COLORADO LAB COMPLETE: HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED
The Colorado Investment Preparedness Lab brought 8 ventures from around Colorado together in all different sectors to help them prepare to take on capital.
The Lab took place in the trendy RiNo district of Denver at the Posner Center for International Development. Entrepreneurs built out a funding gameplan, met with a handful of capital advisors and mentors, and practiced their pitch.
What: This Colorado Investment Preparedness Lab is a 5-day hyper-accelerator designed to help Colorado-based ventures understand the fundraising process and become ready to take on investment. Our ultimate goal is to get more funding flowing to Colorado ventures.
Why Colorado: For 5 years the Unreasonable Institute has thrived in our Colorado home due to the incredible entrepreneurial support community that we are able to tap into here. From mentors, to funders, to corporations, to government, to universities, Colorado is the perfect home from us. So now we want to directly support ventures based in and impacting Colorado and help them tap into this rich ecosystem of support. Plus, beyond supporting ventures, we are partnering deeply with companies having impact in Colorado (for example we are hosting one of our Labs at the Posner Center, a co-working space for Colorado impact companies, and we are looking to source food from Colorado-based food companies with social and environmental missions). Colorado is perfect: entrepreneurial and unreasonable.
Two Colorado Labs: There is also a 2nd, separate Colorado Lab: the Colorado Business Model Validation Lab.
Fundraising is sometimes (nearly always!) ridiculously hard and it is a process marked with questions. How much money should I raise? What type of capital? Who do I talk to and how do I build relationships with funders? What should I do in an investor meeting? How to I get the money into our bank account so I can get back to building my business? Having an answer to these questions often translates into successfully closing a round of funding. But the reality is that only a handful of entrepreneurs have a clear understanding of the process (and how long it takes) before they start fundraising. They get lost and without direction, they do not take the lead and closing a round becomes painful and time consuming.
The Investment Preparedness Lab addresses some of the biggest questions in the fundraising process and is designed to help entrepreneurs:
- Understand what it takes from point A (needing money) to point B (successfully closing a round and getting back to building their business!)
- Evaluate the elements of funding readiness in their venture
- Determine the amount and type of capital needed for their venture
- Be able to find matched funders and build strong relationships with them
The curriculum of the Lab oscillates between in-classroom workshop time and active working time (including a lot of time with Capital Advisers and Mentors). By the time the Lab is complete, entrepreneurs will have:
- Learned a methodology for how to build and maintain investor relationships
- Created a funding map identifying the level of completion of the different elements of funding readiness
- Completed funding readiness “reality checks” with 4 – 5 Capital Advisers and received real and honest feedback on their investment preparedness
- Practiced their investor pitch in front of Capital Advisers
- Designed a strategic plan to become investable and identified the tools to get there
- Drastically increased their confidence level about leading an investor meeting (leading to way more productive meetings with future potential funders)
This Lab will actively involve a diverse set of capital advisers or mentors with relevant experience in fundraising . These capital advisers will be custom-selected after selecting the Lab ventures (to assure capital advisers meet Lab team needs). To give you an idea of the type of capital advisers in our network, see some past mentors we have worked with below.