General Assembly, a school for aspiring entrepreneurs, was cofounded by 25-year-old Brad Hargreaves last year and it’s his third startup.
Hargreaves founded two other companies while he was in college. For the second, GoCrossCampus, he and his cofounders raised $2 million with no product and no concept of how to spend the cash responsibly.
“We ended up raising $2 million for GoCrossCampus — we didn’t know what we were going to use that money for,” he tells us. “We had something in our heads and of course we had a Use of Proceeds slide, but the difference between a Use of Proceeds slide and a fundamental understanding of what you’ll use the money for in your head are totally different things.”
Hargreaves waited until he had a proven product-market fit before raising $4.25 million for General Assembly. “We already had something out in the market that was working really well and growing really fast,” he says. “We needed the money to grow it faster.”
Check out his advice on fundraising, growing and scaling a startup, below.
Produced by Robert Libetti