One of the most common questions asked by aspiring entrepreneurs is how to get a Series A funding.
To make sure we're all on the same page, let's first define what a Series A round is and what its not.
Series A Funding, also known as Series A financing, is defined as the first round of outside investment from one more venture capital funds. This is not the same as seed or pre-seed funding, which is usually provided by one or more angel investors, otherwise known as high net-worth individuals.
Since raising a Series A is very tough to do, one of the questions many founders have is what can they do for their firm to be in a better position to ultimately receive a series a funding round.
Beyond the basics of having a great idea with great potential, impressive traction to date, solid team, etc., a lot of it comes down to who you know and what organization(s) you have joined to prepare your team for the road ahead.
Who you know starts with basic networking. Ask for introductions, attend conferences, build your circle of people that can help you directly or indirectly.
In terms of organizations, one of these organizations that is almost universally recommended is what is known as a startup accelerator, or seed accelerator.
Among other things, startup accelerators provide some seed funding, many connections, a dedicated mentor and invaluable education through a fixed term. A cohort of other startups are accepted into the program as well.
Top-tier accelerators are so beneficial to getting a Series A round that the top three accelerators alone account for about 10% of all series a funding rounds.
However, just getting into a top-tier accelerator is also very difficult, since many of the leading venture firms will only source candidates from these accelerators.
Keep in mind, nothing will take the place of a compelling business opportunity, the proven ability to execute and the right team. That all said, you need to also position yourself to be noticed and then believed in by the right people.
Who you know and what experiences you've had along the way will be key in establishing this positioning, so series a investors will ultimately be able to have full confidence in selecting your team.