Fundraising is purely a matter of momentum. If there's one thing you take away from this book, this is the one. . Three steps to fundraise around momentum: . Lay the soil (build a network of champions) . A strong intro is everything in a fundraise. A cold intro or cold email is basically useless. Step 1 is about building a network of champions to generate those warm intros. The best “champions“ are other founders and mentors who are not investors themselves. Hosting gatherings for founders and investors is a great way to get this done. With each event, ask everyone to invite other interesting people. While we started out by fronting the money for snacks and drinks, we got close enough to some VCs who offered to sponsor. This step should be repeated each round. Plant the seeds (start casually meeting investors) . While you're ready to meet investors, you're still not raising! You have a very short window of time to complete each round - the longer it drags out, the less momentum you have. . As soon as you start telling investors you are raising, you are opening yourself up to getting no's before you're ready. Meeting investors while you're not raising has the following benefits.. It signals you care about relationship building. Your upcoming round will be competitive. You will really know if the investors are a good fit for you. You can't get no's. You will get yes's - even if you say you're not raising, you make an amazing impression, they will show strong indications they want to invest. When you have investors consistently forward-leaning after relationship building then you're ready. Send it (you're fundraising!) . Leverage the strongest introductions in your network. NOTE: Avoid being introduced to an investor by another investor who isn't already invested in your company. Some investors will introduce you to other investors who will wait to see what they do. I want independent thinkers backing me. . Founders commonly regret breaking this rule. Example email:. Leverage your strongest intros by getting connected with the people who know them the best.. Wait 24 hours after getting the intro - if they don't follow up within 24 hours, then you can reach out to keep the momentum. Once the intro has landed, this is the email to be sent.. Hey [Investor], it's great to meet you! [Node] says amazing things. How's Wednesday at 1pm or 3pm ET for an intro call? Looking forward to it! Dialogue > Decks. Don't send prior to the meeting, send bullet points. “Sorry I don't have those materials right now but here“. How do you find yourself providing the most value to your portfolio? . If they ask you a questions about your business and you don't have an answer today, don't be afraid to say that you will decide down the road. We just haven't made that decision because it's too early. . Remember, you're still not fundraising. But you can hint that you are in the near future. . Keep the meeting to 30 minutes, no more. Remember - you're a busy founder too. The goal of the first meeting is to establish a longer, second meeting. . The more questions you ask them about their process the better. . Ending the meeting: “Thanks again for your time. I really enjoyed this conversation. I know it was short, so if you enjoyed it too, let's set up a deeper dive on our product, etc. And I'll come prepared with more questions about you.“ . Ideally, you can nail down a time at the first meeting otherwise you can schedule over email . Literally the first thing I do after the meeting is send a SUPER short 1-2 sentence follow up. Hey [Investor], it was great to chat just now! Looking forward to getting to know you better. . This is where you insert more times if you did not already plan it. . The second meeting is where the product demo is best. “Whatever pulls the curtains back on the product“ . I like to start the conversation by saying I want it to be bidirectional . Ask them about the investments they made and why they made them. There are a couple ways the second meeting can come to and end, . They say it was great chatting but don't make any motions to invest. In this case put them in the “reach back out when investing“ list. By the end of the meeting, they explicitly say they want to invest. You can keep up with your touch points with a quick meeting every 4-6 weeks just talking about the market and other things outside your company . You can even introduce them to other founders! . Investor: “I'd like to invest. Are you currently fundraising?“. We're in a fortunate situation. We only planned on raising $3M and took a step back after raising $2M because we had X business objective to tackle. Also we really want to get to know people before taking their money. So, in summary, yes, we could take more money from the right high-value investors, but we're in no rush and being way more deliberate“ . When you're ready to “Send it!“ you should reach back out with a major company milestone and the news that you are indeed, now raising. . You have built towards this moment (product milestone that you may have already even hit), combined with the investor interest you have already accumulated, will generate SERIOUS momentum. . “We initially weren't going to raise for another few months but X and Y milestones came much earlier“ . Investors know that those who invest earlier, get better terms. . I usually advise founders to raise a small amount at a $6-8M cap, then graduate it to a $10-12M. . If they're asking what the price is in the first conversation.. “Let's do a deeper dive then if we're both still excited, we can certainly discuss economics“ . “We're raising at a $XM cap“ . Use a model like Note Genie to keep track of how much of your company you have given away. NoteGenie.com. When they explicitly say they want to invest, make sure to tell them you are honored. . If still in the first step, say you would like to do a deeper dive. If second step, add you might be willing to do something for the right folks. If third, ask them how much money they typically like to invest. Suggest they should meet your co-founder or someone else on your team. Ask for references! The framing is not vetting the investor but learning “how to work with them best“. When completing references, ask for 10 minutes and stick to that. . Questions you will want to ask:. How was it to work with X? Have you gone through tough times with them? . Did they ever do anything to upset you? . How have they helped you? . Do you feel comfortable approaching them with challenges? . If any of these questions come back unfavorably, run. . If they're good, send them an email letting them know they are in, ask for a 5-minute call, and can make room. . Send them docusign and wiring instructions. Nothing is closed until the money hits your account.