How I Raised My $11.5 Million Venture Capital Fund

Your richest contacts are not necessarily your biggest checks

A pink piggy bank in mid-air above someone’s hand.
Photo: PM Images/DigitalVision/Getty Images

1. We talked with a dozen fund managers before starting

2. We sized up motivations

3. We prioritized speed over dollars

4. We iterated our deck—a lot

5. We built momentum by packing in lots of meetings

Screenshot: Elizabeth Yin

6. We started with a low minimum check size to close investors quickly and raised it over time

7. We qualified investors on first meeting

I soft pitched everyone at every party I went to. I soft pitched my optometrist during my eye appointment.

8. We generated lots of leads (in the beginning) using brute force

8a. Get referrals

8b. Throw parties, brunches, dinners, and events

Like almost every raise I’ve seen, you’re just not hot until the end.

8c. Do your own pattern matching

8d. We made a video

9. Your richest contacts are not necessarily your biggest checks and vice versa

10. We used a CRM to manage our process

11. You’re not hot until the end

12. This all sounds easy, but it takes hustle and a village to do this

12a. It takes lots of hustle and lots of meetings

12b. It takes a village to go anywhere

General Partner at Hustle Fund. Prev: Partner at 500 Startups, CEO/co-founder at LaunchBit (acq ‘14), Xoogler. SF Bay Area native.