Mini Interview: Yehuda from FundStory
"As soon as I discovered that marketing was what I wanted to do, I decided to skip college."
FundStory Website | FundStory's Twitter | Yehuda's Twitter | Yehuda's LinkedIn
"With FundStory, you're able to easily track your non dilutive funding process from start to finish. It's an essential tool for companies looking grow while retaining equity in their business." -Bobby Gilbert, CEO at FundStory
TechCrunch Why startup CEOs are turning to non-dilutive debt funding to fuel growth
Upcounsel Non-dilutive: Everything you need to know
Yehuda Zahler is the Head of Growth at FundStory. I met him on Twitter and he's been extremely helpful to me and other founders. As an early stage founder, it's an ongoing internal struggle whether to bootstrap, raise angel/VC money, or use an alternative fundraising method, so I wanted to ask Yehuda more about FundStory and how they can help founders. My mini-interview with him is below.
Can you tell me a bit about your journey to becoming the Head of Growth at FundStory? Did your education/experience lead you to FundStory?
As soon as I discovered that marketing was what I wanted to do, I decided to skip college. I thought that taking courses and getting hands-on experience would serve me better and leave me debt-free.
I worked at a small business and then a startup to learn the tools and methods to successfully grow a young company. Covid forced the previous startup that I was at to shutter and I started freelancing as a Photoshop expert.
When I read that most founders get fired from their own company in the later stages, that really bothered me as I had seen the hard work that goes into a company at early stages.
When I discovered a young company aiming to solve the issue by helping founders retain their equity, I knew I wanted in. From there, my work ethic has carried me to where I am today.
I don’t know much about non-dilutive capital. Is it just a loan?
To start, FundStory does NOT provide capital directly. We aim to help founders understand how a capital partner sees their company from a risk perspective.
These are 2 options that pre-revenue companies can tap into:
- Most non-dilutive funding types do require you to pay the money back (hence the risk factor), but the structure is usually what differentiates it from a traditional business loan.
- We also have partners that help companies access grants and/or tax credits.
Can you give a few pros and cons for using FundStory to find funding over bootstrapping or VC funding?
- Retain your equity
- Easier to raise than VC (if you have revenue)
- Faster than VC
- Has to be paid back
- Pre-revenue companies have fewer options
What are the top 3 things that you think a founder should focus on when they’re in the first year of building?
- Build a strong network of other founders. This will give you a place to turn when you feel lost.
- Expect to not succeed. The reason I don't say “expect to fail” is because it's not failure if you learn from it.
- You don't build muscle by lifting light weights for a week. It takes time and it's not easy, this is the life of a startup founder.
What are you passionate about in your free time?
I love sports. Watching or participating in them has always been fun for me. I enjoy hockey, football, and MMA. I also enjoy exercise and the rush that brings.