Blue Apron Fmr Product VP on Building Startups vs Products (Part 3)
Understanding Capital and Raising It
The final focus that a founder needs to pay attention to is capital. Obviously, without money you can’t do much, so capital needs to be a focus. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to capital.
Don’t Run Out of Money
When you think about capital – it’s important to keep these points in mind:
- Running out of $$$ is the #1 reason for startup death – capital allows you to fight for another day
- If you’re the founder/CEO, you’ll spend a decent amount of time talking to investors and fundraising throughout the multiyear journey
- Fundraising is about finding true believers, not about convincing skeptics
- With little traction, you can fundraise based on who you are and your vision
What can you do now?
Here are some tips for what you can do now to prepare yourself for fundraising:
- Go to NextViewVentures.com and subscribe to our blog posts – we share tactical advice in these blogs.
- Get to know VC’s
- Take advantage of events hosted by VC firms- this is a great way to build a network of investors that you can go to when your ready for investment
- Junior (non-Partner) VC’s can be very helpful in helping you navigate the landscape. They can be advocates for you if you can’t get to a partner
- Learn finance fundamentals- get exposure to the financial levers of your company to better understand cash flow.
Final Thoughts And Important Take-Aways
- Being a PM gives you exposure to many other parts of the business – be a sponge and soak them up
- Being a PM allows you to think strategically
- Always be building a talent and investor network
In closing, those are the 4 main focuses of a founder. I hope you all learned something new through this. As a PM you are exposed to so many experiences. Don’t let those experiences go to waste- they might help you greatly in the future. Furthermore, when it comes to business it is always helpful to build an ecosystem of people. People can refer you to others who can help you. You won’t believe how far referral-based interactions can go.
About the speaker
Melody Koh is a partner at NextView Ventures - an NYC-based firm that focuses on investing in early-stage tech companies who are building solutions for the everyday economy. Prior to joining NextView Ventures, she led the product team at Blue Apron and also worked on the product team at Fab.com. In addition, Melody founded WineMe/FirstCrush and also worked for Evercore & Time Warner Investments. Melody holds an MBA from Harvard University and currently lives in New York City.