My Funding Journey: Leonora O'Brien
How much raised: Country:
845K€ (750€ seed round)
Pioneering software company promoting the safety of patients. International Incident Reporting & Learning System
for Healthcare professionals (more).
Cartier Women's Initiative Awards Winner, Europe 2013
Women share the practical strategies that got them to the funded finish line
“Value other people’s advice and listen to what they tell
you – then make up your own mind.
You learn so much and are less isolated, when you surround yourself with other people who are
going through the same journey”.
How I Overcame Them
"Keep visualising how your company and team look like
post-investment and soon enough,
you will realise your vision."
to Help You on your Funding Journey
- Be patient, keep talking to people. It takes at least 100 conversations before you get funded.
- Persevere. The more determined you are, the more likely you are to make it happen. You need to build resilience and to know how to pick yourself up when obstacles come your way. Surround yourself with positive people.
- Follow your gut instinct about people’s abilities and what they can bring to the table. During a due diligence process, an investor might want to see older, experienced personnel, but when you’re working day in day out on the project, you become the expert in who is delivering the most for your business - and business is all about deliverables at the end of the day. If someone is adding a lot of value then that is who you want on your team, regardless of how they might look on paper.
- Surround yourself with good advisors – legal and financial. Get 2nd and 3rd opinions on Term Sheets. Pay special attention to clauses on IP, anti-dilution, etc.
- Keep your investor contacts updated. Keep sending them updated investor memorandums when you have won a big new client, achieved more traction, new partnerships, etc.
- Have a clear idea of how your company is valued. Be sure to get your valuation right at the start.
- Try to keep as much control of the company yourself, while at the same time leaving enough space for a future round of investment.
- It’s ok to be a sole founder. You don’t have to have a full team of promoters to secure investment. Investors will still invest in a sole founder if you are a strong leader, have started building a strong team and have a clear vision for your product, company and exit. Never take on a team and split equity with people that you have not worked with for at least one year, even if you are advised to do so by mentors or investors. Trust your own instincts. Rushed decisions about team and equity in the early stages are likely to have serious consequences for the company and future investors will not invest if you have a messy capitalisation table and if you have made bad equity decisions.
- Don’t take anything personally - Don’t let the process knock your confidence. Always believe in yourself and your product.
- Value other people’s advice and listen to what they tell you – then make up your own mind. You learn so much and are less isolated, when you surround yourself with other people who are going through the same journey.
- Keep visualising how your company and team look like post-investment and soon enough, you will realise your vision.
“Don’t let the process knock your confidence”.
When started business: Launched November 2012
1st time starting business: Yes
Size of Team: 6
Professional Experience: 16 years in sector
“It takes at least 100 conversations before
you get funded”.
Most Helpful Resources