The 101 on Finance and Fundraising from London's best advisors.

Our inaugural breakfast on finance and fundraising began with the best of starts. Early birds ready to start on time and one the best breakfast spreads London has seen at a startup event. As the room filled and great connections were made between Geek Girls (and of course the Geek Boys) we overheard some great stories of founders that had raised and were looking to take the next step, and those that were just entering the finance minefield and looking for guidance on the best place to start. Breakfast meetup

Kicking off the formal talks was Alex Hawkes from Wayra, who coincidentally is incubating her own startup and is due to leave on maternity in a couple of months. She gave us her top tips of how to approach accelerators, what you need to be aware of when completing your application form, common downfalls like not completing the application form properly (!) and where you need to focus your time when preparing to pitch.

Next up was the formidable Itxaso from EC1, who had just made it back from teaching her spinning class and pedalled across London (all before breakfast!) who gave her top 9 tips for startups looking for VC funding. Some great overlays with what Alex mentioned, like the importance of the team, but reminding everyone that it's not all about the VCs, it's also about you making some decisions. Is VC funding really for you? Are you about to take dumb money or are you lined up with some really smart investors.

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The last of our expert panel was Bindi Karia, VP of the Silicon Valley Bank Accelerator. She took us through a form of finance that is rarely mentioned, particularly in early stage startups, venture debt. Although it's something that is most likely going to come much further down the line, she took us through when you need to be talking to your bank about it, what situation your business needs to be in, and how you plan to manage it, should you choose this route. A lot of attendees with open eyes, wide mouths and a lot to be learnt for what could happen to us in a few years time.

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Finally we hit up the startups, with Brittney Bean, CEO of Songdrop telling us her top tips on the reality of raising finance. With a £100k seed round in the bank and VC conversations on the table, she had some hard and fast tales from the front line.

And last up was Geek Girl organiser Robyn Exton. A member of the current Wayra cohort and in the middle of raising her first seed round , her top tips were to take every opportunity & coffee, to get ready to wait it out the 6 months and to really think hard about who you are about to get into bed with.

 

This morning we saw a cool site to check out with great quotes for startups - http://startupquote.com/

Which at the moment leads with:

Always choose your investors based on who you want to work with, be friends with, and get advice from. Never, ever, choose your investors based on valuation.

- Jason Goldberg

And from our talks at the event, we would have to agree. This idea that funding is a two way street, between the investors and yourselves, came out loud and clear. Take your time to meet them, get to know them, realise what you are asking from them and be prepared to show them the absolute quality that your startup holds.

Let GeekGirls worldwide inspire you!

Happy Friday all GeekGirls! Let's have a quick peak at what inspiring things our fellow GeekGirls in other parts of the world are up to. We're turning our attention to:

GeekGirl Meetup, Hong Kong

AppJamming official poster

On the 13th of July the awesome, Jennifer Barba founder of GGM in Hong Kong, along with Michelle Sun of Buffer, are co-organizing APPjamming - a Girls Can Code event. The event is open to all girls ages 12-15 yrs old who are interested in computers, programming. Not only will the girls be introduced to the basics of computer science concepts but they get the opportunity create their own mobile app with a hands on guidance from volunteer programmers.

Inspiring stuff!

 

 

 

GeekGirl Meetup Berlin

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On the same day, but in another part of the world, GeekGirls in Berlin will be teaming up with Berlin Geekettes for the GGM Tech Day. If you by any chance would be in Berlin on the day don't miss out! The GGM team UK all wish we were going.

 

 

GeekGirl jewellery - only a few clicks away...

We've had loads of questions on where you can buy the awesome GeekGirl neck lace and the awesome code inspired curly bracket neck lace so we thought we would post a link to the web shop. Design is by the wicked GeekGirl Caroline Thordenberg. curlybracket

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And in case you missed the call out we're some GeekGirls meeting for breakfast on Friday morning - there are no space left but you can sign up to the waiting list here.