9 Ways for Founders to Stand Out in a Global Fundraising Slowdown

Jonathan Lee
March 26, 2023

In today's economic climate, startups are facing a global fundraising slowdown. As a founder, you may be finding it tough to catch the attention of investors in a market filled with uncertainties. However, there are still ways to stand out from the crowd and secure the funding you need to take your business to the next level. We'll explore nine effective strategies for founders to rise above the challenges of a global fundraising slowdown and successfully attract investors. Whether you're just starting out or looking to scale up, use these tips to stand out iand secure the funding you need to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality.

Present a Unique Pitch to Investors

Startup founders looking to stand out to potential investors during a global fundraising slowdown should take an unconventional approach. For example, pitching your offering firsthand as opposed to relying on a sales deck can make your message stand out and get you noticed by prospective investors. 

Showing up in person or via video conferencing with an interactive presentation lends itself to more meaningful conversations and shows confidence in the offering. Founder-led pitches show investors you are passionate about the product and solution you are putting forth. 

Be creative in presenting your message and if done right, it will make all the difference in securing funding during economic uncertainty.

Tasia Duske, CEO, Museum Hack
Tasia Duske, CEO, Museum Hack

Demonstrate Your Resilience and Resourcefulness

During economic downturns, investors look for founders with innovative solutions rather than just great ideas. That's exactly why you should focus on presenting a compelling story and a plan for how you intend to remain profitable and competitive, even in a time of financial instability. 

Showcase your ability to be resilient and resourceful—pivot your business model when necessary, look for new opportunities, and show your team's agility in adapting to changing market trends. 

Highlight any successes you've had during this time, such as partnerships or collaborations with other businesses that have helped your company remain afloat. Finally, provide evidence that your company is a sound investment, such as financials and customer growth metrics. Doing so will help investors feel more confident in supporting you during this tumultuous period.

Peter Lucas, Owner, Relocate to Andorra
Peter Lucas, Owner, Relocate to Andorra

Showcase Your Perseverance 

Show investors why, despite economic downturns, your business continues to improve. For example, if you experience significant sales growth despite markets being down, this is an excellent sign that your product is more recession-proof than not. 

You'll want to showcase the steady growth over time, not just a quick jump after you have brought your product to the market.

Patricio Paucar, Co-Founder and CCO, Navi

Display Your Data

Despite the major global economic slowdown, founders must still strive to stand out to potential investors. My top piece of advice is to consider showcasing and selling your data. Give potential investors a better understanding of the opportunity that you're creating by showcasing your key data points, such as market size, current customer base, and revenue opportunities.

Create visual presentations that go beyond text and graphs and focus on sketching out creative ways of presenting ideas and delivering compelling marketing stories. Showcase why it's time for investors to take action now versus later—reminding them how lost opportunities could mean leaving rival companies in the dust. Data-driven, convincing stories put together with visuals make great conversation starters between you and potential investors!

Jim Campbell, Owner, Camp Media

Focus on Your Unique Value Proposition

Focusing on your unique value proposition (UVP) is a critical aspect of any successful pitch to potential investors, as it sets your business apart from the competition and helps to show the value of your product or service. In today's highly competitive market, varied businesses bombard investors with pitches, which is why it’s crucial to develop a clear and compelling UVP.

To effectively identify your UVP, you should first focus on understanding your target market and what their specific needs and pain points are. Find out what challenges they are facing and how your product or service can solve those challenges better than your competitors. 

Once you have a good understanding of your target market, you can develop a unique selling proposition that speaks to their needs and differentiates you from the competition.

Luciano Colos, Founder and CEO, Pitchgrade
Luciano Colos, Founder and CEO, Pitchgrade

Develop Your Compelling Story

As an experienced business owner, my top tip for standing out to potential investors during a global fundraising slowdown is to focus on showcasing your unique value proposition. Investors are always looking to invest in businesses that offer something special. 

By honing in on the ways you can differentiate yourself from the competition, you can increase the likelihood of finding interested investors. Demonstrate how your product or service solves a need that no one else does. Showcase any key metrics that show customer demand and satisfaction with your solution. 

Last, have a compelling story to tell about why you are so passionate about your business—this will help potential investors understand why they should make an investment in what you offer.

Stephanie Jenkins, Founder, Stephanie Jenkins Photo
Stephanie Jenkins, Founder, Stephanie Jenkins Photo

Don't Compete on Price but on Quality

It's important to stand out to potential investors by highlighting your strengths, so in our case, it's a 100-year-old family value legacy for craftsmanship and quality. 

This can show investors we commit to producing high-quality products that customers will appreciate, which can help to differentiate our business from "shrink-flation" margin-desperate competitors. 

We can show we can generate strong returns on investment to battle the "price-to-the-bottom" market conditions. Simply presenting a coherent plan for product investment to support demand growth, which can help to build confidence and trust in our business. 

Overall, by emphasizing our family values for quality and craftsmanship while presenting solid financial and growth plans, we hope to stand out to potential investors and increase our chances of securing funding as needed.

Marc Werner, CEO and Founder, GhostBed

Put Strong Emphasis on Brand Voice

Building up and putting a strong emphasis on brand voice is one foolproof way to stand out to investors. An established sense of brand voice projects confidence and builds a solid sense of the brand's identity. 

Brand identity is‌ one cornerstone of brand value investors look for. In the infancy of a business, identity is one of the hardest elements to convey to potential investors.

Alexandre Robicquet, Co-Founder and CEO, Crossing Minds
Alexandre Robicquet, Co-Founder and CEO, Crossing Minds

Show Proof of Product-Market Fit

With the venture capital (VC) purse seeming tighter than ever, raising capital can seem like an insurmountable task. However, there shows the success that sits above all others when seeking investment opportunities, and that is product-market fit. 

Metrics such as the number of customers, website visitors, or your actual revenue are past-oriented statistics, telling little of the business' trajectory. However, if you can prove that demand exists for your product and that your product uniquely meets your market's needs, then you have something worth investing in. 

All the VC or angel investor needs to do is provide capital so you can scale, making your business an ideal opportunity. However, if you require funding in order to achieve product-market fit, then VCs are likely to be cautious. Therefore, when pitching to investors, show proof of product-market fit, or else continue bootstrapping until you can.

Oliver Savill, CEO and Founder, Assessment Day
Oliver Savill, CEO and Founder, Assessment Day

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