Bootstrapping your way into (or beyond) a £250k to £1m funding round

On Wednesday I was invited to mentor 66 startups that have been shortlisted by the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF) as their top candidates looking to raise rounds of between £250k and £1m. A room full of eager-eyed entrepreneurs who have built good products and are supported by strong teams, and now need that next boost of capital to set them on their journey to commercial success. All of them have the same problem: unanimously the question they all asked was, “where do I find investors who will invest in my round?” (and more acutely in the lower range of £250-500k)

The market for bridge and seed-extension rounds has always been tough. Startups get caught between not having enough proof points to qualify for VC investment, but having built a team and operating model whose burn rate requires 6-figure investment to keep going. But is it getting worse? Continue reading