Alexis Tryon, founder and CEO of art rental service Artsicle, spoke on a panel about fundraising at Business Insider’s Startup 2012 conference:
“It took us a couple months [to raise capital] and I thought I could be working on the product and bringing in customers, but really I needed to be fundraising full-time,” she says.
At the time, Artsicle was just a team of two. They both kept going to every meeting until they realised that they had to split up and start delegating more of their responsibilities to interns and others.
As a first-time entrepreneur, it was very tempting to take every meeting that was offered to her.
“I met with really late-stage funds. I met with some private equity funds. I met with all sorts of people who we were never going to raise funding from,” says Tryon. “About halfway through that I got really strict and I only took meetings with people who I was very confident there was a chance I would take money from.”
Tryon says that getting the very first person to commit and write that first check is particularly hard. Still, in today’s market, there’s more money to be found than ever.
“I think it is an entrepreneur’s market. You can get in front of people who maybe you couldn’t have otherwise gotten in front of,” she says. “But you’ve still got to have something to say and you have to be passionate about what you’re working on.”
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