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So you want to raise a fund (Part 4/4)

The fundraising process.

Prepare and curate a fund presentation deck

There are no set guidelines, no ideal pitchbooks. Ultimately when you bring your deck into a meeting, investors will see what they like to see. I personally recommend no more than 15 pages: 30% strategy, 30% team, 40% case studies and track record. If you have additional slides, chuck them into the appendices.

Leverage social media, expound thought leadership

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter used to be associated largely with casual and informal information shared by our personal contacts. Today, this is very different. Social media has become a ‘broadcasting’ tool to showcase not only personal experiences but also professional updates — a career move, promotion, transition into a new role or even starting a new venture.

Participate in conferences and speaking engagements

Investment focused conferences (especially those that have a strong focus on private equity and venture capital) have been fairly effective in elevating publicity for new funds coming to the market. Speaking and sharing your views on a panel discussion is another way to demonstrate thought leadership to the investor community. Because some of these events are covered by media, there is good chance that your new fund gets mentioned as part of the news reporting.

Enlist a reputable figurehead

Getting a publicly renowned senior professional on your fund’s advisory board is a good way to reinforce credibility and galvanize initial interest amongst potential investors. It also aids publicity depending on how influential your figurehead is.

Create a digital profile and establish an online identity

Don’t undermine the importance of a digital identity.

Closing thoughts

It is true that many institutional LPs do not bank with new funds coming to the market. But don’t get too caught up with the fact that you are a ‘ first-time fund’. Many large PE/VC shops started as a first fund.

Engineer. Banker. Investor. Thinker. Builder. Writer. Illustrator. Troubleshooter. Light Bulb Fixer. www.kennyng.com

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