Getting your first round or two of funding is difficult. Especially in the U.K. where the ecosystem of individual investors (aka angle investors) and venture capital firms (VCs) is a fraction vs. Silicon Vally/US.

As a first time founder in the U.K., here are a few of my experiences and opinions.

Don’t count on a VC funding your first round

Getting funded by VCs comes down to how many data points you can show to prove you have traction (defined as quantitative evidence of market demand).

Advisory boards for startups vary in nature. In general, they’re a small number of experienced people who, for a fee and/or equity, act as a sounding board for founders when growing the business. Some advisors may also act as a NED (Non-executive director) in the company which means they may play a more formal role in decision making along with the founders.

When you’re a small start-up, with little to no users, with a small amount of funding (possibly just friends, family and Angel investors) and maybe pre-product launch, it’s easily to think “we’re too small, advisory boards are for…

Start-up accelerators often promise to turbo charge your company within 3–6 months and help you cap off the programme by helping you secure your first big round of funding. But is it worth it?

I’ve been accepted and completed a few accelerators in London and my answer to the title is ….it depends.

Buyer beware

Be incredibly weary of equity only programmes (or even worse when you pay £ to join!). …

The First Time Founder

I’m Nish, an ex-founder based in London. I’m documenting all the mistakes and lesson that come from being a first time startup founder 🚀

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