How to Make Sure Your Startup Survives 2023

Fundraising markets may get worse before they get better

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the market right now.

Investors are feeling it too and writing fewer checks at lower valuations. Signs point to this potentially being the “new normal” for a while.

AI is exploding, but basically everything else has slowed down. At the same time, there’s a lot of startups that raised in 2021 - 2022 who will be in need of additional capital in the next year.

The hard truth: a lot of startups will die, or be acquired for lower valuations than they last raised at.

Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen to you (and no, it isn’t to just start mentioning GPT-3 in your deck) 👇

Read time: 5 minutes

🧠 On My Mind

I started my career as an engineer, but being non-technical shouldn’t stop you from being a founder. Unfortunately, hiring full-time engineers can take a long time and is super expensive.

That’s where Lemon.io comes in. They’re a curated marketplace of highly vetted software engineers that:

  • Only accept the top 1% of engineers who apply, all with 3+ years of experience

  • Can match you with engineers (or entire teams) in their network in under 48 hours

  • Have great support in case anything goes wrong — they’ll offer you a new engineer at no additional cost

I’ve recommended them to a few founders and have now teamed up with them to offer a 15% discount to Houck’s Newsletter readers.

If you’re looking to build fast, check Lemon.io out and get matched with a quality engineer or team in 48 hours.

⚡️️ 9 Ways to Keep Your Startup Alive

Know Your Existing Investors

If you’ve raised capital already then figure out what will make your existing investors excited to put more in.

Don’t know the answer to this question? Ask them what they want to see from your startup.

During a downturn, investors bias more towards supporting existing portfolio companies. Part of this is the sunk cost fallacy, but it’s also true that doubling down on existing bets can be less risky for them because they have access to more datapoints about how the startup executes.

The same is true from the founder’s perspective — it’s often easier to secure additional capital from existing relationships than trying to form new ones.

Regardless, they’re going to have a lot of portfolio companies asking them for follow on capital later this year, and limited capital to use for following on.

Make sure you’re a bet they feel good about making again.

Subscribe to Houck's Newsletter Premium to read the rest.

Become a paying subscriber of Houck's Newsletter Premium to get access to this post and other subscriber-only content.

Already a paying subscriber? Sign In

A subscription gets you:
Full database of 70+ deep dives
Access to Houck's private founder community
Monthly digital workshops & IRL meetups
1:1 office hours with Houck