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7 Must Have Tools For Startup Fundraising

via Forbes : As explained in my book The Art of Startup Fundraising, when you are in fundraising mode you ultimately want to reduce the amount of time to close investors, and be as effective and productive as possible with every single minute that you are investing in the process.

There are plenty of websites and services that will help you better organize your business and structure the entire process of attracting and finalizing investments. To assist you in the fundraising process, I have compiled a list for you below with the top fundraising tools.

1) Google Apps:

Google provides a range of applications for budding and established entrepreneurs, many of which are available for free or at low cost. What’s more, all of these applications integrate with each other to increase productivity and communication across your company. Gmail is an excellent email service, while Google Hangouts allows you to video chat with investors, colleagues and vendors from around the world without leaving your office. Google Apps also provides users with a powerful suite of office tools which will allow you to create, edit and share documents and presentations within your team.

2) Rapportive:

This tool is integrated into Gmail and it is owned by LinkedIn. Right in your inbox you will be able to find the relevant information pulled out from LinkedIn for the person behind any email address. LinkedIn is a fantastic way to identify potential investors and to grow your network of industry-relevant contacts. It is designed for entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals to present their skills and experience in a way which can attract employers and/or investors. With a few strategic searches, you should be able to compile a list of potential investors and follow leads with securing investment capital in mind. Especially from those that you are already in communication.

3) CoFoundersLab Templates:

CoFoundersLab Templates has all types of materials available for free. Here you can find legal agreements, executive summaries, pitch decks, and every other template that you will require when putting together your materials and fundraising efforts. As a disclosure, I lead the efforts at CoFoundersLab, which is one of the largest online communities for entrepreneurs.

4) Upwork:

As a reminder, Upwork allows business owners to post job advertisements for tasks they need carried out, or to headhunt talented individuals with proven track records. Rates of pay vary widely, but for the most part they are very reasonable, and with Upwork’s excellent Teamroom app, you can ensure that you are only billed for work as it’s being done. This tool is great when looking to optimize certain aspects of your materials (e.g. design, projections, etc)

5) Toutapp:

The objective is always the same – to persuade an individual that you possess something worthwhile. Toutapp is a great service which allows you to track your sales, close deals faster through a suite of productivity tools, and analyze your sales process so that you can increase the efficacy of your investment pitch. The beauty of Toutapp is that it will help to streamline your business throughout each investment round and beyond. I particularly like their feature that allows you to track who is opening your emails.

6) HelloSign:

Many of your customer, employee and investor interactions will take place remotely. You could be speaking with prospective investors on the other side of the globe, yet you need a quick, secure and legally binding way to commit a signature to appropriate documentation. This is exactly what HelloSign does, removing the need for paper documents and slower, more laborious administrative processes.

7) Crunchbase:

Crunchbase is the destination for discovering industry trends, investments, and news about hundreds of thousands of public and private companies globally. From startups to Fortune 500s, Crunchbase provides a business information platform that pairs powerful tools and applications to stay competitive and successful. Use Crunchbase to identify investors in your sector and then go on Linkedin to connect with the founders from their portfolio companies to request an introduction. Best introductions always come from founders of portfolio companies.

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