Last month, a new west coast venture capital fund that is focused on i-Phone applications, was profiled in the national press and revealed a surprising statistic. Since its inception earlier in 2008, this fund has reviewed 2500 deals and made investments in only four companies. That’s right – the fund has invested at a rate of one investment per 625 deals reviewed. While few details are available on the 2500 deals reviewed, I would hypothesize that more than half of these deals were DOA (Dead On Arrival) because they were just "thrown over the transom" and/or poorly positioned from the start. Clearly, securing a proper referral into an investor is critical. However, even if you cut the above ratio in half, the odds against attracting venture capital remain significant. To improve these odds, I often encourage entrepreneurs to approach fundraising similar to how they approach going to market: strategically.
From my experience, a strategic fundraising campaign is composed of several key attributes. Strategic fundraising is investor-centric, milestone-driven, realistic, targeted, anticipatory, and market facing. Over the next few weeks, I will blog on each of these attributes. In the meantime, check out a fundraising strategy template in our library that we use with our clients to organize their fundraising activities.