Best Startup Funding Books for Founders
Learning how to procure your own funding won't come as naturally to some entrepreneurs as they would have liked. It can take skill, and with the books below, you'll have experienced startup founders giving you the best advice on how to raise money for your business.
Also Recommended: Check out our list of the best startup books.
1. ‘Venture Deals’ by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson
If you're looking for advice on how to secure funding in venture capital, then Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson are your go-to authors. A 20-year experience in hundreds of venture capital financing deals has been distilled down into this helpful book. “Venture Deals” covers everything from how to value your startup, negotiating tactics, and what you should expect (and demand) from investors.
One of the most useful aspects of the book is that it gives real-world examples of different types of deals so that you can learn from both the successes and failures of other startups. You'll get in-depth tips on capital term sheets that shed light on economics as well as control in a deal. By the end of the book, you'll know every key participant in brokering venture capital deals and how fundraising really works.
2. ‘The Startup Checklist’ by David S. Rose
Instead of filling the pages with anecdotal advice and general help, “The Startup Checklist” gives you 25 concrete steps that are essential for every startup. It's a great resource because it's short, sweet, and to the point- giving you what you need without any fluff. You'll learn exactly what experts you need to be talking to and how you can get the most out of the help.
David S. Rose is an experienced entrepreneur who has also been on the other side of the table as an investor, so he knows what it takes to get a deal done. This book details all the helpful steps of growing a successful startup like execution, management, legal issues, and fundraising.
3. ‘Mastering the VC Game’ by Jeffrey Bussgang
If there is anyone who is familiar with securing funds from venture capitalists, it's Jeffrey Bussgang. His book, “Mastering the VC Game,” gives entrepreneurs an intimate look into the fundraising process from both sides. He breaks down all of the different stages that occur during a funding deal so that you know what to expect and how to best prepare for each one.
You'll also get firsthand accounts of what it's like to go through the process as both an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist. These real-life stories provide valuable lessons on how to make your startup attractive to investors and what you should (and shouldn't) say during negotiations.
4. ‘The Art of the Start 2.0’ by Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki is best known for his work at Apple in the 1980s, where he was one of the company's first employees. He has since become a well-respected venture capitalist and startup advisor. In “The Art of the Start 2.0,” Kawasaki gives entrepreneurs an update on all the changes that have happened in the business world since his original book was published in 2004.
One of the most important aspects of “The Art of the Start” is that it helps entrepreneurs to focus on what's really important. Kawasaki advocates for a ‘lean startup’ approach which means getting your product out to customers as quickly as possible and then making changes based on their feedback. He also encourages founders to think outside the traditional funding sources and look for alternative ways to finance their businesses.
5. ‘Six Figure Crowdfunding’ by Derek Miller
Startup founders often jump straight into thinking they have to secure capital from one of the biggest firms in the world in order to be successful. Derek Miller changes that narrative by providing a step-by-step guide on how to raise six figures through crowdfunding. “Six Figure Crowdfunding” is both helpful and hilarious, so readers will be more engaged compared to other fundraising novels.
You'll learn everything from creating a campaign that will attract backers, what platforms are the best for your business, and how to use social media to generate buzz. Miller also provides helpful case studies of businesses that have successfully raised money through crowdfunding so that you can learn from their successes (and failures).
Looking for more book recommendations? We asked startup founders to share their favorite books on entrepreneurship, and here's what they said.
6. ‘Pitch Anything’ by Oren Klaff
The art of obtaining funds is often lost in books that detail concrete actions on how to get it down. Although you'll need all that knowledge, where you will really separate yourself from your competition is in your ability to pitch. Oren Klaff is a self-proclaimed “pitch master,” and he wrote this book to help entrepreneurs hone their skills.
“Pitch Anything” goes beyond just startup pitching and provides actionable advice on how to present any type of information in a way that will be well received. You'll learn how to keep your audience's attention, how to read body language, and how to tailor your message for maximum impact. If you're looking to improve your pitching skills, this is the book for you.
7. ‘What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know’ by Brian Cohen and John Kador
Before you start jumping into the venture capital game, it can be helpful to focus on a smaller pool of investors, such as angel investors. These are individuals who are willing to invest their own money into early-stage startups.
“What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know” is a masterclass from the chairman of the board of directors of the New York Angels. Brian Cohen has all the experience to back up his advice in this groundbreaking book. He provides entrepreneurs with a comprehensive overview of what angel investors are looking for and how to approach them best. You'll learn about everything from creating a winning pitch deck to what you should (and shouldn't) say during negotiations.
