FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
People often come to us looking for money. We help them determine what is preventing them from getting funding, and work on solving those problems, so that getting funding becomes a by-product of their efforts. When a company is “Investable”, often we work alongside them to help raise funds in our network, their network, and outside networks. Sometimes we also invest ourselves.
However, we’re not a good fit if all you’re looking for is someone to go out and simply raise money for you or if you want us to invest in you before going through our process.
We work primarily with product-ready, post-revenue companies that:
1. Need money but have not raised before or
2. Have raised money before and realize they need more bandwidth to help them through the process.
Founders often come to us looking for funding. Over the course of helping hundreds of founders capitalize their companies, we’ve found that funding is a by-product of being investable.
To us, being investable means:
• You have a clear development roadmap (where are you going and why)
• You have a strong, aligned team (great teams know where they’re going, and are pulling together to get there)
• You have a clear value proposition for investors (knowing and being able to explain how to make investors money)
• Strong communication skills (you know how to communicate your company’s value to your team, your investors, and your market)
• You are coachable (you know how to learn from advisers, your market, and your customers)
• You know your risks, and you share them authentically (and have plans to mitigate them)
We work with founders through these issues to help them become more investable.
We don’t raise on commission. We charge a fee for our coaching and consulting services. But you should know that we keep our initial engagement fees low on purpose. We’re looking to help good businesses and people grow and succeed. We’re also looking for businesses that we might invest in ourselves and/or bring to our network if there is a good fit.we’re not in it for the money. There are much easier things we could do if our primary concern was our bottom line. But we really (really) like the work we do aligning and connecting founders and funders.
No. As we’re not broker/dealers we’re not exclusively sourcing investment money for you and so don’t work from a “finder’s fee”. Fundraising typically takes 6 or more months of in-depth effort. We want you to leverage our experience and framework to make that process more efficient and effective. If you’re not able to invest money and time into this side of your business than we’re not a good fit.
Our team is made up of people who have founded, grown, excited, and invested in startup companies from a wide variety of industries and global locations. We have been on the founder side of the table AND the funder side of the table countless times over the last 20 years, and use our on-the-ground knowledge to help founders and funders align and connect.
However, if there is simply not a good fit between our firms (which occasionally happens) we would be the first to say so and are happy to end our engagement if already begun.
We primarily work with medical/health technology companies, cleantech and renewable energy companies, eCommerce, consumer products, and manufacturing companies.
However, our process has worked for many companies outside of these industries, but our network, connections, investors, and experience are most valuable in these areas.
Broker-dealers are largely hired to raise money for a company. They do the work for you and often have a rolodex of investors that they try to match (whether a good fit exists or not), so you don’t gain any new capabilities and you may get money that can be detrimental to the business. We know that we won’t always be around, so our process helps build new capabilities in you and your team so that you leave more equipped and better able to engage the right resources in the future and find the right money from the right sources to help you grow your business now.
The companies that raised money after working with us did it not because of any investors we or they found. They raised money because they solved big risks in their business and created powerful value propositions for investors. In other words, they became investable.
Accelerators are generally a cohort of multiple companies – a few facilitators and coaches for a large group of companies. When you work with Investable, you get our entire team focused on you.
Accelerators often have a one-size-fits-all curriculum that each company goes through. While we have a process, we customize and tailor it for your team, your company stage, and the specific risks that you face.
The goal of joining an accelerator is to reach your next fundable milestones. Our goal is to help you find and enroll the exact resources that make your company durable and valuable (which isn’t always money).
No. Nobody can guarantee that. If they do, they are lying to you.
Then do it! Seriously. We’ll never try to convince you that you can’t do it yourself.
We started Investable because entrepreneurs often have to work full-time for 6-12 months to raise money by themselves. If you have that time to spare, or access to ready and willing investors, you truly don’t need Investable’s services.
If you are investable, of course we will.
