Happy fall! Us New Englanders wait all year for the autumn weather to arrive. After a super hot, super rainy summer, the cool, crisp air is welcome relief. The season change also ushers in a flurry of fundraising and investing activity. Having worked with hundreds of overlooked founders at Scroobious and being one myself, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that investors and entrepreneurs have a symbiotic relationship.
Founders: remember that an investor's business model relies on finding founders and startups they believe will perform well. You are presenting the opportunity to join you and profit off your company and you bring just as much to the table. You aren't begging them for money and you aren't less important than they are.
Investors: Underestimated founders are conditioned over the course of our careers to defer to others. This is in full force when we're pitching for investment and further tips an already imbalanced power dynamic. If a founder doesn't display traditional cues of confidence during a pitch (we're not big on chest-thumping), it does NOT signal that they lack the passion and ability to run a successful business and deliver returns. Being intentional about looking beyond pattern-matching pitch behavior will allow you to identify the overlooked opportunities that will yield the greatest results.
A current example of this dynamic in action is the recent $50M funding round for Canvas, which aims to make it easier for companies to hire diverse talent but does not have diverse founders itself. There has been a lot of backlash and uproar; I encourage you to read this Forbes article that explains the justified outrage and highlights a number of incredible overlooked founders in the same space who have struggled to obtain funding.
So, the next time you're in a pitch meeting, be you founder or investor, stop and ask yourself if you're cognizant of your own mindset. Are you entering the meeting as an equal and intentionally setting a tone of balanced power and human to human interaction?
Read on for exciting updates, an ask, job posts, events, and don't miss our featured founder at the end! Not listed below are all of the pitch workshops we're running for incubators, accelerators, and university entrepreneurship programs where we cover pitch deck basics as well as presentation elements related to confidence and bias. Let's chat if you run a program and are interested in providing this content to your members.
Thank you for reading this. Thank you for helping us. I appreciate you.
Allison Byers, Founder & CEO
Each newsletter features the perspective of one of our members. Most are currently raising and I encourage you to reach out to them.
This month’s featured founder is Marc Ward, founder of Socian Technologies. Marc is one of those special people who are super smart, super kind, and super funny all at once. Check him out on Twitter to see what I mean. He posts useful content, voices his opinion, and is always lifting others up.
Marc's 13 year old son was playing video games at the time George Floyd was murdered. As an engineer, Marc was struck by the fact that there is more being done to address human error in games than there is in our policing system. He decided to put his technical skills to use by combining artificial intelligence with state of the art drone technology to create a more adaptive system that decreases preventable human error, reduces monitoring costs, and predicts riot-like behavior such as we saw with The Capitol insurrection.
He's got great momentum and is on the verge of making some big announcements. I highly encourage you to reach out to him for a guaranteed great conversation.