It was a treat to attend the Hera Venture Summit at the University of San Diego last week. For the summit, Hera Labs and Hera Hub founders Silvia Mah and Felena Hanson did a phenomenal job bridging the female founder-funder community and providing an overview of what it takes for entrepreneurs to get funding from investors through it's many panels and workshops. My main takeaways were the following 3 musts for female millennial entrepreneurs looking for funding.
Know your story
Can you share your story in 2 minutes? Concisely share your company's story according to whom you speak and the value you can add to your audience. Customers will want to know how your company, product or service will help them achieve a goal or address a challenge in their lives. Investors will want to know how they can make money from investing in you. Make it a substantiated happy-ending story for their bottom-line.
Know what funding is right for your business
What is the right source of funding for you? There are different funding avenues - personal, angels (family and friends), and venture capital are three. Understand whether it's beneficial to self-fund or get outside funding. Find out if you are ready to ask for funding from other sources. Google to prepare to speak to funders!
Know your investor community
What investors are in your community? The first step in preparing to speak with funders is to figure out who you will ask for money. Will it be an angel or venture capital investor? After you choose, figure out where they are - are they in your community? Then, figure out what they invest in, what their process looks like, and what they will require from you in order to invest in you. Once prepared with this knowledge and after doing your homework, go start building relationships. Ask questions - understand if you are a good fit for them and them a fit for you. Develop a relationship to a point where you literally ask for funding.
Do not be discouraged by the thought of failure in raising funds on your first attempt (or third, 4th or 10th). Keep Googling, keep learning, and keep trying! Fundraising will get easier with time for all female entrepreneurs; as there are more angel and venture funding groups groups who are recognizing the diamond-in-the-rough female entrepreneurs are!
Lolita is a wife and a millennial who loves food, travel and tech. She is a sales tech intrapreneur by trade and a social entrepreneur by nature. Lolita produces, speaks, and writes, at times. She lives in sunny San Diego with her husband. Follow her on Twitter: @LolitaTaub
For more female millennial entrepreneur insight, visit: youtube.com/thefshow