Tag Archives: Fundraising

Startup Superhero Video Series! – This Week Featuring Preccelerator Mentor Lisa Tsou on “Fundraising Tactics”

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and the Preccelerator Program are proud to announce the launch of their Startup Superhero Video Series – featuring SA&M Attorneys, Preccelerator Mentors, and entrepreneurs on topics specific to entrepreneurship and lessons learned throughout the journey.

This week we’re featuring Preccelerator Mentor Lisa Tsou as she talks about “Fundraising  Tactics.”

Lisa Tsou provides independent strategy and solutions for entrepreneurs so they can grow their businesses to the next level. She is passionate about working with innovative entrepreneurs and startups to develop unique strategies to grow and fund their businesses. Whether you are a startup on the track for traditional venture-capital financing or an entrepreneur on a more offbeat path, she can collaborate with you to develop and implement a creative and practical strategy for success. Lisa also speaks regularly on issues related to startups, tech and women in business. She has been a featured speaker at events including The West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference, The SoGal Summit, The USC Graduate Women in Business Summit, Women Founders Network, and Bruin Entrepreneurs, and appeared in publications including The Huffington Post, CNBC, GenHERation and E The Magazine for Today’s Female Executive and the Business Rockstars program.

 

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Transcript

Speaker: Lisa Tsou

Moderator: Heidi Hubbeling

Startup Superhero Series-Intro with Lisa Tsou “Fundraising Tactics”

Heidi: Today we are featuring Lisa Tsou of the Winning Pitch and Lisa is one of our mentors here at the Preccelerator. She specializes in fundraising, pitch-investor decks, helping companies with their formal presentation as well as other kinds of strategies for fundraising. Tell us a little bit about yourself and thank you for being here.

Lisa: Thanks Heidi. I started working with startups back twenty years ago this year, when I graduated from law school. Spent many years on Wall Street doing Venture Capital, Ipos, mergers and acquisitions, all with tech and startup companies. Spent my whole career on startups and am now concentrating on the part I really enjoy which is the growth part of startups. Working with startups on their fundraising, their investor strategy and positioning for investors.

Heidi: All very important things, especially at this stage within the Preccelerator and other startup companies in this Los Angeles ecosystem. Going back to the fundraising and preparing the pitch presentation, what exactly are investors looking for when companies are starting that fundraising process?

Lisa: I think the best way to think about what investors are looking for is to think of it as a risk reward ratio. Basically, venture capitalists are looking for a really big reward and as small a risk as possible. They’re looking for things with really big markets or things a consumer or a business would be using with a lot of frequency. Something that can get really big and then they are trying to find things with as little risk with the really big as possible. Things that would be considered as something like a risk would be does your product work? Does the consumer like it? Things like what other competition might be out there? I like to think of it as that kind of ratio.

Heidi: That’s a great way to look at it. In a life-cycle of a company, especially with these early stage companies When is the right time to start fundraising? What are those key metrics?

Lisa: I’m going to say something that I know is going to sound really contradictory, but it’s a combination of as late as possible and earlier than you think. A lot of startups go “oh I should go out there and find a venture capitalist to fund me” without thinking through when do they really need the capital? Can they go a little longer? The longer you can go without outside financing, the stronger position you’re in. If you go very early, the venture capitalist is going to take a lot of your company control and you are not going to get as much capital as you would like. So, on one hand think as late as possible on the other hand, from that point start earlier than you think. It’s going to take longer to get in front of investors, get them comfortable with you and build that relationship. From that point when you think you need capital, I would say start certainly start six to nine months earlier than that.

Heidi: The due diligence process by itself once you actually have somebody who is interested in funding you can take four, six, eight months at that point. Also, figuring out whether or not venture capital funding is right for you, versus angel investors versus small business loans. Whatever funding that type of company might need depending on their scalability.

Lisa: Absolutely! Investors are going to ask questions and you may need to think things through or vet some other elements of your business before they will write a check.

Heidi: What are your tactics? What do you suggest to startups when they start looking for funding? How can they get in front of an investor or a VC?