We find investors for our companies in three places:
• Investable’s network: We know a lot of investors. If you are investable, and put in the work to de-risk your company, then we will introduce you to investors.
• Your company’s network: Founders almost never fully activate their network. We help founders find and enroll great people in their network, in their advisors’ or board’s network, and in their existing investors’ network.
• The rest of the investment community: Our process helps you identify, out of the tens of thousands of investors, the investors that fit your company.
Of the 60 companies we’ve worked with, we’ve invested in 5. There is a lot more money out in the world than in our pockets – our goal is to help you find the best resources and investors, and most times it isn’t us.
We’ve helped over 60 companies raise anywhere between $250k and $20M.
*** HOWEVER ***
It’s a bit incomplete to say “we take companies from startup to funding” precisely because our proces often helps people realize
• Funding isn’t what is going to help them get where they want to go
• They can raise less money, or raise money later, than they originally thought
• They can use different types of funding to reach their goals
• IF funding is the right path, companies sometimes still have a lot to work on to become investable
Yes! Our most successful clients are those that are considering raising money, but want to explore whether this is the right time to raise, and what type of funding and investors to seek.
The best founders are careful about taking other people’s’ money, and want to be sure that they know what they are getting themselves (and investors) into.
Yes! We love helping founders craft their stories – as long as you don’t expect that is what is holding you back from getting investment. Investors don’t invest because you have a great pitch deck, they invest because your company works well, and you know how to make them money. However, we realize that effectively communicating these realities is still important.
We’ve successfully worked with companies across the nation and globally using various communication technologies. Some companies prefer to meet with us at our offices in Salt Lake City, Utah, or Los Angeles, California, and we always love meeting with them in person.
We are a team of investors and entrepreneurs. Everyone on our team has started, scaled, invested, raised money for or exited their own business – and they are all here at Investable because they have been where you are right now and have so much that they can bring to your business to help it work better. Check out our About us page to get acquainted with our amazing group.
Our initial engagements last between 1 and 3 months. Often, it makes sense to continue past the initial engagement and we structure partnerships individually when this occurs. We always start with this initial engagement as it is a structured due-diligence process. This process helps us uncover “blind spots” and also prepares you for introductions to investors.
With our initial engagement, we look to find 1-2 specific projects that will add a TON of value to your business and move you much closer (if not completely) to getting the money and resources you need. Then, if we enjoy working together, we can do more!
We combine deep-dive workshops and coaching with risk analysis and data-driven investment research to help you explore and build a powerful roadmap forward, and to find the resources you’re looking for.
Essentially we perform a due-diligence process with you (rather than against you) that is just what an investor would do, but much more in-depth.
No. But we will work with you to refine your pitch and help you find investors. This is a good thing as investors want to hear from and speak with company founders. We also want to build capability into you and your team for future rounds. If you’re looking for someone to raise the money for you, we’re not a good fit.
Many people think there is only one way to fund your company, bootstrap to Angel to VC. Through our experience in launching, growing, and investing in companies, we’ve learned about and use over 50 ways to fund companies.
We’ve become masters of helping people find the right capital at different times to solve the common problems that companies face, and help our clients find the funding that fits them and their company for their current and future stages.
In starting and running companies, over and over we faced the painful process of raising money. Eventually, we realized that growing companies and getting investment is just plain hard, but that there are common competencies that funders/investors are looking for and a framework that we developed to make the process more effective and efficient.
We have been through all phases of starting and growing businesses, and care deeply about the founders and funders who take on this hero’s journey. The reason we’ve been successful in the past is because we had great mentors and teammates who believed in us, and helped us break through barriers we face on the hard road of entrepreneurship. That’s what we’re here to do with you. To help you see your company through the eyes of an investor and work alongside you to make your company more investable.
It Depends. Raising money takes, on average, 6+ months. Our focus is on making your business work better and making you more investable, rather than just finding you money. However, often we are able to help solve smaller immediate capital needs while helping companies prepare for larger raises.