Meet the Team, Follow Progress and Enjoy the Ride

This blog is about the lives of a few entrepreneurs who are aiming to establish the next trend in social networking and the concept that will make it happen. Since our venture is all about connecting people together, we want to be involved and connected to you and we want you to be involved and connected to us. We'll be sharing with you: who we are, how we got started, how we’re doing and where we’re going...we're taking you along for the ride!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Raising Money: A Headache and Motivation!?!?

Raising money is a seriously frustrating process and when I get frustrated I get a little “aggressive”. I’m at the point where I want to hit people over the head and slap some sense into them. Remember, I spent ten years in the Marine Corps; I have little tolerance for game playing, stupidity and ignorance.

Fund raising takes time and it’s definitely a pain staking process. Getting the introduction, getting past the red tape and working through all the scams and foolishness that’s out there is enough to drive you a little “postal”. Filling out online application after online application…you want me to describe the team, the concept, and the market in 250 words or less? Not, going to happen. We’ve submitted our business plan into so many different abyss, I’ve lost count. No one contacts you back, and most of the systems don’t even have confirmation emails that let you know your plan was received.

We’ve expanded and grown Why Go Solo so much now, that the business plan is actually completely outdated and I don’t have the slightest desire to update it. What’s the point. I’ve also grown paranoid about sharing Why Go Solo with investors…we’ve got too much to offer and by that I mean…actually having a business model. I need to worry as much about someone stealing our idea, as someone stealing our business model. Scratch that, I’m more worried about someone stealing the business model than the idea…not too many people could pull off the idea, without having a front man, that can bring a community together.

My Chief Technical Officer keeps reminding me that things will be very different once we have the beta…and I know that. It doesn’t hurt that we’re also planning on winning the Amazon Web Service Start-up Contest.

I guess I just need to let out some steam…

Bottom line is, I don’t understand investors and I hate it when I don’t understand something or someone. To understand them , I would have to talk to some, and to talk to some; they would need to show themselves. I realize I said I was ready to slap people around, but I promise to be nice. I’m particularly looking for Angel Investors. We need a couple hundred thousand dollars, to may be, a million. So VCs, are not who we’re looking for…and we’re definitely not looking for a six month due diligence period.

We’re on fire and we need some backing (btw, this isn’t an open solicitation, these are facts). We can move at a bootstrap pace…or we can turn up the heat a few notches. Anyone whose been reading this blog, should know I don’t mess around. This isn’t a start-up that might see the light of day…this is a start-up that’s going to turn into an Empire. We’re not just building a company here. Hence my frustrations…I read about all of these 'mom and pop' web 2.0 company getting funded, and it increases my WTF is up with investors factor. (I'm probably not helping my cause!!)

Someone basically came out and told me I need to move to NYC. I replied that we’re making being in DC work for us...However, I can’t help but have his comment feel like a thorn in my side. Is being in DC really holding us back? I know I never would have thought about or created Why Go Solo had I not been here, so who knows...

I need the right words and the right compelling way to get investors to give me 5 minutes of their time. I’ve always been turned off by cocky and arrogant claims. It used to really tick me off when I was in the Marine Corps, too. Some folks would make outrageous claims about what they (with their platoon) could do…and they never delivered. I never made claims and we always over delivered. I’ve never had anything to prove to anyone. We always did what we had to do for own gratification and to beat our own personal best. It’s about internal drive and motivation; vice outside sourced (fake) drive and motivation. It's about empowering people, and empowering an organization.

It’s the same with Why Go Solo. We have a kick ass team, that has nothing to prove…but everything to give to seeing what they’re made of and what they can accomplish. The drive is the vision and seeing it happen. The hunger and ambition is alive in each member of the team. Those who achieve greatness, are those who challenge, and push themselves, beyond who they are now, today. The gratification and satisfaction is about results and accomplishment, not praise or money. Don’t get me wrong…they’ll be plenty of that to go around at the end of the rainbow, but it’s that “We Did It” moment, that will be the ultimate moment of sweet success. That "We Did It" moment will only be truly known in those who have been there from the beginning...who took the risks, who bleed together, who wrote history.

Those who dream big, and embark on accomplishing things that are bigger than themselves, never wonder what life is all about.

When you have a team like that behind you…you know what you’ve got, and what you will achieve…there’s no need to get to the highest tree top to announce it. We’ll deliver. We’ll make it happen. Now, who is smart enough to take us on?!!?

My purpose in life this week is to get on the calendar of investors. November is our beta launch…I’m not waiting till then to get to talk to investors or get on their calendars. This is about being ahead of the game and keeping/building more momentum.


Jared Goralnick said...

This'll pass soon...and you all will be so excited to have investors will who not only add money but good advice and more users. Good luck, Ann!

Erik said...

Do you have a lawyer that's done lots of VC deals before? Someone like that can certainly make introductions.

Ann Bernard said...

Erik...that's a big negative. It's like digging into a secret, non-existent society out here to get anyone involved in the entrepreneur start-up environment. That's what is frustrating me so much. I have better luck making contacts online, but they aren't in my area (DC/VA). I need to go hit the road and start driving to NYC and Boston.

Erik said...

I have no idea if there are VC lawyers outside of NY, Boston and SiliValley. I can ask teh lawyer who did our financing if they know anyone in DC

Ann Bernard said...

Thanks a lot Erik. That would be great if you could do that!! Not sure they are any either, but if anyone would's a VC lawyer themself.

Alfred Toh said...

why raise if you can go solo?

Samantha said...

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Ref: Fast Business Loan for easy funding.