Startup fundraising checklist ✅ — are you ready to approach investors?

Are you a founder looking to raise your first pre-seed / seed round?

Laying a strong foundation and having a clear strategy is important before you try and raise for your startup. The startup fundraising checklist is here to help. This is part one of our series designed to help you get ‘investor ready’.

Today we will provide a quick overview of some of the key things you will need to prepare before you go out to raise. Not every company is going to be the same so this is intentionally ‘high level’. If you are looking to deep-dive into any area, just get in touch on our ‘contact’ page.

Should I raise?

Raising money will be more challenging and time-consuming than you think. It can be a full-time job and will require focus and momentum to get your team over the line.

Being organised and well prepared in advance is key. This will not only save time but also help you to avoid common pitfalls and the risk of ‘scaring off’ potential investors.

If you are not sure if you should be raising, check out our recent article ‘Founder’s dilemma: should I be raising money for my startup?

Ready to raise?

So, you have decided you are looking to raise your first round pre-seed/seed but not sure where to start?

The first step is to get all the required documents and presentation materials in place. The organisation is key, so we have put together the ‘startup fundraising checklist’ to help you get started. We have provided a quick summary below, alternatively, click on the link and make a copy of the Google sheet.

This is not designed to be an exhaustive list and every company’s requirements will vary but it should provide a good starting point to help you get all your documents ready to go before you rush out and speak to investors.

How long should this ‘pre-raise’ work take?

This will vary, but if you need to start from scratch it may well take at least a month to get all the required documents together. Don’t rush this step or think you can just skip it! Preparing well here will save you lots of time and hassle later, moreover, you reduce the risk of not having something critical during the due diligence process that could ‘spook’ an investor.

Access the full interactive checklist with notes & useful resources here

Checklist Summary:

Roadmap & desired investor criteria

Fundraising roadmap

Targets investor list

Marketing material

Business Plan

Executive summary/one-pager

Pitch Decks

Product demo

Promotional video

Data room

Good practice for data rooms — Use Google Drive or Dropbox, grant read-only access, agree on clear ownership/responsibility to update/maintain, create a separate room for each investor

Articles of association

Asset register

Audited accounts

Board minutes

Board packs

Capitalisation (cap) table

Certificate of incorporation

Consultant contracts

Customer contracts

Domain name ownership

Employee contracts

Founders agreement

Grant documentation

… access the full checklist at the link below.

Access the full interactive checklist with notes & useful resources here

Conclusion

We hope this acts as a useful starting point to help plan the start of your raise. Stay tuned for part 2 in this ‘investor ready’ series.

Pitch Smarter. Raise Money Faster.

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Please note: this post does not in any way constitute legal advice and is presented only as a suggested starting point before you raise. Each founder and company will be different and you should not rely on this exclusively.

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