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How Startups Can Raise Funds Even During a Pandemic

Brian Jackson shares a successful approach that any startup can use to approach investors.

As co-founder of BurstIQ, a leading provider of blockchain solutions for the healthcare industry, Brain Jackson is an experienced leader, executive, and engineer. As president and COO of BurstIQ, he has been involved in some impressive fundraising for the company. His mentoring and leadership expertise has led to him sharing his entrepreneurial drive with others, including advice for how startups can achieve similar fundraising feats.

BurstIQ and Elsewhere Partners closed a Series A capital raise worth $5.5 million last year. The new investment partner enabled BurstIQ to continue its growth, both in the US and worldwide.

The Importance of a Clear and Concise Pitch

For Jackson, a well-crafted pitch deck is key to fundraising success. He advises that a pitch deck should contain no more than between six and 12 slides, with the most relevant information in the first two or three. Any additional slides should include supporting information that backs up your first slides. It’s essential to get the investor’s attention within the first four or five slides, or they will move on.

Consistent Messaging

It’s not just brevity that’s important when putting together a pitch deck. Jackson also encourages a “consistent message that solves a problem.” The pitch deck needs to answer fundamental questions, including what problem you’re solving and how you are different. Investors need to be able to understand your ideas and why they should choose you. They want to know how you can make more and, more importantly, how they can make money.

It’s essential to show investors a process that leads to profit. They will also want to know the key players in your company. Who are the founders and support staff? For some investors, this might be at the top of the list. Destructive leadership can derail even the best of ideas. Not having an entrepreneur track record isn’t a bad thing, if you can show you have some excellent advisors or mentors on the team.

Put in the Research

Pursuing investors who won’t be interested in your offering will be a waste of your time and theirs. Jackson advises researching investors for specific verticals or interests to check what sort of investments they’re looking for. Some are interested in Seed funds, some are Series A that are interested in $1-$10 million investments, and others are looking for specific revenue numbers and only want to invest $20+ million.

Investors and funds also tend to invest in specific areas of interest. Some are interested in Tech, Healthcare, and B2B business, while others are interested in hardware or B2C only companies. Make sure you know who you are pitching to and that you fall into their area of interest.

Using a shotgun approach at fundraising will almost always lead to a waste of time. Plan on a 6- to 12-month timeline for finding funding, and that is when you are prepared and pitching to the right groups.

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