News & Views

 

Founded and Funded: The unwritten rules of fundraising with serial founder Kristen Hamilton
AUTHOR: Erika Shaffer

In our third episode of Season Two, Tim Porter connects with serial founder and seasoned fundraiser, Kristen Hamilton. Kristen co-founded early e-commerce highflier, Onvia (so much so that the company received an early cease and desist letter from Amazon about Onvia’s ‘superstore’ tagline). Onvia went public 10 days before the tech market drop in 2000. Following the IPO, Kristen took a deep dive into tech and education with Microsoft and a global NGO. She later joined Maveron as an EIR, and then founded her second company, Koru, bringing together her education and tech experience to help college graduates get jobs and help companies find the right hires in a field of many applicants.

Having successfully founded two companies, Kristen has constructed quite the fundraising resume. She has raised six rounds of funding and estimates that she has given 120 pitches to venture investors! Listen in as Tim and Kristen discuss the unwritten rules of fundraising, the nature of the relationship between entrepreneur and investor, and what it really takes to get your fundraising wings as a first-time founder.

Kristen provides some guardrails and rules to live by and illustrates these with stories such as when a pitch to an investor was on the verge of falling flat and what she did to change the entire direction of the conversation.

Hear it all from someone who has undeniably been there and done that.