Ready to Raise Funds? Fundraising Considerations for Startups
June 3 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Businesses need capital to grow, but how do you know when your startup or small business is ready to begin fundraising? The answer isn’t always a dwindling bank account.
Launching and completing a successful fundraising round—whether from venture capital, grants, loans, or additional sources—requires a thoughtful and intentional plan. Serial entrepreneurs (and serious fundraisers), Christine Ferguson-Rau and Craig Markovitz, will guide you through the process of using data to drive your decisions and help you gain a sense of when it’s time to start fundraising. Christine and Craig will also cover the pros and cons of different funding sources and strategies to develop a fundraising plan that is actionable, appropriate, and reaches the right people.
In this session, we will cover answer the following questions:
- How do you know when you are ready to start preparing to raise funds? (e.g., key milestones, sales figures)
- What sources of funding should startups consider?
- How do you prepare your investment pipeline?
- How do your fundraising goals influence who you target and when?
- What are actionable steps you need to take to fundraise?
Christine Ferguson-Rau is an entrepreneur and senior financial and operational executive with extensive leadership experience and a proven record of implementing strategies to drive revenue growth, increase profitability and achieve business objectives. She has a passion for helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses profitably and “button up” to increase the business’s value and prepare for a successful transition of ownership. Christine has deep experience with privately held companies and non-profits from early-stage start-ups to organizations with up to $100M in revenue. Christine has successfully raised funds in private financings, completed over $50M in M&A transactions, and negotiated over $50M in debt instruments for companies from start-up to $250MM in revenue.
Christine is also a founding investment committee member of Next Act Fund and an instructor of corporate finance at Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business.
Craig Markovitz is an Entrepreneur in Residence in the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and an Assistant Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2020, he was named as the Richard King Mellon Foundation’s first Prosser Mellon Fellow.
He is co-founder of Blue Belt Technologies, Inc., a spinoff from the Robotics Institute at CMU and served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer for over 7 years. In this capacity, he launched the company, raised capital, managed operations, and led a January 2011 merger with HealthpointCapital. He then transitioned to Chief Operating Officer and helped to lead substantial growth of the company from pre revenue and 18 employees to multi-million in revenue and 150 employees. Craig was a key member of the deal team that led to an acquisition by Smith and Nephew, plc in January 2016 for $275,000,000.
Markovitz graduated with distinction from the MBA program at the Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University in Chicago with a degree in Entrepreneurship, and graduated cum laude from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA, with a BA in Management. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and 3 children.