The Founder Playbook to Raising a Seed Round

Cohort-based Course

Learn the art of pitching your idea to early-stage investors to secure seed funding.

Course overview

What to expect from this course

While almost everything about running a startup tends to be difficult, one of the first challenges is securing the funding necessary to actually work on your idea. The initial capital raised by a company is usually called “seed” capital. Seed capital plays a major role in the startup's likelihood of success. As a result, the highest impact thing you can spend time on as a founder is raising money. Funds allow startups to grow by hiring key team members as well as investing in product/engineering, sales and marketing.


In this course, you'll gain a fundamental understanding of what it takes to raise seed capital during the early days. While this course is not intended to be a complete guide to all aspects of fundraising, sessions will cover the fundamentals most founders will need. The content in the course comes from my own experiences as a startup founder who has raised capital from some of the top VC firms while also referencing widely-respected and reputable sources on startups and venture capital.

This course is designed for

01

Early-stage founders preparing to raise a seed round from VCs

02

Founders looking to refine their fundraising strategy and gather feedback on their pitch

03

Founders currently assessing if raising money from VCs is right for them

What you’ll get out of this course

Learn the basis of various seed financing options

Students will learn the basic concepts behind venture financing and explore what's needed to begin raising a round. From legal terms and documents to cap tables and valuations, we'll cover all the basics while exploring various options for seed financing

Understand the strategy and art of investor outreach

We'll cover the fundamentals of how to secure meetings with as many investors as possible in order to optimize your chances of getting to a close. We'll also cover the main rules to follow when preparing to meet with investors to set yourself up for success

Refine pitch materials needed to successfully raise a round

We'll cover the materials typically needed for investor meetings while learning about the elements that make a great pitch deck. Additionally, we'll cover the fundamentals of powerful storytelling to help turn your company vision into a remarkable pitch that investors remember

Gain tips, tricks and tools to nail pitch meetings and manage your fundraising process

Finally, we'll explore methods to effectively manage your fundraising process so you can optimize for closing deals. I'll also provide tips and tricks on what to do and what not to do while communicating with investors

What people are saying

        Fatima's guidance and coaching helped me change my funding strategy, revamp my pitch deck and secure strategic capital that helped Pearl Paradise grow to become one of the largest online pearl jewelry retailers and distributors in the world. I've been a CEO for 22 years and have never worked with someone of her level.
Jeremy S.

Jeremy S.

Founder & CEO, Pearl Paradise
        If you don't work with Fatima, you are completely missing out! Additionally, I closed my $1.2M seed round at the end of last year and Fatima's advice, guidance and support refining my pitch materials were a big part of it.
Erica P.

Erica P.

Founder & CEO, MedHaul
        Fatima was one of the guest lecturers for Bank of America's Breakthrough Lab for Startups Accelerator. Out of all the speakers, she was ranked as the one having the biggest impact on the founders based on survey results. Many of the founders mentioned that her sessions provided advice that completely transformed their companies
Eveanandi B.

Eveanandi B.

Director, Bank of America Breakthrough Lab For Startups
        Really loved working with Fatima. She gave a lot of actionable feedback and tips that helped me tremendously with fundraising. Our new deck and strategy ultimately raised over $2.5M and the team has grown to over 10 members
Louis B.

Louis B.

Founder & CEO, Merkle Data
        Learning from Fatima was incredible. We ended up raising over $100k to jump-start things at Staze and now I'm going for another round! I'm incredibly thankful to Fatima for all her advice and help with completely revamping my initial approach and pitch deck
Christian P.

Christian P.

Founder & CEO, Staze
        Fatima's guidance and support helped me secure the first $50k into my seed round. She was very clear and explained concepts in a way that was easy to digest and understand. Extremely grateful for her advice and insights
Shante F.

Shante F.

Founder & CEO, WellCapped

Meet your instructor

Fatima Dicko

Fatima Dicko

Fatima Dicko is the Founder & CEO of Sugar, a resident experience platform that helps apartment managers build vibrant communities. The app allows residents to socialize with one another, buy and borrow items, unlock doors and easily engage with management. Sugar's vision is to turn strangers into neighbors and neighbors into friends. The company has raised over $3.5M in VC funding from some of the leading investors in the industry including Metaprop, Lightspeed, and Concrete Rose Capital.


Before Sugar, Fatima spent 5 years at P&G as a senior engineer on a product innovation team. While at P&G, she received several patents and was 1 of 127 nominated technologists awarded the annual 'Most Transformative Product Innovation' award.


Fatima came to the U.S. from Mali at a young age and grew up in New York City, receiving her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University and MBA from Stanford Business School. She was named as '18 Inspiring Women to Watch' by Inc Magazine, listed on the 2021 Forbes 'Next 1000' list and has been featured in major publications such as TechCrunch, Business Insider, Crunchbase, Black Enterprise and CNBC.

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Course syllabus

01

Basics of Seed Round Fundraising

We'll cover the fundamentals of raising seed capital including fundraising readiness, key terms and concepts as well as various financing options

02

Fundraising Pitch Materials

We'll cover the elements of effective storytelling while understanding what makes a remarkable pitch deck that investors remember

03

First Meeting To Close

We'll explore methods and strategies to effectively manage your fundraising process so you can optimize for closing deals

Course schedule

5-7 hours per week
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    We'll meet 3x a week to cover course materials. Sessions will involve live workshops, group discussions and activities to help students gain a deeper understanding of course materials

  • April 4, 2023

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    Am I ready to start fundraising?: Fundraising readiness criteria as well as various things to consider before deciding to raise capital

  • April 5, 2023

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    Fundraising 101: We'll cover fundamental terms and concepts associated with raising seed capital including but not limited to equity, cap tables, valuations, etc.

  • April 6, 2023

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    Financing Options: We'll explore the fundamentals and pros and cons of various financing options including equity, debt, SAFEs and crowdfunding

  • April 11, 2023

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    Winning Pitch Decks: We'll cover the basic elements of a strong pitch deck and learn how to best leverage your deck to close investors

  • April 12, 2023

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    Effective Storytelling: Data gets people to believe you but stories get people to care. Here you'll learn how to effectively pitch your company through powerful storytelling

  • April 13, 2023

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    Supplementary Materials: We'll touch on additional materials that can enhance your pitch and prepare you for follow-up investor conversations

  • April 18, 2023

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    Investor Meetings: We'll discuss strategies for securing meetings with investors as well as rules to follow before, during and after meetings

  • April 19, 2023

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    Negotiations & Terms: We'll cover the basics of navigating negotiations and tactics to best position yourself for success

  • April 20, 2023

    4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

    Tips & Tricks To Close: We'll cover tips and tricks on what to do (and what not to do) while communicating with investors in order to get to a close

  • Weekly projects

    2 hours per week

    Students will be given take-home projects to help prepare for their seed round. All projects and assignments involve real materials that will be used during fundraising

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active hands-on learning

This course builds on live workshops and hands-on projects

Interactive and project-based

You’ll be interacting with other learners through breakout rooms and project teams

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I can’t make a live session?
I work full-time, what is the expected time commitment?
What’s the refund policy?
Will completing this course guarantee I raise my seed round?

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The Founder Playbook to Raising a Seed Round

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