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The “Why?” “When?” “How Much?” questions of raising money are enough to keep a founder awake at night. And the reasons you might raise external funds are numerous- from acquiring inventory, hiring sales resources to marketing, and expanding product lines.

And knowing when you’re ready to pitch to angels is an essential discussion for you, any co-founders, and closest advisors to have. You might raise when you have proven to investors that you can realize your vision or the opportunity has a large market to sustain a business. Investors may come into the business when you have identified and mitigated enough risks to invest their money.

And then there is the question of “How?”… “How do I prepare my business for investment?”

Preparing for your first investment round can be a daunting task. It requires meticulous planning and a comprehensive understanding of your business.

Businesses that are ready for an angel round of funding:

As a founder, you should run your fundraising process like a sales process. Use sales tools available to you to make the most of your process. Use a CRM for tracking every touchpoint, consider upgrading to LinkedIn Sales Navigator for research, use DocSend when you send out your deck, and use HubSpot to send out updates and tracking opens. Treat your fundraising like a professional sales process — because that’s precisely what it is.

Angel investment is really “smart money”! It is a financial investment into your business and a strategic investment – angel investors offer access to mentorship, advisors, and connections into networks and industry.

Remember, the investment process is not just about securing funds; it’s about building a foundation for sustained growth and development.

Kate Tomen is Vice President of Angel Investors Ontario (AIO). AIO convenes Ontario’s Angel investors, who directly provide capital and volunteer mentorship to innovative startups province-wide.

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