Fundraising Tips for Early Stage Founders

Seedling and money in glass

According to a new report by Latin Donor Collaborative, US Latinos GDP is a critical force in the recovery of the economy and key in creating new businesses.  For most founders, the art of fundraising to kickstart their firms can be the most challenging. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting some recent tips from our Latinx Ulupreneurs about the often painful process of raising a round.

Tanya Menendez

Tanya Menendez – Co-founder and CEO, Snowball Wealth

Focus on the people that already believe in the trends that you’re seeing. I think that makes these conversations much easier. And take time to understand the language and the norms of your industry, and the specific fundraising tactics. That you need for your specific vertical. Because fundraising for b2c versus b2b versus b2b, b2c can be completely different, and what you’re required and what you need to prepare for can be completely different. I think it’s important to take a bit of time before fundraising to talk to other founders to understand what’s changed in the industry so that you can be best prepared in the conversations.

CoreChain Founder Chris Aguas

Chris Aguas – Founder and CEO, CoreChain

Match up real market needs with real solutions, and then get resources behind them: people, money, customers. I don’t think you can force the process. I think an entrepreneur has to have an in-depth understanding of the problem that they’re trying to solve before they can successfully muster resources, whether it’s people or money. It’s really challenging to be successful. If you don’t understand the problem you’re solving at an extreme depth, investors will challenge you on that. And if they don’t, investors will bring in other subject matter experts who have that degree of expertise. So make sure before you hit the fundraising trail that you have a really deep understanding of the customer problem and how your solution addresses that problem in a unique fashion.

Hector Hulian

Hector Hulian – Founder and CEO, Ugami

Do your homework. Make sure you’re passionate about and very clear on the industry you’re going after, and know what you’re wanting to do when developing your project. Then be very persistent on contacting the funds that you would like to work with. You may hear “no” a lot, but there’s going to be someone out there who is going to align with your vision. So it’s worthwhile to find people that really understand your vision, your concept, and really like what you’re doing.

Hey Jane founder

Gaby Izarra – Co-founder, Hey Jane

Be sure that you are always collecting the right data to help build your narrative. You’ve got to be resilient and have strong convictions.

Out of the gate, we had very strong convictions that telemedicine is the future of abortion care. That persistence has allowed us to grow the business in a way that translates into getting funded.

Abortion remains a highly controversial subject for some and because of our mission, we needed to find investors who were incredibly aligned with us and equally motivated to see Hey Jane reach its ambitious visions. We succeeded in doing that!

Gina Sanchez - Chantico Technology

Gina Sanchez – Founder and CEO Chantico Technology

duoYou also have to envision your product and why it is going to be the most important thing that people can buy. Know where your clients are coming from. I think the main reason I got funded pre-product, pre-revenue, was because we were actually taking a known client base that was already willing to pay us; they had committed to pay for the product if we built it. That was enormous in terms of being able to get the product off the ground.

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Rusty Dornin
Rusty Dornin is the director of marketing and communications for Ulu Ventures. An award-winning radio and television journalist, she was a CNN correspondent for nearly 18 years covering domestic and world news ranging from war to natural disasters and tales of crime and politics.
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