Fundraising 101: Pitch other startup CEOs for practice

Motif's Hardeep Walia shares his lessons learned as an entrepreneur

Lessons learned from entrepreneur by Bambi Francisco Roizen
December 3, 2012
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When someone raises $27 million, it typically means they're pretty savvy about building startups venture capitalists are interested in funding. That's why we asked Hardeep Walia, the founder and CEO of Motif, to share his lessons. Motif is a next-generation retail investment platform. 

Walia had some pretty solid lessons to share:

1) Understand what you're getting into. Most entrepreneurs don't realize it takes a lot of sacrifice and is all-consuming. 

2) Bring on advisors. A lot of first-time entrepreneurs don't realize they've got a lot of people around them willing to help. Find people who can help guide you and make them your advisors.

3) Focus. It's hard to channel great ideas into one or two things. To get that minimal viable product out the door, it takes a lot of skill.

Walia on fundraising:

1) There's a lot of luck in fundraising.

2) When talking to VCs, set a clear vision and let them know that there are a lot of different ways to reach that vision. But it's still one clear vision. Don't change your story at each pitch.

3) First pitch to other startup CEOs first. They tend to be the best critics. At Motif, Walia and his team pitched to other CEOs for three weeks prior to starting to talk to investors.