As a startup founder, you're going to want to do as much research as you can to give yourself the best chance at succeeding. There are hundreds of books out there that are aimed at helping startups, but there are a few in particular that we highly recommend for startup founders that are in the midst of raising capital. The following are four must-read books that are worth tracking down:
1. "The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership Between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs"
"The Startup Game" acts as an excellent introduction to the mechanics and dynamics of venture capitalist firms and funds. As a startup founder that is in the process of raising capital, it's to your advantage to understand what the motivations and desires of venture capitalists and angel investors are. This book helps to provide a foundation to your knowledge about venture capital while also providing plenty of advice and anecdotes. If anyone knows what he's talking about, it's Draper, who has worked as a venture capitalist for over 40 years and started out in Silicon Valley prior to its heyday.
2. "Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal"
You may have the greatest business concept in the world backed by a solid business plan, but if you don't know how to pitch your idea, you're going to have difficulty finding investors. Pitching is an essential skill for entrepreneurs, and the better you are at it, the better your chances are at raising capital. If there's one book to read about how to deliver the perfect pitch, it's "Pitch Anything." Klaff has spent almost two decades using his unique pitching methods - detailed in the book - to raise over $400 million in investments. Klaff positions the pitch as a simple method consisting of five steps. These steps are not only explained in detail, but are supported with real life examples.
Related Content: 9 Lessons Learned While Raising Venture Capital
3."What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know: An Insider Reveals How to Get Smart Funding for Your Billion Dollar Idea"
"What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know" is an excellent source of information for startup founders on how to find an angel investor that is a good match for their startup. Cohen was an angel investor himself and was not only an early investor in Pinterest, but is also the Chairman of the New York Angels. The book also provides insight on how angels view the investing process, thereby giving founders a better idea of how to approach them.
4. "Raising Capital: Get the Money You Need to Grow Your Business"
Back before the Internet bubble burst, venture capital groups were practically giving money away to startups. Ever since then, investors are a little more careful with who they give their money to - which has led to much fiercer competition. Sherman's "Raising Capital" provides startup founders with some incredibly helpful information and tools, including information regarding every phase of the growth cycle, how to navigate capital formation, recent developments in both federal and state securities laws and more. Also included in the book are various checklists, sample forms, charts and strategies on how to borrow money from commercial banks in today's market.
These are four books that we highly recommend to any startup founder who is preparing to begin raising capital. This is in addition to Brad Feld's "Venture Deals," a book we always recommend as a basic guide to the venture capital fundraising process.