David Sullivan's picture

Have thick skin for your startup

I recently attended a startup/launch event in San Francisco. A client requested
last minute that I be in attendance at their sponsor booth to help answer investor/
investment questions from a purported large number of investors that would be
attending.

Raising investment dollars for your startup is an incredibly difficult task, so the promise of providing investors who will be giving you and your company significant attention is alluring. However, like most things in life it usually isn’t as it seems. Young startups paid close to 20K to attend the three-day event, and were given a small tabletop and six minutes on the main stage.

I’ve actually taken some time to write down my experience because I wasn’t sure how to best describe it…a mash-up of the emotions I felt attending 8 th grade and what I think must be happening to those on the reality TV show “The Bachelor”. So many young hopefuls with dreams of becoming the next facebook, but so few investors are giving out “roses”. All of us young entrepreneurs excitedly sharing our visions and dreams, but no investors were stopping by or listening. Although I was disappointed in the lack of enthusiasm shown for our company, I felt even more discouraged for others who had fantastic ideas, but no interest.

My conclusions from that weekend is that golden opportunities to locate investors don’t typically come from expensive weekend conferences in Silicon Valley, but rather thru consistent small successes coupled with equally small investments from believing friends and acquaintances. As the successes grow, so do the investments, but not until.

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