As a startup founder, you may be wondering what seed funding is and how it can benefit your business.
Seed funding is typically money invested in a company at its early stages when it is still developing its product or service. This type of funding can come from many different sources, such as angel investors, venture capitalists or even the government.
Like the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) for example, (we'll explain more later).
However, if you are thinking about applying for seed funding, there are a few things you should keep in mind. You will need:
- To have a clear idea of what you need the money for.
- How you will use the investment.
- Have a well-developed business plan that outlines your company's goals - and how you intend to achieve them.
It’s important to appreciate that the benefits of securing seed funding can help get your business off the ground, provide working capital to hire staff or develop your product - and give you a boost when it comes to marketing and publicity.
However, it’s important to remember that there is no guarantee of success when it comes to securing seed funding.
Always do your research and listen to the experts before making any decisions about how to finance your startup. There are countless books, videos, and even Twitter threads, written by successful entrepreneurs who've been there, done that.
Nevertheless, here’s a quick introduction to the types of seed funding up for grabs.
How can I get seed funding for my startup?
There are a few ways to go about getting seed funding for your startup. The most common is to pitch to investors (with a killer presentation), either through an angel investor network or a venture capital firm.
There are also other options, such as crowdfunding or government grants. We mentioned EIS and SEIS earlier, two great ways for young companies to get the capital they need.
But what's so great about SEIS/EIS? Well...
- EIS offers tax relief to investors and is a long-running scheme from the government to help small and high-risk firms access finance.
- SEIS is very similar to EIS but is only available for start-ups and early-stage companies.
Download our plain English guide to EIS and SEIS for free to learn more.
What are the benefits of seed funding?
The main benefit to getting seed funding for your startup is to help get your business up and running by providing the initial capital you need.
The next best reason is that this funding can give you a boost in terms of credibility and exposure, as well as helping you to build valuable relationships with investors.
What are the risks of seed funding?
There are a few risks associated with seed funding - the most obvious being that you’ll have to give up equity (a share in your company) in exchange for the investment. You may also be required to give up some control over the direction of your business.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing; that investment could help you achieve things that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.
It's also worth bearing in mind that the funding may not be enough to get your business off the ground, in which case you’ll have to go back to the drawing board.
There’s no doubt that seed funding is an important step for many startups, but it's only one part of the journey. With hard work and dedication, your startup can succeed regardless of whether you receive seed funding.
So, don't be discouraged if you don't receive funding immediately - keep working on your business and you'll eventually get there.