Free, Virtual Event – Tips from Founders and VC Firms on Navigating & Maximizing Fundraising in the UK

thoughtbot is a product agency that has teams and services tailored to our clients’ stages and goals. A great deal of our work includes supporting startups navigating both business and product growth. A big piece of achieving their full trajectory is navigating fundraising successfully. We have a few suggestions, insights and an upcoming event for startup teams.

Event Overview & Discussion

thoughtbot brought together a group of experts, of both Founders & Investors, to share learnings that can help others navigate fundraising successfully and once secured, maximize their runway. 

Our panel discussed:

  • How to prepare for those big presentations and stand out to investors
  • Successfully researching fundraising options, and starting conversations that lead to meetings
  • The criteria investors are using to grade risk and runway
  • With funding secured, where to start in moving your business, product, and team forward strategically?

You can access the recording of the event here.

thoughtbot Tips for Startups

We’ve been building products people love, including your customers, for over 19 years. Here are our biggest suggestions for startups navigating the fundraising stage.

  1. Have clarity on your Product Strategy and how it aligns with your business goals. This includes a strong, robust understanding of your Target Audience, their problem statement and corresponding Critical Path. (FYI we have a PDS guide with more info on our website)
  2. Collect and challenge any assumptions through market research. Connect with your target customers through 1+ mediums; surveys, polls, communities, events, and 1-1 interviews. Capture learnings, collect their info to grow your subscriber list, and continue to tweak your approach. 
  3. When building software, think strategically and prioritize your feature set. Your first version shouldn’t include all the bells and whistles but should deliver the minimum features you need to provide value to your audience. Consider low-code tools and use a build vs buy analysis to determine when your investment is best spent.
  4. Your product is only as successful as the team behind it and building a culture of collaboration, and strong communication is important. All voices should be heard and aligned on a path forward. We suggest an iterative, repeatable process for prioritizing and executing your roadmap. 

Current State of Fundraising in the UK

thoughtbot has seen with the recent economic changes, like the Cost of Living Crisis, there has been a substantial impact on a team’s fundraising efforts. In recent months we have found:

  • Investors and Venture Capitalists are looking more at profitability over top-line growth meaning while they may still have funds to invest, the process is slower.
  • B2C founders need to confirm that their business proposition is still viable and delivers the right value as consumers are paying high energy, food, and fuel costs.
  • If you’re series A or B, ensure all investments in product development have a strong business case and are directed specifically to how you generate revenue/profit. Be laser-focused on raison d’etre and make data-driven decisions toward generating revenue.
  • In the Seed or Angel round, who you are and your level of experience are going to impact investors’ consideration. Those without fitting expertise will be challenged to win funding in the current climate.

If your team has any product, development or design needs, feel free to reach out to me directly. I’m happy to discuss further how thoughtbot might help.

About the Author


Kelly Gebo, Associate Director of Business Development at thoughtbot, prepared tips on navigating and maximizing fundraising in the UK.

We hope you enjoy this article.