Before you start talking to potential investors, customers or employees, check out these resources, specifically curated for early stage founders. Below are events (in NYC), newsletters, articles, podcasts, investor lists and more. This list is updated as I see new resources that I think will help founders at the earliest stages of their ventures.

Events Worth Attending:

The New York Supply Chain Meetup founded by Brian L. Aoaeh & Lisa Hellebo

Venture Crush at Lowenstein Sandler

The NY Tech Meetup organized by NY Tech Alliance

Evolving E organized by GGV Capital

Office Hours with Investors:

Advisory/feedback sessions with Sapna Shah. Schedule here

Laconia Capital – open office hours with 30 minute slots. Schedule here

Golden Seeds – by geography. Schedule here

Fundraising Resources – Pitch Decks and More:

Optimizing Your Elevator Pitch by Sapna Shah

The Ideal Email Deck by Elizabeth Yin

Fundaising Stages Defined by Incisive Ventures (as of Dec ’22)

All the Public Startup Pitch Decks in One Place by Andy Sparks

Fundraising Resources – How to Run the Process:

How to Fundraise by Kelly Nyland (from a founder’s perspective)

Raise Millions by The Hustle Fund (released 2024, it’s a pdf book and very detailed!)

Class Rebel’s Fundraising for Startups 101 by Brooke Harley ($99 for the class, highly recommended by a founder who went through it)

First Time Fundraising Series by Laconia Capital (note: great if you’re just starting out in the process)

How to Raise a Seed Round by Elizabeth Yin (this is a roundup of all the great fundraising advice Elizabeth has tweeted about – great content here)

Questions Early Stage VCs May Ask You by Elizabeth Yin

Why VCs are Obsessed With Unicorns? by Elizabeth Yin (note: if you’re thinking about raising from VCs, this is a must-read that will help you understand if your company is “VC-backable”)

Raising Money From Strangers by Adam Quinton (this is a 3-part post – the link goes to Part 1. It’s an oldie, but goodie.)

Building an Investor Pipeline Spreadsheet by Jenny Fielding (I love this – a must-read for startups about to raise.)

Raising Seed Capital? Here’s Your 2018 Guide by Parul Singh

30 Questions Investors Ask During Fundraising by Alex Iskold

11 Questions Founders Need to Ask Investors During the First Meeting by Alex Iskold

The Investor Playbook for Sourcing a Lead Investor in NYC by Lylan Masterman

The Fundraising Wisdom That Helped Our Founders Raise $18B in Follow-on Capital by First Round Capital (focused on follow-on capital, but worth a read even when raising an earlier round)

7 Things You Must Know Before Pitching a Group of Angels by Alicia Syrett

What Should You Send a VC Before Your Meeting by Mark Suster

An Ode to Cold Outreach by Yuliya Bel

How to Raise a Smart Series A by Alpaca VC

Think $1M in ARR Means You’ve Achieved Product-Market Fit? Think Again by Kaitlin Henry

Fundraising Resources – Structures & Cap Table Math:

Sample Documents for a Seed Financing (including sample term sheet, SPA, IRA and certificate of incorporation) by New York Angels

The Anatomy of a Term Sheet 101 by Brian Laung Aeoeh

The Truth About Convertible Debt by Mark Suster

Cap Tables by Fred Wilson

The Damaging Shortcuts Entrepreneurs Take When Raising Money by Ed Zimmerman (Ed is one of the smartest people in the startup landscape in NY – you should read everything he writes, starting with this.)

Equity Investment Simulation by Own Your Venture (useful for understanding dilution)

AngelCalc by Geoff Ralston (useful dilution tool when notes are converting into equity)

How Hard is it to Generate a 10x Return on an Investment by Rob Go

Fundraising Resources – Other Considerations:

The Search for Product-Market Fit by Jeff Bussgang

Want to Raise a Series A? Be Smarter at Seed by David Franke

Snag the Best Advisors for Your Startup by Amy Chang in the First Round Review

FAST Advisory Agreement Template by Founder Institute

Alternative Lenders Are Trying to Fund the Coronavirus DTC Boom by Anna Hensel

Decoding Accelerators by Laconia Capital

Investor Lists:

180+ Female Founded Funds by Ali Rohde

Power 200: Black and Latinx Venture Capitalists You Should Know by Harlem Capital Partners

List of Pre-seed, Seed & Seed+ VC Funds In NYC by

US Women Angels by Lolita Taub

VC Finder (New York) by Morgan Polotan, Jason Raziano, Dimitris Kouvaros, Courtney Nelson, Jason Black, Sumeet Shah

Diverse Investors List by Founders for Change

List of Female Angel and Early Stage Investors in Tech by Mackenzie Burnett

NYC Early Stage VC Firms (an Airtable with 74 firms)

14 Venture Firms That Are Helping to Close the Massive Gender Funding Gap by Kimberly Weisul

Lead Investors by Round (NYC only) by Lylan Masterman

Micro-VCs List by Samir Kaji

The Global Support Ecosystem for Women Entrepreneurs and Investors by Joshua Henderson

No Warm Intro Required Investors by Yuliya Bel

Open VC

Retail, Retail Tech and  Ecommerce Resources:

The Complete Guide to Zero-Party Data Marketing for Ecommerce Merchants by Matt Schlicht 

Modeling the Effect of Seasonality in Startup Financial Models (excel model available for download) by Sapna Shah

Understanding Cohort Analyses: both subscription and eCommerce businesses by Claire Fauquier

Churn: The Churn Rate Formula and Definition by Elizabeth Kraus

The Startup Metrics Cheat Sheet: How to Calculate What You’re Expected to Know by Elizabeth Kraus

Calculating Lifetime Value by KissMetrics

DTC Metrics, Explained by Zachariah Reitano

Introducing the Lightspeed Standardized Ecommerce Model by Alex Taussig

How to Price Your SaaS Product by Patrick Campbell

3PL Resources crowdsourced from the Retail X Series Community

4 Key SaaS Metrics, According to Investors by Jeff Link

Other Great Reads:

How New Startups Can Win at PR by First Round Review

Designing the Ideal Board Meeting Series by Seth Levine (series of multiple posts)

Shark Tank Airing Guide by Sarah Moret of Curie (great for any founders who are looking to maximize their Shark Tank experience)

How to Sell Your Startup by First Round Review

Retail/Consumer Incubators/Accelerators in NYC:

Ember Lab

New York Fashion Tech Lab

XRC Labs

Newsletters/Podcasts/Media I Recommend:


Investing and fundraising-related:

Startup/Retail/Consumer Podcasts Worth Listening to:

Startup/Business Books Worth Reading:

Resources Recommended by the Retail X Series Community:

3PL Recommendations:
AirTable to track recommendations from the Retail X community. Find it here: 3PL Resources

​CRM Systems & Other Sales Tools for Early Stage Startups:

Cutting & Sewing Firms:

  • Duran Cutting, Clifton, NJ – Ask For Christian. 973-916-0006
  • SewRite, Passaic NJ – Ask for Anthony. (201) 906-1730‬

Data Security & Compliance Recommendations for Retail Software Startups:

  • Bitsight (recommended by Robin Li of GGV Capital)
  • Practical Assurance (recommended by Atima Lui of Nudest)
  • Public documentation of policy recommendations: Privacy Policy & Data Policy (you can see in the titles and subsections key elements for security, compliance, and GDPR specific items