• Jock

How to prepare an Idea and build the minimum viable IM to raise capital.

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

I'll start with the steps that I took from the 25th of July 2019 to the 20th of December 2019 to find an opportunity worth investing time into, build the plan and execute a capital raising journey. (except I failed in the final hour).

I'll then share the link to the entire IM that I put together (I have taken out some personal/ proprietary information - but the bulk is there). The IM and the way that I structured it was commended by very serious VC firms both here and in the US, the idea was recognised also by both - however we were too early for them.

The reason I built an entire IM to raise capital, was that A) The team behind it were very experienced and not willing to work for free (except after hours) and B) This concept is completely based on timing into the market (which I am still 100% sure of and has been validated by numerous banking and ex banking CEO's). C) We didn't have the resources to build an MVP and if we did, it wouldn't have been even 50% reflective of the product

Now that the IM is out in the open - feel free to use anything I've put out there including the entire Idea. Fair game.

* In no way shape or form am I saying this is the best practice, the only way to do it or an idea guaranteed to work. This would just be the minimum I'd look for if I were investing my own money.

In brief... (As you will see the discovery starts broad and is more like 1/4 time and then escalates too full time.)

Starting from July 25th.

  • Initial calls with AFSL provider/ partner

  • Initial calls with separate potential partners i.e lending, credit cards - discovery

  • Initial discovery calls with potential distribution groups - MMM

  • Secondary call with AFSL provider/ partner to understand more about product arbitrage

  • Understanding marketing/ sales guidelines


  • Confirm deal with AFSL

  • Contact potential team members

  • Meet with some people I know in the Fintech industry for discovery

  • Meet with some people I know in the Advisory industry for discovery

  • Begin calls with potential advisors and feedback

  • Begin workshop planning with potential team i.e surveys and UX workshops

  • Design meeting

  • Cap table breakdown

  • Investor and customer FAQ's

  • Data security research

  • Meet more advisors for feedback

  • Call first potential customers for initial feedback

  • Research

  • MVP planning


  • Product roadmap

  • Interview people who had run marketplaces previously

  • Interview people who had run heavily regulated startups previously

  • Full week with AFSL team to run through ideas, product, regulations etc.

  • Outbound Linkedin messages asking potential target customers to engage about the idea

  • Initial customer interviews post-first call and post-initial survey

  • Build out Wizard of Oz workshop

  • Build landing pages / ads to test initial CAC

  • Initial deck out for review

  • Run UX workshops


  • Continual CAC experiments

  • Continual deck updates

  • Investor updates out

  • Build new Excel, update churn plan, update with new research, key risks

  • Build strategy one pager

  • Get commitments from team based on cap raising

  • Complete IM V1


  • Revisions to IM after feedback

  • First commitment (email)

  • Second commitment (email)

  • Minimum commitment found

  • Set up meetings for NY to finish our desired commitment

  • Update customer base etc.

HERE are the running notes I made over the journey so you can see some of the developments. (again some personal/proprietary information has been removed)

The IM. (some brief screenshots below)


Some of the extended links for extra value :)

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