Lisa: It’s a combination of research and somehow wrangling a warm introduction. The research part being finding the right VC or investor depending on their situation. That makes sense for them. How big a check the investor generally writes and the industries they may be comfortable with investing in. Doing that research which will take time and then wrangling your warm introduction to get to them. A lot of investors are not going to be receptive just cold email or blind submissions to them. Working your way through your network, which may be a five or six step process to finding the person who knows a person, who knows a person, who knows a person, to getting in-front of that investor.

Heidi: That’s very important. So, you have been a value and a resource to the Preccelerator program. What are some of your favorite things about being a mentor here, about the program and working with the companies?

Lisa: I really enjoy working with the Preccelerator. As I said I was an attorney at one point doing this kind of work. It’s fun being around really smart people like at Stubbs Alderton and the other mentors who are also awesome. I just love working with the companies. I think you put together a really smart batch of companies who are doing a lot of interesting things in different industries. It’s always fun to come over here and hangout for a couple of hours and see what they’re doing and see if I can help them.

Heidi: I am proud of them! It was great to have you here and we will see you guys next time at the Startup Superhero Series.

Lisa Tsou
The Winning Pitch
lisa@winningpitch.com

 

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To learn more about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com

You’re Invited to Preccelerator® Program Class 6 Demo Day + 5-Year Anniversary Party!

 Preccelerator

 

The Deal

Clear your calendar – It’s going down! The Preccelerator® Program Class 6 Demo Day kicks off on September 13th @ 5:30pm, and you’re invited to take part in the festivities. SAM Preccelerator® Program is our meeting spot to showcase the Preccelerator®’s current class of all-star companies to investors and the start-up community. Followed by an endless summer party and networking on our outdoor patio to celebrate the Preccelerator’s 5-year anniversary!

Appetizers and drinks on us!

Demo Day

The Location

1453 3rd Street Promenade, Suite 300
Santa Monica, 90401 CA

The SAM Preccelerator® is located in the heart of Silicon Beach. Off of 3rd Street Promenade, it has the ease of parking at both the Santa Monica Main Place Mall and Parking Structure #5 on the corner of 4th Street and Broadway.

The Participants

Tapp That App is passionate about finding great apps, but they know it can be difficult. So they’ve set out to solve the problem of mobile app discovery by combining social networks with app marketplaces. By doing so they allow users to satisfy their curiosity and developers to take part in one of the most powerful purchase motivators around: seeing the apps their friends and influencers are using.

RentSpreeRentSpree – Most apartment searches involve numerous resources, multiple applications, and too many added fees. Rather than spending massive amounts of time and money applying for individual Los Angeles apartment rentals with separate companies, they’ve created a streamlined system. Simply fill out one application, pay an inexpensive application fee, and receive a soft credit check, sparing you unnecessary damage to your budget and credit score. Best of all, their one-stop application allows you to spend more time exploring your favorite listings, and gives our renters a distinct advantage in a competitive market.

Swoppit – With recycled fashion now white hot, Swoppit offers Generation Z women 15-24 the perfect social marketplace. Here, they swap fashion with friends. Swoppit provides Gen Zers a terrific way to both expand their community and gain access to a far wider
selection of style. It’s an easy, fun experience that doesn’t pollute the market. For Gen Zers, looks count, opinions matter and Swoppit offers them the chance to refresh their closet whenever they like.

 

Animate Objects is an augmented reality and virtual reality development company, is excited to announce the launch of ARGO, the gamified Augmented Reality (AR) location platform. ARGO adds AR enhanced infotainment, commerce, and analytics that drive engagement and commerce at “Destination Venues” like theme parks, resort, shopping malls, as well as in-the-wild. Guests are engaged and incentivized while site operators use ARGO’s real-time dashboard to manage, monitor and analyze their properties and visitors.

 

The Lineup

5:30pm-Registration & Networking

6:00pm-Opening Remarks
Heidi Hubbeling, Chief Operating Officer- Preccelerator Program

6:15pm-Preccelerator Demos: 8 minute presentations / 5 minute Q&A

7:30pm-Networking + Preccelerator Anniversary Party on the Patio

 

We hope to see you there!