On March 25, 2020, we kicked off an investor-led series developed to help achieve our goal of doubling the number of local ventures that raise an early-stage round of funding. Co-hosted by Brett Brohl of Syndicate Fund and Mary Grove of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, the following topics were discussed:

  • What is VC and when is it right for my business?
  • How does venture capital work?
  • What do early-stage investors look for?
  • The process of fundraising: strategy & tactics
  • Raising/investing in a COVID-19 climate
  • How to prepare your business to navigate COVID-19
  • Resources in MN + overall resources

A full recording of the session is available below or here if you were unable to attend live, want to revisit the content or have folks you’d like to share the session with.

Click on “Ask a Question” to view which questions were asked live and go directly to that portion of the video. Any issues? Email hello@forgenorth.com.

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TOPICS COVERED

  • What is VC and when is it right for my business
  • How does venture capital work (give an example of ownership/dilution etc)
  • What do early stage investors look for
  • The process of fundraising: strategy & tactics
  • Raising/investing in a COVID-19 climate
  • How to prepare your business to navigate COVID-19
  • Resources in MN + overall resources

ATTENDEE QUESTIONS ANSWERED

  • When VCs express an interest in investing but you haven’t launched a formal process, what’s the best way to respond? I’ve heard some folks say, “you should always be fundraising” and others say, “avoid the time suck until you’re ready to maximize leverage?”
  • Like any industry, there are likely better VCs than others. What should you look for as a good fit or good partner other than their investing type?
  • Assuming we’re entering at least some sort of recession, will the way that you evaluate early stage companies change at all?
  • Any advice for an aspiring entrepreneur moving from MN to the Bay Area?
  • Do you have any recommendations for help with financial modeling for both founders and aspiring VC’s themselves to help manage the portfolio?
  • In light of COVID-19, are there ways that the MN investing ecosystem can better support entrepreneurs through this difficult time? How will we measure the impact on the community?
  • We are a social enterprise (in market 1.3 years, in revenue, bootstrapped with happy customers). Appears that we are not a “fit” for VC’s (feedback has been that we give too much of our revenue to the charities we serve). We have 2 large global companies that want to work with us, we need to raise ($1m) to scale-up & meet these opportunities – do you have any suggested paths for us to fundraise?
  • What are the most important metrics to track when validating an MVP? And how do you know when it’s time to go beyond word of mouth marketing?
  • I’ve been avoiding VC’s that have been actively reaching out to me that have lead rounds with some of my direct competitors. The concern is that they are looking for intel to apply towards the businesses they have already invested in. However, maybe I’m completely off-base here. Any thoughts?
  • Is there such a thing as an advisor who can represent our high-tech startup and advise us on what is or isn’t a good deal for us?
  • Brett, what value did an MBA provide for you from an entrepreneurial perspective?
  • Does it make any difference (other than they are ‘close by’) to do business with VCs in MN versus VCs in other markets?
  • Do you have a successful pattern laid out for meeting investors? As in, where to find enough that are a good fit?
  • Are you currently considering any investments in companies that have pivoted to support covid-19 related efforts in the health care arena?