How to raise money if you don't have a network or went to an ivy league school?


It turns out that most new founders that get seed funded usually get their foot in the VC door via:

  • Recommended by someone
  • Worked at a well known company like Google or FB
  • Went to an ivy league school like Stanford

How can someone without a network, ivy league education, or past record (first time founder) successfully raise a $500K+ seed round?

Networking Venture Capital Founders Seed Funding Startups

asked May 19 '15 at 21:14
Juan Bourg
11 points
Get up to $750K in working capital to finance your business: Clarify Capital Business Loans

1 Answer


One thought that comes to my mind is to go through an incubator. They usually give you well under the $500K that you're hoping for (more like $10K, but it varies) but after coming out the successful side of an incubator, you become far more appealing to the angel investors and VCs.

More importantly, I'd suggest you immediately start trying to figure out how to get to an MVP product with well under $500K. That's quite a bit of money and can easily fund a team of 3 for multiple years. You've probably got some sort of cost of physical goods that is getting added in, but there's probably still a way you could reduce it.

If you can get yourself down to more like $10K or $50K, you open up a lot more options for getting yourself started. (Home equity loan, startup/small business loans, friends and family, personal savings, etc.) If you can bootstrap yourself to a point where you've got something stable that pays the bills, that will also make you more enticing to the VCs, and you might find them coming to you, instead of you having to go to them.

That doesn't directly answer your question of how you get the big VC seed round (I've basically turned it into a different problem) but hopefully it still has some value.

answered May 20 '15 at 03:35
3,465 points

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