Raising money through angels or fund managers is something that most management does, at best, infrequently. For SEIS, EIS and VCT money, it’s often the first time founders have sought equity. Richard Cooper of Oxford Innovation Finance has advised many companies in the past and is now a fund manager, so has lots of experience to help founders prepare.
We start with some of the basics, such as whether a company should be raising money at all and what sort of money it should look for. We then discuss the practical things that can be done, and the importance of the pitch and data rooms. Richard gives some great insights into some of the little things founders can do to impress potential funders. He also highlights the value of education and some of the resources and support founders can get.
Richard also discusses the process of seeking a funder. He talks about how to shortlist potential angel syndicates and fund managers and, when you have a choice, how to differentiate between them. He also highlights the advantage of a warm introduction. Finally, we discuss some of the common mistakes that founders make when fundraising, most of which are easily avoided.
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Richard Cooper is the Managing Director of Oxford Innovation Finance. He has been working with early-stage companies for the past twenty years, both in the UK and Australia, in a funding and business advisory capacity. Having developed two early-stage software companies himself, he has advised on hundreds of early-stage companies to develop their growth strategies and raise them funding as a result. This allows Richard to be able to identify companies with strong growth potential and advise them if needed. Richard has an MSc in Marketing from the University of Leicester and post-graduate qualifications in applied finance and project management. Richard also has a CFA Certificate in Investment Management and the foundation course in Private Equity from the Australian Venture Capital Association.