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5 Ways to Move Past Funding Rejections

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By Garrett Spence   |    February 14, 2017   |    3:42 PM


How You and Your Startup Can Survive Investor Rejections

Receiving a “no” after an investment pitch can be extremely disheartening, but there’s no reason this setback should stop you from pursuing your business dreams. 

As an entrepreneur, you’re going to face many rejections. Learning from those rejections and moving past them is the only way you’ll achieve success.

From understanding your fears to exploring alternative sources of funding, here are five ways to overcome rejection and use it to your advantage.

1. If you’re fearful of future rejections, understand why

Once you’ve been rejected for funding do you let a fear of future rejection stop you from pitching more investors?

When Neil Patel from Quicksprout explains how to use rejection to help you achieve your business goals, he emphasizes digging deep to understand the root of your fears. Once you understand exactly what you’re afraid of you can use rejection to your advantage.

2. Analyze every single rejection you receive

If you want to be approved for funding in the future you absolutely must understand why your idea was rejected in the past.

The next time your startup is rejected for funding, consider asking the decision makers why you got a pass. Graciously thank them for the chance to pitch your idea and then see if you can get any helpful feedback for next time.

If you can’t ask for feedback consider making the same pitch to a trusted personal or business contact. Opt for someone who isn’t afraid to give you some constructive criticism, and don’t get defensive when you receive it.

Another option is to search your network and extended network for people who know what investors in your field are looking for. Maybe your pitch missed something critical, for example, and someone more “in the know” can help you identify those weak points.

3. View rejection as a challenge

This advice is fairly common (Patel also champions this mindset), and for good reason: Getting the opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong is a powerful form of motivation for you and your team.

Rejection is going to happen, but how you use that rejection can completely transform how much you’re able to accomplish.

4. Understand that nearly every great business faced funding rejections

The business world is tough, no matter who you are. When trying to move past funding rejections it’s imperative to understand that most (if not all) of the biggest names in business faced multiple rejections in the beginning.

For example, Pandora received more than 300 rejections before receiving funding.

Airbnb’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, shared five email rejections five email rejections he received in the company’s early days. He urges entrepreneurs to think about these emails whenever they have an idea that gets rejected.

5. Explore other sources of funding

Investor-backed funding isn’t your only option for financing your business dreams. Here are some alternative funding options to explore:

At the end of the day, remember that you can use investor rejections to make you and your startup stronger. The only thing standing in your way is your mindset toward that rejection.

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