Ann Arbor-based 3D Biomatrix was launched to fill a niche in the drug discovery and bio-testing market. Its offerings include three-dimensional cell culture products that provide better, more biologically relevant results than standard two-dimensional systems. The company sought local investment during its early startup phase, and has widened its net in its current Series A round of funding. CEO Laura Schrader has found Michigan to be a great place to launch a startup. “It has both the mechanisms and the active desire in place to make startups happen with funding opportunities and networking events,” she said. “It is impressive at the state and local levels.”
Schrader offers the following tips to other entrepreneurs seeking a Series A round:
- Know what you need funding for, and practice asking for it. This may sound obvious, but it is key to showing investors that you know where you want to take the company, and how you’re going to do it.
- Get an understanding of what dilution scenarios will look like on the capitalization table, so you can best negotiate the terms of the investment round.
- Get your hands on a typical due diligence list and get your documents organized.
- Line up interested investors and stay actively in front of them. These are busy people, and you want the process to move as quickly as possible so you can direct your focus on building a successful company.
- Network, network, network.
Schrader notes that the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is a great networking tool. “MGCS is a well-organized event for entrepreneurs and investors to network,” she said. “It’s nice because there is no secret why a startup company is at the event – it’s to raise awareness and get connected with funds to move the company forward.”