This is part two of our guide to raising capital and joining an accelerator. The Programs team put together this two-part guide to help you navigate the myriad items you need to get in order to be ready to join the ICA Accelerator or prepare for investment. You can read the first part of this guide here.
If you’ve read Part 1, you’re well on your way to getting your small business ready for acceleration. Now read on below for our top tips on how to get the money – aka. secure capital.
Are you preparing to start pitching to investors, talking to bankers, or asking your friends and family to support your business in some way? As you get ready to get out there, keep the following in mind:
Research the investors relevant to your business!
Keep a list of your dream investors and funders to get in front of. During our culminating Pitch Event, the room is filled with capital providers from our network and from our entrepreneurs’ wish lists. Having a short list in your back pocket might come in handy!
Have a compelling pitch deck! Pitch decks help tell the story of your business to investors. At ICA, we believe in the importance of communicating your vision - the Accelerator culminates with a Pitch Event that gives graduating companies the chance to practice their fundraising pitch in front of ICA’s ecosystem of entrepreneurs, capital providers, investors, and partners.
Your Pitch Deck should be:
- Visually pleasing.
- Short and sweet.
- Telling a personal and financial story.
- Don’t have a pitch deck? Have no fear! ICA can support you in crafting your Pitch Deck and guide you to becoming a pro at pitching. The ingredients to a pitch deck are the same building blocks that make you a dynamic entrepreneur: telling the story of you and your business in an articulate, compelling, and passionate way.
Learn about Pitch Deck Best Practices from ICA Advisor and Venture Operator Sam Earle.
- Plan the terms of your investor relationship! Taking money from an investor can be somewhat like entering into a marriage. It is key to know upfront what you are getting yourself into, and on what terms. While you’re in the Accelerator, ICA and our network of advisors support you as you navigate through the capital landscape. We help you understand the basics as well as support you to craft your own unique capital ask that’s right for your business.
Apply to the ICA Accelerator
ICA’s Accelerator supports high potential businesses to strengthen their fundamental best business practices to become investment-ready. Through workshops and direct advising over a four month period, companies focus on their growth strategy, people strategy, capital strategy, and becoming investment ready.
So, are you ready for the ICA Accelerator? Companies are a good fit when they are:
- A for-profit manufacturer, food and beverage company, consumer packaged goods company, retailer, or service provider located in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Committed to maintaining a business model that supports good job creation and wealth building opportunities
- Focused on growing their business and raising capital in the next 12 months
- Earning at least $100K in annual revenue
- Able to demonstrate product/market fit and traction
- Have the capacity to fully participate and a team to support them
If this describes you, apply now!