Key Fundraising Role Models & Insights / Funded Season 3

Jason Yeh
October 18, 2022

The importance of knowing what’s possible in fundraising…

Have you heard the story of the ex-VC who ran a fundraise that failed, regrouped for 4 months, and went back to raise to close his round of funding?

What about the founder who was constantly passed on as a first-time female founder in a non-tech city before finally raising a round of capital on her way to becoming a fintech unicorn?

Both sound like amazing stories describing the impossible in the world of startups, but they’re real stories. 

And now that you know the impossible is, well, possible… how does that affect the way you think about fundraising? Illuminating what is possible can be one of the most powerful unlocks for anyone pursuing a challenging goal.

Is that true?

I think so.

So much of what I do is because I've seen the outsized effect a small bit of knowledge can have on a founder’s ability to fundraise successfully. 

I know you’ve seen it in other spaces too.  Here are a few of my favorites in the mainstream media:

Whitney Wolfe Herd became the youngest woman ever to take a company public with Bumble back in 2021. The very next Wharton MBA class had more women than men for the first time ever.

Jeremy Lin was the first Asian American in the modern era to play in the NBA. You might have heard of Linsanity back in 2012? Many have pointed to his breakthrough as a galvanizing force behind Asian American participation in media, sports, and entertainment.

And of course, Barack Obama the first Black president of the United States inspired so many on what is possible. Studies have indicated the 44th President has had a positive impact on the academic performance of Black youth just by being a role model.

Seeing role models that you relate to makes a difference.

Learning a playbook, discovering tools to win

Beyond inspiration, discovering specific ways to succeed can transform the way someone approaches winning. 

Going back to basketball, everyone knew where the three point line was before Steph Curry came to the league. But it wasn't until he showed everyone the strategy of shooting six feet behind the line that a generation of players began practicing the ultra-deep 3-point shot.

No matter what discipline you’re working in, if you aren’t aware of all the strategies, rules of the game, or what acceptable behavior is, pure intelligence or ability alone will not put you in the best position to win.

Hearing how the best do it and how hard you can push is a huge unlock.

Inspiration and Instruction 

No matter who you are or how you look at it, fundraising is an extremely difficult and obscure dark art. It doesn’t help that access to it can feel very exclusionary if you aren’t this type of person with that type of experience who looks a certain way.  

This is why I work to deliver inspiration and knowledge for any founder who wants to fundraise.  I want to show them role models that they can look up to and shine a light on the inner workings of the fundraising game.

Podcasting has been one of the most effective tools in this pursuit. 

Funded - Season 3 

After a nine month break, we are launching season three of Funded this Thursday, October 20. I'm excited to share that this season we will continue our bi-weekly schedule for our main podcast Funded. Not only that, we’re adding complementary episodes of The Backchannel and The Friends & Family Round. 

Get prepared to be inspired by more stories from founders who ran the gauntlet and came out with funding on the other side in our return to the Funded show. Jump behind the scenes with me as I explain specific fundraising concepts and insider knowledge in episodes of The Backchannel. And listen in on friendly chats with industry insiders on The Friends & Family Round.

All new episodes will be released multiple times a week and we're excited to get started!

By the way, Vanta is the presenting sponsor of Funded this season. If you are looking to get compliance certification (SOCII, ISO 27001, HIPAA, GDPR), Vanta is offering $1,000 off their services to Funded listeners. Just sign up at 

Also, if you have any suggestions on who we should interview or what we should cover in any of our shows this season, please reply and let us know! 

Finally, we'd love to see you subscribe and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Thanks and happy listening. Excited to see you in this new season of Funded!!

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