REPLAY: John Lynn Wants You to Get Your Money

When it comes to funding a new business, John Lynn has a 360-degree view.

Started a business and got funding himself? Check.

Helped raise money for a venture fund? Check.

Selected start-ups for one of the best-known accelerators out there? Check.

Set up accelerators himself, and seen how hundreds of businesses lifted off? Uh, yeah.

In fact, over the last decade-plus, John has gone from entrepreneur himself (yes, he’s been there!) to becoming a guru in the overall accelerator space, helping grow businesses just like yours over and over again.

 John is the co-founder of Cela, which builds startup accelerators with the world’s most influential institutions, including investor groups, universities, governments, and corporations. John has spoken at theWorld Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as well as in multiple locations within China, throughout Japan, Haiti, Aruba, and the USA. His work has been published in Forbes, TechCrunch, and at the Nasdaq.

The bottom line: The guy knows how businesses get money.

And he knows you can do it.

“Fundraising is an accessible activity that anyone can successfully achieve,” says the Parsons Entrepreneurial Academy instructor. “It has many challenges, but being a business or financial expert is not the big one. Funding is just like other relationships you have in your life, and that’s where the challenges are. You already know how to have relationships, and this is just another kind you need to learn to have.”

Recently, John led a webinar titled How to Raise BIG Money for Your Business: Insider Funding Tips You Need to Know Now. [Video replay BELOW.] We talked to him about that experience, and why he thinks creatives have the perfect skills to attract funding.

You can  download the free fundraising Network Analysis John mentions in the webinar replay right here. Use it to assess your current connections and network to find funding options you never knew you had.

You’ve said that part of the funding journey is a mental shift. Do you have an example of that?

I have many, and I went over some in my webinar. But one is this: A lot of us were taught to work really hard first. To ‘earn it.’ And then once you have a good product or the right qualifications, move forward towards whatever it is you want. But I believe the truth is totally inverted when it comes to trying to build a company: There, you are going out and exercising that intention, before you've done a thing. Talk to people about the fact that you want to start a company, before you start the company. That’s where things like imposter syndrome can get in your way. You have to be ready to expect and accept abundance and learn to take advantage of it in a way that moves everyone forward. I mean, that's really what an entrepreneur does every day.

Your webinar offered a lot of nuts and bolts (like your  network funding analysis tool), but its real focus seemed to be on relationship-building. Why?

I feel strongly that funding is about creating the right relationship, not the right deal. So, there is a technical aspect to it: Understanding the discount that you're offering, or the term of convertible note. That’s real and concrete, and it takes study to get through it. But you can master all of those things, and get in your first investor conversation, and get absolutely nowhere. Starting with relationships is much better. 

How?

Once you have that, they can help you through the other stuff. Find the people that are right for you, and then do the work with them. Designing the term sheet with them, designing the convertible note with them, designing your discount or whatever. The other way can work too, but it's going to be a longer, more painful, more ambiguous path. 

Do you think seeking funding is harder for creatives, since our work is often so personal?

Actually, I think there’s a lot of alignment, for that exact reason: The work is a reflection of that personal meaning, and that drives the personal connections that you need. I've seen a lot of incredible transitions occur from people in the creative space, with creative skills, towards entrepreneurship. 

So, one of your big messages is that entrepreneurs should start fundraising as early as possible--even before having a product. How in the world can that work?

The earlier that you invite a potential funder or investor into your process and your journey, the more they’re going to see you achieve. They’ll see you start out unsure, then take small steps forward to get past your initial challenges, then sprint forward and grow. Seeing that makes an impression. People want to be a part of it.

 

Want to:

Learn more about John? Click here and watch the video on the page.

Find out more about his class? Click here.

And see you soon with more great content!

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