8. ‘Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It’ by Scott Kupor
Often called the dream street for entrepreneurs, Sand Hill Road runs right through Silicon Valley and it's where you'll find some of the biggest names in venture capital. Andreessen Horowitz is on that street and it's where lawyer/entrepreneur/VC Scott Kupor got his start. If you ever wanted to know the mind of a VC and how it works, Kupor breaks it all down for you.
In “Secrets of Sand Hill Road,” Kupor shares all the secrets he's learned about how the VC world works. He provides an insider's view of everything from how VC firms are structured to what goes on during a partner meeting. If you're looking to raise money from VCs, this book is a must-read. This book applies to entrepreneurs just starting and those who are trying to get their new company off of the ground.
9. ‘The Art of Startup Fundraising’ by Alejandro Cremades
If you're looking for the most comprehensive book that outlines the process of startup fundraising, then you need to read “The Art of Startup Fundraising.” Alejandro Cremades is a serial entrepreneur, and he's raised money for his companies from some of the biggest VC firms in the world. Not only is this book helpful but it's incredibly relevant to the modern-day, where some of the more traditional advice has become outdated.
In this book, Cremades covers everything from how to structure your pitch to what you should include in your investor deck. He also provides helpful templates and resources that you can use to make the fundraising process easier. If you're serious about raising money for your startup, this is the book for you.
10. ‘Crack the Funding Code’ by Judy Robinett
For the entrepreneur who didn't grow up with an uncle or friend in Silicon Valley, “Crack the Funding Code” is for you. Judy Robinett breaks down exactly how VCs think and what they're looking for in a startup. She also provides helpful advice on how to approach VCs and get them interested in your company.
This book is incredibly helpful for entrepreneurs who are just starting out and don't have any connections to the VC world. Robinett provides a step-by-step guide on how to raise money from VCs, which is incredibly valuable for anyone who wants to take their startup to the next level. You'll learn the ABCs of venture capital investment so you can land funding for your million-dollar idea.
11. ‘Get Backed’ by Evan Baehr and Evan Loomis
It's often the case that entrepreneurs have a brilliant idea but fall flat on the sale. When you're up against some of the biggest names in venture capital, you need to be able to sell your idea and get them excited about it. This is where “Get Backed” comes in. This book provides entrepreneurs with a step-by-step guide on how to craft a winning pitch and get VCs interested in your company.
You'll learn everything from how to create a great slide deck to what you should say during a pitch meeting. It also follows the stories of Loomis and Baehr, as well as other entrepreneurs, to teach you exactly what to do and not do to secure funding. There's even a step-by-step process they've outlined as the friendship loop that you can use to build relationships with anyone.
12. ‘The Private Equity Playbook’ by Adam Coffey
Although most of the books on this list focus on venture capital, “The Private Equity Playbook” provides a different perspective. In this book, Adam Coffey covers everything you need to know about private equity firms and how they operate. He also provides helpful advice on how to approach these firms and get them interested in your company.
This book is incredibly helpful for entrepreneurs who are looking to raise money from private equity firms. Coffey provides a step-by-step guide on how to raise money from these firms, which is incredibly valuable for anyone who wants to take their startup to the next level. You'll learn the ABCs of private equity investment so you can land funding for your million-dollar idea.
13. ‘Raising Capital’ by Andrew J. Sherman
Andrew Sherman lays it all out in “Raising Capital,” where you'll figure out the best ways to finance a business regardless of the size. You'll learn the lean startup methods that can bring in more results with less money and how to get the most out of your relationships with investors.
This book is incredibly helpful for entrepreneurs who are just starting out and don't have any connections to the VC world. Sherman provides a step-by-step guide on how to raise money from VCs, which is incredibly valuable for anyone who wants to take their startup to the next level.
14. ‘Startup Law and Fundraising’ by Paul A. Swegle
Most books on this list will give you steps to learn how to pitch and raise money, and in “Startup Law and Fundraising,” you get that advice plus excellent legal tips on how to protect your business. This book is essential for entrepreneurs who want to avoid any legal trouble down the line and learn how to structure their startup to maximize their chances of raising money.
In “Startup Law,” Paul A. Swegle gives you everything from the basics of corporate formation to more in-depth discussions on intellectual property law. He also covers topics like employment law, which is essential for any startup that wants to secure their asset while it's still growing.
15. ‘The Startup Funding Book’ by Nicolaj Hojer Nielsen
Get the 101 on startup funding in this book by Nicolaj Hojer Nielsen. He's an entrepreneur who knows a thing or two about raising money, and in this book, he provides helpful advice on how to approach VCs, what they're looking for, and how to structure your startup to get the most investment.
“The Startup Funding Book” is incredibly helpful for entrepreneurs who are just starting out and don't have any connections to the VC world.
What’s your favorite book on startup funding? Let us know in the comments!