results.

That example might be considered a little off-kilter though, as the first people that you might invest in your startup could be none other than close friends and family. They can prove to be the proverbial straw that does NOT break the camel’s back but rather they’d help you get started at least. Consider your friends and family as the people who can help you secure your first round of funding. This can give you enough leeway to create value around your idea and hopefully catch the eye of the people in the industry.

Be advised though that most often than not, startups can’t even take off. It’s just what it is. There is always the risk of jeopardizing your family’s money and friendships in the process. So, when looking for funding from the close folks, determine if they are in a position to afford to lose it. And as a courtesy, be sure to warn them upfront about the risks associated with this venture.

2

Incubators

Heard of incubator programs like Y-Combinator or 500 Startups? They offer you some seed money sure, but there are more than just a few bucks exchanging hands. Not only do you secure good funding, you also get access to top-notch guidance and mentors in the industry, those who are well-versed with the startup culture and issues that permeate them. If you need some smart people who know the ins and outs of the startup scene, joining hands with Incubators is your best bet.

3

Issue Preferred Stock

So, you are launching your startup. And a lot of people who are getting into raising money for their baby also believe in securing common stock that founders are liable to receive during the course of funding. These shares come with beneficial provisions, such as liquidation preference and rights. Having some preferred stock for yourself as a founder’s privilege (and for investors) is going to make your venture a lot more attractive for people to throw money at. Investors believe you are serious enough to pay them and that too ASAP, so that way it’s all quid pro quo for both parties.

4

Convertible Debt

One method that has proven to be immensely popular in the recent years is that of convertible debt. Incubators like Y-Combinator are known to secure at least $150,000 in convertible debts for every startup that qualifies for them. In layman’s term, a convertible debt can be turned into liquid equity in the future, subject to certain goals and milestones your startup achieves. That’s like having another round of funding waiting for you.

5

Last, But Not the Least, Venture Funding

So, what happens when you set up a startup venture pool and get investments from partners? That money comes when people set up a fund with certain objectives, objectives your startup can help them achieve.

That’s how you can set the ball rolling folks. Funding a startup isn’t easy but it’s not impossible either. And for entrepreneurs who want nothing but the kitchen sink, this guide can help you get started properly.

This article was first published on StartUp Mindset.

3 min read
Culture

Please Don't Forget to Say Thank You

"More grapes, please," my daughter asked, as she continued to color her Peppa Pig drawing at the kitchen table.

"What do you say?" I asked her, as I was about to hand her the bowl.

"More grapes?"

I shook my head.

"Please?"

I stood there.

"I want green grapes instead of red grapes?"

I shook my head again. I handed her the bowl of green grapes. "Thank you. Please don't forget to say thank you."

"Thank you, Momma!"

Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children?

Many of us are busy training our young children on manners on the other side of the Zoom camera during this pandemic. Reminding them to say please, excuse me, I tried it and it's not my favorite, I am sorry, and thank you. And yet somehow simple manners continue to be undervalued and underappreciated in our workplaces. Because who has time to say thank you?

"Call me. This needs to be completed in the next hour."

"They didn't like the deck. Needs to be redone."

"When are you planning on sending the proposal?"

"Did you see the questions he asked? Where are the responses?"

"Needs to be done by Monday."

Let me take a look. I didn't see a please. No please. Let me re-read it again. Nope, no thank you either. Sure, I'll get to that right away. Oh yes, you're welcome.

Organizations are under enormous pressure in this pandemic. Therefore, leaders are under enormous pressure. Business models collapsing, budget cuts, layoffs, or scrapping plans… Companies are trying to pivot as quickly as possible—afraid of extinction. With employees and leaders everywhere teaching and parenting at home, taking care of elderly parents, or maybe even living alone with little social interaction, more and more of us are dealing with all forms of grief, including losing loved ones to COVID-19.

So we could argue we just don't have time to say thank you; we don't have time to express gratitude. There's too much happening in the world to be grateful for anything. We are all living day to day, the pendulum for us swinging between surviving and thriving. But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?

If you don't think you have to say thank you; if you don't think they deserve a thank you (it's their job, it's what they get paid to do); or if you think, "Why should I say thank you, no one ever thanks me for anything?" It's time to remember that while we might be living through one of the worst recessions of our lifetimes, the market will turn again. Jobs will open up, and those who don't feel recognized or valued will be the first to go. Those who don't feel appreciated and respected will make the easy decision to work for leaders who show gratitude.

But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?

Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children? Remind them with flashcards? Bribe them with a cookie? Tell them how I proud I am of them when they say those two magical words?

Showing gratitude isn't that difficult. You can send a thoughtful email or a text, send a handwritten card, send something small as a gesture of thank you, or just tell them. Call them and tell them how thankful you are for them and for their contributions. Just say thank you.

A coworker recently mailed me a thank you card, saying how much she appreciated me. It was one of the nicest things anyone from work has sent me during this pandemic. It was another reminder for me of how much we underestimate the power of a thank you card.

Apparently, quarantine gratitude journals are all the rage right now. So it's great if you have a beautiful, leather-bound gratitude journal. You can write down all of the people and the things that you are thankful for in your life. Apparently, it helps you sleep better, helps you stay grounded, and makes you in general happier. Just don't forget to take a moment to stop writing in that journal, and to show thanks and gratitude to those you are working with every single day.