If you're a newly minted entrepreneur who's ready to raise, you probably have a long list of questions that center around one thing: how to get seed funding.
Navigating the world of venture capital can be daunting-especially for first-time founders. But the good news is startup funding has increased significantly over the last decade. According to Crunchbase, fewer than 3,200 companies received seed funding from 2006 through 2010. Today, that number is closer to 23,000-good news for early stage entrepreneurs in search of seed funding.
While there are several routes you can take to pursue seed capital, the Venture Atlanta Conference and community at large is a great place to find and connect with investors, no matter what stage your business is at.
But first, let's break down the basics.
What is Seed Capital?
In simplest terms, seed capital is money raised for early stage (or seed stage) startups. This type of funding specifically covers initial startup costs and is designed to get the business up and running. According to Panoramic Ventures, a good rule of thumb to remember when raising is that your seed round should provide 12-18 months of cash to run and grow your startup.
It often follows a pre-seed round and is the precursor to Series A. In addition to funding startup costs, seed capital can also help entrepreneurs attract more funding opportunities down the road.
Who Invests in Seed Stage Companies?
Seed capital is typically raised in smaller amounts, often from friends, family, or acquaintances. However, it can come from venture capitalists and angel investors as well. Here's a look at some of the most common seed capital sources:
Venture Capitalists (VCs)
Certain venture capital funds will provide seed funding for startups-but only if they see significant growth opportunities. VCs tend to be more risk averse than, say, angel investors, and therefore tend to be more discerning with seed capital.
The best place to get seed funding from VCs is, of course, Venture Atlanta. Our annual conference attracts VCs looking to invest in all stages of business-including seed stage.
Angel investors are individuals who invest in startups using their own funds in exchange for equity. They can be anyone from privately wealthy people to corporate investors who provide capital, and often mentorship, to new entrepreneurs.
As the figurative angels of the investment world, these investors earned their name because they often fund unproven (and therefore riskier) ventures. They are the saving grace, so to speak, for early stage entrepreneurs who are unable to secure more traditional venture capital or bank loans.
Friends, Family, and Acquaintances
When raising seed funding, many entrepreneurs turn to friends, family, and acquaintances who know them, trust them, and believe in their vision. There are often fewer hoops to jump through when raising capital from friends and family than traditional funding avenues, making it faster and easier to get seed funding for startups.
Seed Funding for Startups at Venture Atlanta
There is no better place for seed stage companies to connect than at Venture Atlanta-it's where founders from the Southeast meet funders from across the country.
When it comes to pitching, we seek companies in all stages of growth-ranging from very early to growth stage-that are tech-enabled and looking to raise capital sometime in the next 18 months. Selected pitch companies will gain exposure to 300+ investors representing 200+ nationwide funds.
If you're ready to get on stage at Venture Atlanta, apply to pitch here. Looking to network with investors? Register to attend here.
Opportunities at Venture Atlanta for Seed Stage Companies
Sponsored by Panoramic Ventures and McDermott Will & Emery, the Seed Stage Showcase at Venture Atlanta is an opportunity for investors and showcase companies to connect. This 90-minute session will be a "round robin" of sorts, with a certain number of founders and investors matched by sector at each table. The goal will be for founders to learn from one another while having the opportunity to tell investors about their companies.
In addition, Panoramic Ventures and McDermott Will & Emery are hosting mentor days, where each startup will be paired with four mentors to help refine their pitch prior to the conference. These will be held on September 21 and 22, and are available to all selected companies. For the first time ever, we've added this type of programming to the Venture Atlanta schedule to highly encourage investor attendance.
Showcase companies will also receive:
- One complimentary ticket to the event
- Admittance to the exclusive VA Investor Dinner. This is THE BEST NETWORKING event of the conference and is attended by all investors!
- Free press kit
- Ongoing social media coverage
Secure Your Spot (and Maybe Even Your Seed Capital!) at Venture Atlanta 2022
If you're wondering how to get seed funding, look no further-Venture Atlanta is the place to be.
We are actively looking for tech companies from across the Southeast to apply. While selected growth stage companies will pitch on stage, the selected seed stage companies will participate in the Showcase. It's free to apply, so this is no-risk, can't-miss opportunity! Hurry-the deadline to apply is August 12th. Apply here for your opportunity to pitch or showcase.
Not quite ready to pitch or showcase this year? There is still a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs who attend the conference. Networking, and learning what the pitch process is like so they know for future years. Learn more and register to attend here.
Seed Funding FAQs
Looking for more information about how to get seed funding? Check out the FAQs below to learn more.
What is seed funding?
Seed funding, or seed capital, is money that helps startups get off the ground.
What is pre-seed funding?
Pre-seed funding is "idea money;" the initial funds required for the basis of a business. This can be an institutional round but commonly it comes from family, friends, and colleagues or incubators/accelerators. Most pre-seed rounds are done on a safe. A safe is a financial vehicle that allows you to raise capital without the financial and legal overhead of a price round.
What is seed funding vs. Series A funding?
Seed funding is the round of funding that comes before Series A. Typically, seed funding is distributed in smaller amounts, while Series A is often much larger than the seed round. The seed round is primarily meant to show early signs of demand for a product that you've created. The Series A is meant to show that you have signs of a venture-scale business.
How much is seed funding?
The amount of seed funding can vary greatly depending on the business, industry, and source of seed funding. VC and angel investments can reach into the millions, while capital raised from friends and family will tend to be a much lower amount.
Where can I find seed funding?
Seed funding can be found through a variety of sources such as VCs, angel investors, and friends/family. Crowdsourcing can also offer seed funding for startups.
What can seed funding be used for?
Seed funding can be used for various startup costs and can include anything from product development to market research to covering legal costs. Seed funding should primarily be used to prove that you have a product that people want to buy. The goal should be to secure actual paying customers (no longer just beta users, trials, or proof of concept).
More About Our Sponsors
Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.
Panoramic Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Atlanta that takes a "wider-view" approach to investing by targeting the Southeast and Midwest and placing a focus on diverse founders and university startups. Panoramic opens new doors for overlooked founders, giving more entrepreneurs access to capital to build leading tech companies.
To learn more, visit panoramic.vc.
McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery partners with leaders around the world to fuel missions, knock down barriers, and shape markets. Their team works seamlessly across practices and industries to deliver highly effective solutions that propel success. More than 1,200 lawyers strong, MWE brings personal passion and legal prowess to bear in every matter for its clients and the people they serve.
To learn more, visit mwe.com.