Your application for funding is a first impression to investors who have not met you or know anything about your startup.  

A few good things to start with are:

  • An accurate expression of what your product or service is 
  • An understanding for whom your product or service is for 
  • Throw in the team and set of advisors that understand this market, it’s customers and mix

Remember to aim for accuracy, not grand statements of best product ever or the next Facebook and please know that your product is not for EVERYONE.  I do find it funny when people emphasize EVERYONE in caps as if to make it that much more amazing.  

Here are a few comical errors to not have on your application:

  • Valuations north of $100 million, if this is a true early stage company, that is not possible
  • Claim to have printed gear with your logo (t-shirts, hoodies, and bumper stickers) as a selling point and you have half an idea with no plans on execution
  • Expected revenue is meant to surpass the 1000 pound gorilla in the marketplace in six months (also known as your biggest competitor) – meaning, you cannot take down google in six months
  • Building  a product that does everything in three months when you are starting from nothing.  Break out the vision, what is the bigger idea and how do you plan to grow in that space.
  • There are many others, but these are some far fetched variations of extremes that I have encountered. 
Do think through your application.  To add a fresh perspective, ask yourself “Who cares?” whilst filling out the application.  What is missing from your answers that makes your startup valuable, hopefully compelling and certainly valid.  This goes for your financials as well.  
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