Carta CEO Henry Ward has learned his fair share about fundraising for venture capital.
Today, as a way of “Paying it forward,” Ward helps coach early-stage founders with their fundraising efforts.
He told us that he sees many entrepreneurs making the same common mistakes when raising a seed round – some of which he also made while pitching investors for the first time on Silicon Valley’s storied Sand Hill Road.The first mistake The first mistake, Ward says, is that early-stage founders often think fundraising is an exercise in convincing investors.
In reality, it’s hard to change somebody’s mind – it’s more productive, Ward says, to find investors who get what you’re going for, rather than to keep throwing yourself into a losing situation.
“Seed investors invest because they connect and find passion with the problem,” he said.
That’s true, too, for Series A investors, who consider whether a company will be attractive to Series B or C investors.
Even the later investors want to invest in companies that will soar in an IPO. “Series A and B investors are thinking, what do the growth investors want? What do they get excited about? And growth people are all about what the IPO markets want,” Ward explains.