Reader feedback
“Hi Murray,

I am a frequent reader of your articles on Forbes. In the article about ways to find an investor, you have described the way that actually worked for our startup. We have managed to get the €1 mln founding thanks to reaching to potential investors on LinkedIn.”

Whom is This Book For?

Building a successful business can be one of the most challenging endeavors to take on in life, and it is certainly not for the faint of heart. As successful business owners, we know this all too well, and this is where our experience comes into play. As investors and entrepreneurs, we have built our own businesses from the ground up, and we have helped many others to build successful companies, as well. Now, we want to help you to build your business, and it all starts with funding and knowing how to find funding for your start up. In this book, we are going to share our secrets for meeting investors, raising capital, and pushing your ideas forward.

Many entrepreneurs have a well thought out idea─a preliminary prototype, a solid business plan, and even a great pitch that has gotten some traction. They even have started building a team of experts in the field they are starting to pursue. However, they are hitting a wall when it comes to investors. The problem is that the investors that they might have access to are either not familiar with their product or industry, or perhaps don’t even exist at all.

We run into so many hard working entrepreneurs who are out to solve a difficult problem, one that would be exciting if heard by the right people. The biggest hurdle for the business owner is finding the right investor to share their idea with. They spend hours on sites like Angel List, wasting time at crowded and boring meetups where they meet Angels who are not interested in their idea because frankly, that Angel probably knows nothing about their industry.
The entrepreneurs whom we work with, fortunately, keep pressing forward and never give up on their idea, product, or team. They keep advancing and learning from every elevator pitch, every meeting, and every “No.” This is the mindset that we want you to have, as well.

However, we understand this unforgiving process all too well. We hear the stories of frustration, disappointment, and endless challenges. The hardest thing is to watch founders give up because they cannot get the capital necessary to push their dream forward. Or, they simply cannot find the right people to make their dreams come true. The thing to remember, however, is that finding, pitching, and negotiating with the right investors doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a long process─one that is fragile─and many things can go wrong along the way.

Many entrepreneurs are brilliant in their industry and product knowledge but don’t know how to pitch their product. Alternatively, others are great at pitching─but for some reason, they keep getting a “No.”
If you feel like you are running on a treadmill trying to unlock the secret of finding, pitching, and negotiating with the right investors, this book is written for you. We have put this book together for the entrepreneur who is bright and knows the ins and outs of the problems he aims to solve.

Maybe the problem is that you’re not the most sophisticated in dealing with the small details with investors─the details that can make a good deal go sideways, or turn a great meeting opportunity into wasted time. Often, we watch business owners pitch to investors, or we are pitched to ourselves, and the co-founder is blind to what he or she is doing wrong. If that’s you, we can help.

If you haven’t received money for your amazing idea yet, the odds are that you’re doing something that’s off. This book will help you identify where in your process you may be misaligning your pitch process with the investors.
This book is also for small business owners who need a crash course in the fundamentals of raising money–from the conception stage all the way to the growth stage. We cover which stage you are in, who is the best person to raise funds from, how to meet the perfect investor, and the basics of terms and your business structure. Additionally, we have included advice from not only our team but also other experts in the field who can help you to take your business to the next level.

We firmly believe in the entrepreneurial spirit, and it is our dedication to this process that has inspired us to reveal some of the best secrets and hacks to help you build your business faster and see the success that your start up deserves.

How Funding Accelerates Your Business

Funding your start up may seem like a daunting task. This can be especially true for someone new to the world of business finance, as there are many avenues of funding to explore.

This book will serve as a guide to start up funding and will help business owners navigate the complicated world of business finance. I have spoken to investors, angel investors, bench capitalists, and business owners who have successfully funded start ups to learn the processes involved in obtaining these funds.

One of the biggest reasons start ups fail is a lack of access to capital, or accessing capital at the wrong time. Additionally, this book will help entrepreneurs understand when to fundraise, how to meet investors, and who would be the best people to connect with throughout the start up process.

What Stage are You In?

Understanding the stage of your start up is the crucial first step in where you need to look for funding. Identifying which stage you’re in will be a great starting point for determining your personal next steps.


You have identified a problem, and you have created a product that might solve it. You have a rough idea of how much it would cost, as well. Typically, at this stage, you would reach out to wealthy friends and family who have set aside 10% – 20% of their portfolio for a high-risk investment and who believe in your product to take it to the next stage.
This is a stage where we start seeing many entrepreneurs try to fundraise─unsuccessfully. Remember, you don’t need a ton of working capital, just enough to take yourself to the next step and have a little cushion, as well.

• How much do you need?
You need enough to build a prototype.

• Who are your investors?
Friends and Family.


You have built your concept, and it is working─sort of. It’s enough to take it to Angel investors and pre-seed and seed investors.
Getting from the concept to a working prototype is a huge leap forward. The prototype is incredibly important to getting investors’ attention. They want to see that you have built something–even if it’s small and only a minimal viable product.

• How much do you need?

Enough to fund two-week iteration cycles during your Alpha and Beta. Calculate your burn rate and predict it will rise month over month during the Beta.
• Who are your investors?

Angels and Super Angels.


You have a working product, one that is good enough to test with a core group of “super users” who are giving you great feedback. At this stage, you should be actively looking and hunting for a seed round that will accelerate growth.

