I’m excited to announce our new fundraising bootcamp, Atrium Academy, with our first session taking place on January 13th 2018. It’s a free, two-day event for entrepreneurs that gives startup founders personalized fundraising mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs and top VCs. Anyone can apply at atrium.co/academy, starting today.
Raising a Series A is something most founders only do once. It can be an intimidating process without much transparency, yet is has long term repercussions for your business. When I started my first startup 12 years ago I certainly didn’t know how to raise venture financing, but after pitching over 100 investors and successfully raising ~$80mm from investors, I created Atrium Academy to share the valuable fundraising lessons I learned with startup founders.
Atrium Academy is the first bootcamp of it’s kind to pair intensive in-person programming with peer mentorship to help founders succeed. Atrium Academy is highly personalized because we believe cookie cutter approaches to fundraising don’t work. Every company is different and creating truly effective fundraising strategies is a highly tailored effort of timing, narrative, economics, and legal preparation.
Three weeks ago we ran a beta of the program and it had very promising results….
We received 130 applicants and selected 12 highly promising founders, and we focused on training these founders on these topics:
- The Mechanics of Fundraising: We kicked off the day with a session on fundraising best practices which included negotiation tactics, building demand, timing, and crafting a compelling narrative.
- Pre and Post-Term Sheet: Atrium lawyers trained founders on specific legal preparations to do to speed up the fundraising process and next steps after receiving a term sheet.
- Perfecting your Pitch: Investor and Mentor Office Hours: I’m lucky (or maybe not) to have given >100 investor pitches myself, but most founders only go through a handful of fundraises while are pitching to investors who see pitches every day. So we matched founders with seasoned entrepreneurs and VCs for 1–1 feedback to identify questions to field and flesh out pitch strategy.
- Founders spend the first day practicing their pitches and discussing their fundraising strategies with their dedicated mentor — we had Jason Tan (Founder of Sift Science), Avichal Garg (Former Director of Product Management at Facebook), Amitt Mahajan (Former Director Engineering at Zynga), and me coach them 1–1. The following day, founders went through a mock pitch with investors to gain additional feedback on their company. Partners from General Catalyst, Accel, Venrock, and Initialized Capital were there to coach them through their pitches and fundraising strategy.
Atrium Academy is a natural extension of Atrium’s mission to help founders — we want to help startups as they build their business and scale. The Academy will happen every quarter for venture ready founders. For founders who are raising in January and February 2018, we welcome you to apply here.