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Written by: Marc Halpin

It was my first meeting with a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. I was nervous. I thought I was prepared (I wasn’t), so I thought I’d start with an ice-breaker (this was a good idea). I asked Deepak Kamra of Canaan Capital how many pitches he’d seen in his 20+ year career in Silicon Valley. He responded by saying, “funnily enough I was calculating this over the weekend… I’ve seen about 20,000!” So I asked the obvious question, how many have you funded? He said 15! We both laughed… Inside, I was crying!

Fundraising is a hard sport. You’re building a tech company and you need capital to give your company a chance to succeed. Statistically, your chances of raising venture capital hover around 0.07%. Not good odds, right?

There is a but, though. If you know what kind of companies and founders Deepak or any of the other great VC’s in Silicon Valley, Ohio or Illinois are really looking for, your chances of success can improve dramatically.

Sure, you might have to change stuff, might have to re-think your business plan, you might even have to get good at pitching! But raising capital is like anything else in life, you can get good at it.

Want to beat the odds? Do two things:

1) Find someone who’s raised venture capital a number of times.
2) Ask them to be brutally honest with you and your approach.

May the odds be ever in your favor!