Friday, September 9, 2011

Raising Money: "They Want My ..."

Yesterday I was speaking to a friend and former mentor of mine. We were discussing raising money, both from the business owner's perspective and from the angel's perspective. (My friend has been both a business owner and an angel investor.) The outcome is that I will be interviewing her and her husband in the next few weeks and posting those interviews for all to see and learn from. She is a consummate start-up and growth phase entrepreneur. Her husband is the growth phase to sell CEO type. This friend, Sharon, is a hoot and uses quite colorful language.

One comment Sharon made that I'd never heard her express before was the following, "I didn't know they would want my panties." LOL Yes, that was my initial reaction. What the f__? Who and why? Did we change the subject from talking about raising startup capital and pursuing angel investors to something else I wasn't sure of? I said as much to Sharon and she explained, "I didn't know they (angel investors) would want so much from me. They wanted to lock up all they could." In other words, it felt like they'd take her underwear if she allowed them. Whew!

I've heard from a lot of entrepreneurs that raising capital is difficult. Sharon raised a lot of capital during the pre-revenue stage where you typically give up more because you have less to show. I spend most of my time working with transitioning businesses, not startups, so it was interesting to hear this perspective. Funny how you know someone well for 14 years but still get surprised.

Any comments on your own early capital raising experiences?

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