• How much do you need?
Start thinking beyond burn and begin thinking about user acquisition costs and sales.

• Who are your investors?

Super Angels who are recruiting more Angels in a healthy seed raise.


At this stage, you’re testing it with a larger group of users, and you should be in serious talks with several funders. Additionally, you have key performance indicators all attached to ROI, you understand how much you need to have a runway to last you two years, and you can get a few funds in on a $2 – $6 million raise.

• How much do you need?

This depends on product and user acquisition targets. How fast you want to scale will determine how much you need.

• Who are your investors?

Series A Round of Venture.

Types of Investors

There are several types of investors, and taking the time to understand whom they are and what the profile of one might look like is always helpful before you begin networking to find the right person to take your start up to the next level.

Friends and Family

Many start ups resist pitching friends and family. They are reticent because they fear it will affect their personal relationship. However, this belief needs to change. If you, as an entrepreneur, really believe in yourself and your business, then you are providing an opportunity to grow their wealth, as well.
During the beginning stage of your start up, pitching to wealthy friends and family is the best way to get funding to get your prototype made and hit the ground running. Most smart investors put aside a certain amount of their portfolio (10% – 20%) for high-risk investments, and your start up would be considered “high-risk.”
Those who are most willing to take a risk are younger investors who have put aside a bit of cash. This would be those in the late 30’s to early 40’s, and even in the early 50’s. Typically, they are single and never been married, or happily married, and never been through a divorce.
These professionals are usually in a high-income capacity, and have invested in many vehicles, bonds, stocks, IRA’s, and may have dabbled in start ups. Look for those who have taken a risk and actually seen some success.
Those who have been burned may be somewhat skeptical, but they may have also learned a lesson and want to get back in. Start with a soft sell. Send your pitch deck and business plan and ask for their opinions, edits, and to forward it to any of their “wealthy” friends who may want to invest. If it’s truly a good opportunity they cannot pass up–they’ll let you know with a meeting and a check.
Most of the time when you’re pitching to friends and family, it’s not a huge raise. It should only be enough for a prototype, so it’s most likely less than $50,000. If it is more than that, question what you’re trying to build, because you might be building something that’s too advanced.
Remember: minimal viable product.


Angels are the elusive investors everyone hears about, but no one seems to know. In an entrepreneur’s mind, these are the supermodels of investing. Angel List ( is a directory of individuals who are available and ready to invest. However, Angel List is more like the yellow pages and less of a “warm introduction” that early stage entrepreneurs need.
Yet, these people actually do invest, and invest anywhere between $10k -$1 million and can act almost as a founder. In fact, Angels usually have already invested in several start ups and have seen success. Some have chosen to be Angels because they are high-risk, high reward types, and others love tech.
Moreover, I have met a few Angles that had no other options–they were in accidents and needed to diversify their own investments due to their inability to hold a regular job.

Super Angels

If you get your hands on a Super Angel, consider yourself blessed. These Angels actually act like a small fund. They fundraise for your start up while you get the work done. You build the product while they go to their wealthy network and pitch the idea and continually infuse your business, so you don’t have to stress.
If you are looking for an Angel, find out how healthy their network is, and try to find a Super Angel. Super Angels typically have had a background in Angel investing and have been successful at it. They are a bit older and have a network of friends who are in their 40’s and 50’s who are looking to take on a bit of risk.

Venture Capitalists

These partners give you your “institutional” round. They raise a large fund (anywhere from several million to several billion) and give your company a cash infusion to accelerate your growth.
Venture Capitalists in the tech industry are typically in San Francisco, New York, Boston, and some consumer and advertising in Los Angeles. Venture Capital firms like to stick to certain verticals or types of start ups where they network and can know enough about that industry to make better guesses.
Some venture capitalists come from Private Equity, some have entrepreneurial backgrounds themselves, and others have worked for large banks in New York as analysts and have transitioned over. Knowing the background of the Venture Managing Partner you’re pitching can be a huge help in knowing if he’s a finance guy or an entrepreneur.

Investment Bankers

Investment Bankers raise capital, sometimes for funds, at times for wealthy individuals, and sometimes for start ups themselves, and can act as a matchmaker. These partners search for investors usually for a fee. A typical finder’s fee is negotiated upfront, and it is generally between 5% – 10%.
Investment Bankers must be licensed with a series 6 or 7 license. If a person offers to “fundraise” for you and wants a finder’s fee and is not licensed, they can only accept a consulting fee and/or equity. Otherwise, the activity is illegal.
Investment Bankers can be useful resources because they will get you a warm introduction using their network, and will do the pitching for you. This is good because most venture capitalists don’t like cold calls from random entrepreneurs.


Crowdfunding is becoming a more popular option for start ups to prove that their concept is popular, that it solves a problem, and that it can be used as a marketing tool. Soon the SEC rules will be changing, and individuals will be able to purchase shares in start ups directly.

Flash Funding

Flash Funding is a new, popular concept started by www. This is where start-ups who have a lead investor (typically 20% of the raise) can use the domino effect by posting their pitch deck online with their capital raised, and other investors have the opportunity to jump in for a fixed equity rate. It is an excellent way to get extra attention if you already have 10- 20% from a lead investor.