I’ve just got off a call with a marvellous woman who was my deputy principal when I was in primary school. Her and her cofounders are sitting on two great products, and this is their first foray into startups. We jumped on a 10 minute call today and I rattled off a list of resources. I am sending her a follow-up email and as a fan of copy-paste blogging I thought I’d share out loud.

1. Do you want to invest or bootstrap your company?

When you start a company you have two options on how to fund the growth. You can make profit as you go along and reinvest that back into your company, or you can get an external investor on board to give you the cash you need to “get to the next level” quickly. Depending on your company, your vision and your personal circumstances, you will need to evaluate the right path for you.

One of the major mistakes startup founders make is not understanding the value of each method, and sometimes judging the other method as wrong out of fear / misinformation. To help make this decision, and many other early-stage decisions, I recommended my founder participate in the Startup Onramp Founders Course. This course is excellent for checking if this startup you are working on is “worth” your time and energy – good is often the enemy of great, and founder’s may work on the first good idea that comes along instead of working on that one truly great idea. If you graduate from this course, you are onto something worth pursuing. That’s worth every minute and every penny.

2. Who should I approach for investment, and when?

In order to familiarise themselves with the Australian investment landscape, I recommended my founders look at the open sourced documents created by Airtree VC. Craig Blair and Daniel Petre run Airtree Ventures, and I always wondered what an airtree was… it’s purely their surnames merged. That’s irrelevant to the advice, I just was shocked it took so long for me to put that together!

The ‘Open Source VC‘ documents include:

Seed Stage Term Sheet
Seed Financing Documents
Australian Startup Funding/Investor List
Cohort Analysis Template
A Guide to our Employee Option Plan Documents
Employee Option Plan Documents
The New Startup Visa in Australia – a Guide for Beginners

You can find these documents at https://airtree.vc/opensourcevc/

3. What exactly do I pitch?

That does depend a bit on your product, but it’s good to familiarise yourself with what an investor pitch deck should look like. The simplest way to start is to fill out the Universal Pitch Deck created by Pollenizer many moons ago. The best part about this document is you simply make your own copy of the Google Slide deck to get started.

http://www.pollenizer.com/tools/universal-pitch-deck/

This is my deputy principal’s homework, and I very much look forward to her follow-up questions!

Sarah Moran
CEO and cofounder
Girl Geek Academy