When it comes to sponsorship or funding for new startups, early momentum is the biggest hurdle you’ll face — and the most important to clear. John Harthorne of MassChallenge, the world’s largest startup accelerator, recommends a few key tactical tips for new nonprofits (and startups in general) as they begin approaching sponsors for financial support:
- Believe in what you are doing. You need to believe in your business before anyone else will. And be persistent — it pays off.
- Don’t ask for money right away. Just ask for a meeting and advice.
- Integrate criticisms you receive into your plan. You’re going to hear “no” a lot — that’s OK. They key is to get back up and keep going.
- Don’t leave a meeting without at least one “yes.” At a minimum, ask for a pre-formatted letter of recommendation, which you can present to other potential investors or sponsors. This shows momentum, and people always want to bet on organizations with momentum.
For more tips, watch the video above in full.
More about MassChallenge: If you’re a first-time entrepreneur looking for mentorship, training, office space and other benefits, MassChallenge is accepting applications now. Over $1.5 million in cash grants and $10 million of in-kind benefits are awarded annually to entrepreneurs in the program, with no equity taken. Any early-stage entrepreneur, in any industry, from anywhere in the world is eligible to apply. Applications are due by April 2, so apply now at masschallenge.org/apply.