Raising capital to launch or grow a venture can be a foreign and intimidating subject for many people, men and women alike. Today’s Extraordinary Women Radio guest, Arezou Zarafshan helps founders improve their odds of getting funding through VC’s or angel investors.
She’s one of my very extraordinary clients and she’s doing important work in a field where there aren’t many women. She’s a trailblazer showing up on big stages leading important conversations, and I’m so proud of the work she is doing.
Arezou grew up in Iran amidst the Iran-Iraq war, and she shares her story on how this environment shaped who she is today. During that trying time as a young girl, she discovered her own resiliency. A valuable gift that she counts on in her life today.
“You learn to survive. You learn not to get traumatized by these things.” ~ Arezou Zarafshan
Today, Arezou runs the Startup Fundraising Academy, helping companies raise capital efficiently and effectively.
The stats in startup funding are a bit daunting:
- Only 2% of the startups that are reviewed by investors get funded
- 90% of entrepreneurial businesses that do not attract venture capital fail within three years
- More than 60% of startups stall in their fundraising
Arezou is on a mission to change these stats and shares some of her wisdom with us today. In our interview, she shares three success factors that helps company succeed in their fundraising efforts, and so much more!
If you are thinking about raising capital for your company or are already doing so, without the success you have desired – I encourage you to check out her new online course, the Startup Fundraising Academy. In this 10-module course, Arezou shares the steps from pre-investment through post-investment stages and teaches the pros and cons of raising funds versus bootstrapping, and covers the various sources of funds. She shares her own regimented process to target and pitch to the right investors. As an Extraordinary Women Radio listener, Arezou has generously extended a 10 percent discount to this course and any of her offerings, simply by using the promotional code Kami. Thank you Arezou!
Arezou is the Managing Partner of a boutique investment firm based in Denver, Colorado, and also on the advisory board for two Colorado startup companies helping them with fundraising and business strategy. She is a passionate and charismatic leader with a reputation for delivering game-changing business results of monumental magnitude. She has over 20 years of experience leading marketing and product development functions for a number of global and national companies. Arezou is recognized for her ability to drive rapid growth for companies that desire to reach the “next level” of scale.
Prior to her current role as an investor and startup advisor, Arezou was the Chief Marketing Officer and Cofounder of Bold Betties, Inc., an early stage startup with minimal presence in the market. Arezou expanded the brand to gain national recognition across a variety of mediums, led the company to scale to 39 chapters across the US and Canada and secured a 300% revenue growth in 12 months. Arezou also was the defining element in raising the Seed capital for the company at its entirety.
Arezou has held critical roles in multinational private, public, and private equity backed corporations such as Hewlett Packard, ACCO Brands, Crocs and Otter Products. In every role and every company, Arezou has driven transformational changes that “moved the needle” for the company, measured in revenue, new customer acquisition, marketshare, category velocity and capital expenditure. Her breadth of influence has varied from early-stage startups to a $2B product portfolio.
Arezou is passionate about helping others thrive. As such, she works with many women and men across the US as a trusted mentor and a resource. She was a founding member and the president of Ellevate Denver from 2014-2016, a global organization dedicated to helping women thrive in the society and the workplace. Arezou previously served on the board of the YWCA in Vancouver, Washington and she is currently on the board of Persian Cultural Circle in Colorado.
Let’s meet Arezou Zarafshan – founder of Startup Fundraising Academy.