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Mastering the Intangibles: A Guide for Female Founders to Secure Investment




Congratulations! You've laid the groundwork for a thriving business with a solid strategy, a scalable product or service, and a promising profit potential. But despite having all the right pieces in place, securing investment remains a challenge. If you find yourself wondering why investors aren't jumping at the opportunity to support your venture, you're not alone.


As a female founder, you face an additional hurdle – documented gender disparity in the investment landscape. In 2023, more than $170 billion was invested into US startups while only a minuscule 2% went to woman-owned companies. It's a stark reality that underscores the uphill battle you're facing.


So, how do you break through the barriers and secure the investment your business deserves? The answer lies in mastering the intangibles – those qualities that set you apart from the competition and resonate with investors on a deeper level.


Let's delve deeper into each of the key intangible qualities and explore how they can be leveraged to captivate investors and propel your startup forward:


1. Communicate your commitment with passion.

Beyond simply having a great idea, investors want to see that you are deeply committed to seeing it through. Nothing “sells” a business like a founder who eats, breathes, and sleeps the mission and strategy of their business. You can feel the energy and excitement in the founder’s voice every time they talk about their business. A great founder will also instill that passion within their team and create “mini co-founders.” Your passion for your business should shine through in every interaction, whether it's pitching to investors, rallying your team, or engaging with customers. 


Effective communication is so crucial; being able to clearly articulate your vision, strategy, and progress demonstrates your leadership and builds investor confidence. It is especially important to have the confidence not to waiver from the vision in tough times. 


2. Build an energized team.

While your initial team may be small, investors want to see that you have a plan for growth and talent acquisition. By surrounding yourself with credible and connected advisors, interns, and contractors who bring diverse expertise and perspectives, you signal to investors that you are resourceful and strategic in building your team. Demonstrating a commitment to professional development and talent cultivation further underscores your dedication to long-term success.


3. Foster a culture of innovation.

In today's fast-paced business landscape, innovation is key to staying ahead of the curve. Investors are attracted to companies that foster a culture of creativity, experimentation, and risk-taking. By encouraging your team to think outside the box, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and continuously iterate on your products or services, you demonstrate your ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and drive long-term growth.


4. Practice resilience, agility, and adaptability.

The ability to weather storms and pivot in response to market shifts is essential for startup success. Investors want to see that you have a clear plan for navigating challenges and capitalizing on opportunities. This requires not only having a long-term vision but also being nimble and responsive to changing circumstances. By demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity and agility in adjusting your strategy as needed, you instill confidence in investors that you have what it takes to succeed in the long run.


5. Build a deep network.

A strong network of supporters, mentors, and industry peers is invaluable for startup founders. Investors are more likely to bet on entrepreneurs who have access to a wide range of resources and expertise. By actively participating in industry events, engaging with relevant communities, and seeking out mentorship opportunities, you demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and growth. Your network not only provides valuable insights and connections but also serves as a testament to your credibility and reputation within your industry.


6. Be responsive.

In the fast-paced world of startup fundraising, prompt and courteous communication can make all the difference. Investors want to work with founders who are reliable, transparent, and easy to reach. By promptly responding to inquiries, addressing concerns, and keeping investors informed of key developments, you show that you value their time and trust. Consistent and thoughtful communication builds rapport and fosters trust, laying the foundation for a successful long-term partnership.


By focusing on these intangible qualities and leveraging them to your advantage, you can differentiate your startup from the competition and capture the attention of investors. While securing investment is never easy, mastering these intangibles can significantly enhance your chances of success and position your startup for sustainable growth and long-term success.


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