By Li Jiang

This post was originally published on A2Apple.com

Fundraising for many founders falls somewhere between going to the dentist and taking a dump. It’s somewhere between a painful experience (dentist) and just a necessary annoyance (dump).

But it probably doesn’t have to be that way if you are prepared to tell a compelling narrative, run an efficient process, and target and find the best long-term partner for your company.

Here are 6 resources you should use before setting off on your Seed or Series A raise:

1. Justin Kan, Atrium — The Founder’s Guide to Raising a Series A Venture Financing

Justin focuses on Series A but the lessons are largely transferrable to Seed rounds as well. This is a great guide that outlines how to run an overall efficient fundraising process and what are all the steps you need to complete to save yourself time and headache.

2. Sarah Guo, Greylock — What do I look for in a pitch?

Sarah creates a fairly comprehensive and systematic guide on the key things she/her firm looks for in a startup. The post hits on a lot of tactics and is a great distillation of the most important things you need to convince your (potential) VC backers.

3. Ash Rust, Sterling Road — Seed Fundraising — How to Build a Deck

Ash’s post, and the rest of his series, is a down to earth and specific guide on how to build a deck. There’s no fluff in this post and this serves as a good reminder for founders to not try to write an encyclopedia about their companies, but hit the highlights to get a meeting, and then a term sheet.

4. Reid Hoffman, Greylock — LinkedIn’s Series B Pitch to Greylock

This long, and timeless, guide from Reid Hoffman breaks from conventional wisdom on a number of fronts, including how you should start your pitch — with an investment thesis.

I highly recommend taking time to deeply read and understand the great nuggets in his essay. There’s a ton of substance here. While the slides themselves look very spartan, the narrative is powerful.

5. Geoff Ralston, YC — A Guide to Seed Fundraising

Geoff’s guide is an “all in one” that helps you check all the boxes of a seed round. While you don’t need to read every piece when starting it, it’s a great guide to reference at any point of your fundraising journey.

6. Li Jiang, GSV — 8 Questions I Ask Every Startup

Any good post wouldn’t be complete without your own contribution to the field. I previously wrote about the 8 questions I ask every startup. While there are always new questions, I think every startup will face a core list of tough questions which I did my best to capture in this post here. Enjoy!

For more, see:

Li Jiang is a venture capital specialist, Vice President at GSV Asset Management and the chief evangelist at GSVlabs. Connect with him on Twitter: @gsvpioneer


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