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  • Writer's pictureWiziin Inc.

40+ questions top founders asks in fundraising meetings to gain not only the money

There is a crucial thing that only top founders know better than others: when you meet with VCs, don’t just fixate on getting their money — learn from them. So which question should you ask to gain the most from the meeting?

For any offered meeting with a VC, the possibility it will result in funding is between 1% and 10%. That means you have 90+% chance that you will not raise money from this person. So if money is your only goal for that meeting, you are wasting 90%+ of your time.

It’s better to consider the meeting as an opportunity to build your company using the information you get from the VC, not just the money you might get. This will give you a higher return on your time.

Remember that investors see 1000s of companies and have invested in 10s or 100s of them over their careers, which means they’ve likely seen different insights than you have. They see and hear things that you may not. This wealth of experience is sitting right in front of you. You just need to know what to ask, and how.

The right mindset for investor meeting

  1. Come to VC meetings as an equal, not as if the VC is above or below you.

  2. “Pitch” meetings are poorly named. They are better to be seen as strategy meetings.

  3. As a Founder, your #1 job in building your startup is to learn quickly. VC meetings are no exception.

  4. Use the first part of this strategy meeting to explain what you know about your business so far, not simply “pitching.” Then the vast majority of the remaining time should be spent asking the VC questions and engaging in dialogue as collaborators. For example: If you have 10 minutes, explain what you know about your business for 4, and ask questions for 6. If you have 30 minutes, explain for 8 minutes, and discuss for 22. It would help if you had a large appendix in your deck that you can refer to during the discussion.

  5. The VCs you talk to are likely to give you different pieces of advice because there is no right answer and it also depends on the level of experience with who are you meeting. But over many meetings, you will cobble together the right advice. You’ll then be able to improve your business so that investing in your business becomes a no-brainer.

To help the founder get the best from this mindset, I’ve collected 30+ great questions that I’ve observed from others in the pitching meeting connected by Wiziin and James Currier from NfX. These are useful questions that every founder should ask to open up the dialogue and start building more authentic, open, and long-term relationships with their investor. These questions focused on

  1. Getting an Understanding of How Your Company is Viewed

  2. Know the downside

  3. Competitive Landscape

  4. Addressable Market

  5. Level Up Your Fundraising Process

  6. The Right KPIs

  7. How Your Team Measures Up

Final words

VCs are a resource. They are pattern recognition machines that have been trained by thousands and thousands of data points from the startups they’ve seen. They’re a strategic wellspring of the startup ecosystem that is there for you to avail yourself of. If you ask the right questions, VCs can help calibrate your business, help you avoid costly mistakes, and ultimately get your startup to become the best version of itself and maximize your chances of success.

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