Zack Storms runs a non-profit called Startup TNT, a community that works with local angel groups, early-stage VC funds, and seed funds to educate potential investors. They teach entrepreneurs how to raise money and how to be better entrepreneurs overall. In this episode of Negotiations Ninja, we have a great conversation about Startup TNT, what they do, and how they’re bridging the gap between investors and founders.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:58] Learn more about Zack Storms and Startup TNT
- [5:34] Make sure you research your business
- [7:38] The early stages of negotiations?
- [11:12] Access is the #1 factor in successful investing
- [13:09] Why you want to be firm but pleasant
- [14:32] How to win friends & influence people
- [18:57] What’s up next for Startup TNT
- [20:11] The struggle to access seed funding
The Roots of Startup TNT
Three years ago, Zack launched “Thursday Night Tradition,” now known as Startup TNT. It was a happy hour to have fun, make friends, and bring like-minded people together to focus on building businesses.
Zack had heard of the concept of an “Angel Summit,” where you get investors together, and they commit money upfront to invest in a local company. He knew it was needed in Edmonton. Now, he runs 12 investment summits. He’s helped raise $6 million for 40 companies across the Prairies with 220 investors in participation.
Raising money isn’t the only goal
Zack isn’t just helping companies raise money—he’s helping them get exposure, too. New investors are learning from seasoned investors, increasing the sophistication level of the local investor pool. They also run public events to build awareness around the startups and build momentum for deals. It showcases and celebrates the community.
Startup TNT also helps coach companies through anything before Series A funding, which is usually when big investors start coming into play with millions of dollars in investments. They work with companies raising between $250,000 to $3 million, with valuations ranging from $2.5 million to 12 million Canadian dollars.
The struggle to access seed funding
People who raise money from friends and family are rare, and seed funding is challenging to access. That’s why Startup TNT is trying to make the process easier for founders to access early-stage investors. Zack has created a community where investors and founders can start conversations and gain access they otherwise wouldn’t have. Listen to this episode of Negotiations Ninja to learn more about building relationships and negotiating with investors.
Resources & People Mentioned
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