A client well-positioned to raise over $1m in seed funding for her patented B2C technology app recently messaged me saying: “I was on a call last week about Imposter Syndrome. This whole process has that kicked into overdrive! Thank you for all you do.” This client – like all of my clients – is definitely no imposter. Time and time again I see that female founders know their businesses inside and out, yet are far less confident in their financial abilities than my former Wall Street male colleagues (some with arguably far less know-how! Sorry, not sorry?!)
When it comes to running our own financial lives, much less businesses, I truly believe the fear and self-doubt go beyond Imposter Syndrome. This is some real-life data-backed sh*t. It was only with the passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 that women no longer had to have male relatives sign business loans. So only since 1988 have we been permitted to financially run our own businesses (…not to mention it was only in 1975 that we were permitted to have our own bank accounts without a co-signer…).
So this is all real and the reason why I started Fehlig Advisory. My mission is to support female founders past the Friends & Family round and to get us over the hurdle of pitching to Institutional and Angel Investors. This is where I’ve seen the gap widen; where we get less than 3% of funding. And I’m more convinced than ever we can absolutely do this – hands down – better than anyone.
My commitment to closing the gap.
There are 4 main areas where I believe I can help. I have outlined them below. I am providing links to materials that I have developed over the past 1.5 years with the amazing input of PE and VC Partners and Angels who have dedicated countless hours to this mission as well.
1. Pitching to Non-Friends & Family Checklist
Once you begin pitching to non-friends & family, your audience is investors who do not know how amazing you are right off the bat; furthermore, they are investing in your company for financial gain. Both of these aspects can seem daunting and just gross – but with a solid foundation, nothing can shake you. Here’s a Checklist for Pitching to VCs & Angels. You’ve got this.
2. Perfecting the Metrics
This is perhaps the #1 question/request I get from clients: show me the metrics! Yes, it’s true – metrics are a popular and often easy way for investors to get a quick snapshot of your company and to compare your pitch with others. But they’re also more than that. Metrics are the core foundation of your business, starting with how you make money. Think: how much does it cost you to produce one item, and how much do you sell it for? In other words: your unit economics. If you need help conveying your growth potential – start here. And stay tuned for a video series about this topic as well. I promise – it can be fun!
3. Wise Women Wednesdays
As many of you know and have participated in (thank you!), I launched Shark Tank – Zoom edition at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic to bring female founders and investors together and ensure those invaluable pitching opportunities and pitch-shaping feedback could continue on – even via zoom. I am continuing to host these forums. While these zoom sessions are “closed sessions” for now – I want to bring the founders’ fundraising and pitching stories, and the investors’ feedback, to everyone. That’s why I’ve launched Wise Women Wednesdays, every Wednesday live on IG @fehlig.advisory. Join us live as I chat with both founders who’ve participated in Shark Tank – Zoom and successfully raised, as well as seasoned investors who genuinely want to see you succeed.
4. Closing the gap for Female Founders of Color
Lastly, I want to specifically address how we must we must continue to TAKE ACTION to close the funding gap for black female entrepreneurs. I’m proud to partner as a coach with iFundWomen – a leader in closing the gap by launching iFundWomen of Color. Words matter, Money talks louder. I commit to doing my part as an ally.
In conclusion, I have supported founders in successful pitches raising from $10k to many millions. In fact – every founder I’ve ever worked with who has wanted to pitch, has successfully raised. What is most important to me is that they did it themselves. I am here to remind you that you can; to demystify any financial metrics and jargon; and help you convey how badass you are in a way that speaks to investors.
But I do not raise the money because I don’t need to. You can do this – fully standing in your true value.