About the Author
Erica Drake is the founder and CEO of Maverick Entrepreneurs – a revolutionary entrepreneurial educational and cloud-based funding platform. She is a veteran entrepreneur, business coach and author of the highly acclaimed 360-page text book: Maverick Entrepreneurs' Complete Battle Guide to Raising Capital. Erica is a pragmatic leader with over 20 years of executive-level and entrepreneurial experience. Her executive level positions include: National Sales Manager, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a Worldwide Cruise Line; and then President and CEO of her four different companies.
Entrepreneurial Background. Erica’s leadership career began in executive-level positions in sales and marketing in the travel industry, where she is known as a maverick for her innovative ideas, personal passion and sales and marketing achievements. At the age of 29, Erica left the cruise lines to become an entrepreneur and founded, funded and was president of three different travel start-up companies where she raised millions of dollars for her companies’ growth through both debt and equity investors. Erica went on to develop innovative sales and marketing business models that revolutionized the travel/cruise industry. Her aggressive attitude, pioneering ideas and relentless zeal placed her companies as industry leaders in direct sales of travel. Erica's accomplishments include: closing national deals with every major cruise line and travel supplier; developing a national direct sales team of 1,000’s which closed $22M+ in sales and built a sales pipeline in excess of $175M+ within its first six months of operations.
Consulting with Entrepreneurs on their Capital-Raising Quest. Erica learned the language investors, the process of raising capital, and how to network with and close an investor prospect with mutually acceptable terms while funding her own 3 companies. After selling her third company, Erica developed an entrepreneurial consulting business where (for almost a decade) she helped entrepreneurs at every stage of development and in most verticals to raise the capital they needed for success. To date, Erica has assisted her clients in bringing in terms sheets in excess of $200M++. It was after this extensive experience that Erica created Maverick. Erica is a graduate of the University of Paris– Sorbonne and George Mason University, where she earned a BA in French and speaks French fluently. Erica lives in the St. Petersburg, Florida area.
About the Guide
The Battle Begins…
Do you need to find funding for your company? Then you need a strategic plan of attack! Make no mistake, raising capital is a process! To succeed, you’re going to need to strategically out-think everyone, be emotionally resilient, brilliantly creative and totally prepared! Before an investor will even consider funding your company, they will scrutinize every detail of your business model, business plan and your total due diligence packet (in other words – your Strategic Battle PlanTM). Additionally, you must be able to speak the investor’s language, justify every number in your financial projections, and respond to every question, suggestion and objection that they throw at you. Every aspect of your business must be explained and defendable. Then, you must learn how to passionately pitch investors and negotiate complicated and strategic deals while justifying your valuations and protecting your control. You must be better prepared than the rest – there’s absolutely no room for weakness on these front lines! Very simply, either do it right or don’t do it at all! Investors have no tolerance for weakness, incompetency or delays! Only the true PrimaWarriorsTM will survive this battle and go on to victory. So the question is: Are You Maverick ReadyTM
Veteran entrepreneur, leading business coach and CEO of Maverick Entrepreneurs LLC, Erica Drake takes you through a two-part proven approach to the process of raising capital for your privately held company. In Part I of her Battle Guide (Guide), she teaches you using diagrams and simple examples the Maverick Approach – an 8-Step method of systematically approaching the daunting task of raising capital.
These steps include:
Mentally Prepare and Emotionally Commit
Build your total Strategic Battle PlanTM - it’s more than just a business plan
Develop (or Fortify) Your Executive Team
Create Value: Perception, Proof, Partnerships and Intellectual Property
Review and Polish Your Due Diligence ChecklistTM - a comprehensive list of what you must have prepared and ready for review prior to seeking investors
Prospect for Investors
Pitch and Present to Investors
Negotiate and Close the Deal
The Investment Battlefield - all about corporate structuring, the different types of investors and how to close a deal while maintaining control
Understanding Valuations - how to calculate and justify your own valuation
In Part II of the Guide, theory turns into action! Drake gives you a checklist of items you need to complete, with detailed templates to build each item of your Strategic Battle PlanTM.
The 6-Key Business Model DiagramsTM, Business Plan and 5-Year Financial Projections
Investor Presentation (Pitch Deck and Pitch CardTM)
Your Elevator Pitch, Email Pitch and Tagline
Finally, Drake gives you sample investor questions and answers to prepare for your presentation, along with where to find 1,000’s of real accredited investors to pitch and close your deal.
This easy-to-read Guide will become every entrepreneur's capital-raising manual. It is designed to groom you for each battle by teaching you to think strategically from the very beginning, coach you so you’ll learn the right approach, and then give you the survival skills and strategies necessary to persevere to a successful outcome. You can raise the capital you need to make your dreams come true – you just need to start by following behind a seasoned warrior, who will teach you, lead you and tell you when to duck (until you get some combat experience of your own)!