Building a startup starts with an idea to solve a problem that
exists in the market today. While many founders partner with a
co-founder, it's not always an option or preferred. Taking on
growing and raising funds for your business can be daunting
but working with a co-founder has its own challenges.
Taking on a startup as a solo founder can give you many
benefits allowing you more freedom to make decisions without
pushback. Co-founder relationships can be complicated.
Co-founders may have mismatched visions for the company, slow
growth with delayed decision-making, or create unnecessary
frustration and hostility.
It also means you have to take on the sole responsibility of
running meetings, creating prototypes, beginning marketing,
filing for patents, and more. It also means you are
responsible for pitching to investors to raise capital, one of
the biggest tasks in growing a startup. While it may be a
tough task, it can be done.
Read on to learn more about growing your startup as a solo
founder and tips on successfully raising capital.
Why Grow a Startup as a Solo Founder
If you are considering growing a startup as a solo founder,
it's important to weigh all the pros and cons of this
decision. If you've got a great idea, an investor will
eventually sign on, no matter the founding team size. Here are
some things to consider when tackling a startup on your own.
You Make All the Decisions –
Starting a business as a solo founder can be appealing
to those who want to be the key decision-maker with no
compromises. You don't have to worry about asking
permission. Your startup's success is based solely on
You Can Grow at Your Pace –
Likely as a solo founder, your initial funding will come
from your savings or friends and family. With this
funding, you can take it easy and grow at a pace that
feels more comfortable to you without the pressure from
a co-founder that may be trying to speed things up.
Test Your Limits – Because you're
taking on the roles of a lot of jobs, you're going to be
stretched pretty thin. You'll be able to test your
limits and find ways to be productive. You'll learn how
to outsource and develop skills that can help you work
smarter, not harder, that can benefit you for the rest
of your life.
Keep Founder Equity and Control
– Being a solo founder allows you to keep the
founder equity and control once your company succeeds.
No Bias – If no one is there to
question your decisions or provide feedback, your bias
about your company can lead to poor decision-making.
Harder to Get Investors – Most
investors want to see a well-rounded team of founders
who knows that the work is spread out by experienced
professionals. It will be a challenge to raise funds,
but it can be done.
Difficult to Build a Team-Prospective
employees may not want to work with a single founder at
their startup. It can be risky to work with one person
setting up all the guidelines and rules and making all
It's Lonely – Let's face it,
taking on something alone can be lonely. Every little
win may be celebrated but having a team of people around
you to share in those wins can boost morale and improve
What to Do to Raise Capital as a Solo Founder
Raising capital for startups is one of the most challenging
parts of creating a startup. Still, it's essential to help get
your company off the ground. These tips can help set you up
for success when you meet with investors to pitch your startup
and raise the funds you need.
Educate Yourself – As a solo
founder, you will constantly have to educate yourself in all
aspects of your business. You're going to be the only one
making decisions, and it's essential to understand the impacts
of every choice you make. Plenty of free resources online are
available for you to tap into as you make this journey toward
building your startup solo.
Be Prepared – Taking on meetings with
investors requires you to be ready to face rejection because
it will happen. The more mentally prepared you are for the
inevitable no, the more likely you will get back on your feet
and move on to the next. You don't want to spend your time
beating yourself up about what went wrong. Take each rejection
as an opportunity. Evaluate the interaction, your
presentation, and the questions they asked, and learn from the
experience. You're putting yourself out there, and if you
present with passion and determination, you'll find an
investor who can see the worth in your startup.
Traction – Traction is a metric that
investors want to see in a startup before they make the
decision to invest. Investing in a startup is risky, and they
want to know that your product or service is something the
market needs or wants. As a solo founder, you'll want to
dedicate a lot of time to build up a customer base or a social
following. Social proof can go a long way in showing traction
if you can use the data to show demand in your target market.
If you can show traction in the early stages of your startup,
you'll be in a good place when presenting to investors.
Partner with Good Mentors – While you
may be taking on growing your startup solo, you don't
necessarily have to go at it alone. You can find many business
professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners that can
provide you valuable insights into how to manage and make
decisions in these critical early stages of developing your
company. You can reach out to professionals through social
media, networking events, and mutual friends or colleagues.
Mentors and advisors can help you navigate tough decisions and
expand your network, which could prove valuable in later
Leverage Funding Platforms – There are
several funding platforms like Investor Hunt that can get your
startup in front of thousands of angel investors and VCs.
Create a quality and compelling profile on these high-quality
platforms. Include your experience, background, expertise,
qualifications, and any other business ventures, even if they
weren't successful. Investors don't just invest in an idea.
They invest in people, so the more appealing and passionate
you can make your profile, the more likely you'll snag the
attention of an investor who wants to learn more.
Hire a Small Team – Being a solo
founder does not mean you don't have to build a team. In fact,
hiring a team can show investors you're ready to grow and that
you're flexible and open to welcoming new team members and
sharing the workload.
Create a Pitch Deck – Once you have a
solid foundation and the confidence you need, it's time to
start networking and scheduling meetings to pitch to
investors. Before you pitch to investors, you need to create
your pitch deck. A pitch deck is one of the most vital aspects
of pitching that will show investors your story about why you
got started. It will also highlight metrics and market data
and the company's potential for profitability and growth.
After your pitch deck is created, practice your pitch before
you get out there with friends, family, and team members.
Remember to stay positive and understand you will receive many
nos before you get someone to sign on.
Manage Your Resources – When you find
an investor to work with, carefully review the deal to ensure
its mutually beneficial. Find a lawyer familiar with startups
who can review any paperwork before signing. Once you have
your deal in place, carefully manage your money and resources
and remember to track everything. As you progress, managing
your funds and resources can show future investors that you
are responsible, focused, and determined to transform your
startup into a successful company.
Building a startup as a solo founder can be a lot to take on,
but it can be extremely rewarding. You have to decide what
kind of business you want to run. Do everything you can to
educate yourself, network to find great mentors, and do
everything you can to improve your productivity without losing
steam. Raising capital as a solo founder can be done with a
great plan and a passion for getting your startup up and
It can be overwhelming when you're ready to start on your
journey to find the perfect investor. Get the help you deserve
to get your startup off the ground. Investor Hunt can match
you with over 90,000 angel investors and venture capitalists
in one place. Learn more about how Investor Hunt works