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Raise Early Stage Venture Capital

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Advance Praise for Raise Early Stage Venture Capital


“When we launched our first fundraise I had zero experience in the art of raising capital. Looking back after reading this book—it answers all the questions I wish I had had answers to. Raising money is an art form and experience that like any athlete requires training and refining.”

Alex Pall, The Chainsmokers & Mantis Venture Capital Founder


Raise Early Stage Venture Capital is an extraordinary guide for founders raising capital in Silicon Valley. I have been helping founders with this challenge for over 30 years, and this book provides the best, most comprehensive advice I have ever encountered.  Hayley Leibson is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully raised money, and in the process gained extraordinary insights. She gives high quality “how-to” examples on topics ranging from how to apply to Y Combinator, how to reach out to investors, and what questions to ask them once you enter discussions. She discusses the benefits of sleep and exercise for better physical and mental health—which will make you more effective as an entrepreneur. I have read thousands of books in my career. Raise Early Stage Venture Capital is one of my top 10 books of all time.  Buy it. Read it. Recommend it to aspiring entrepreneurs you know.” 

Tom Kosnik, Partner at FoundersX Ventures and former Stanford and Harvard Business School Professor


"After I develop my billion-dollar idea and I'm ready to fundraise, this is the book I'm going into the meetings with. Well, I wouldn't bring it into the meetings because I wouldn't want the VCs to see it, but I would have all its learnings tucked in my brain."

Sarah Cooper, Comedian, Author of How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings, and star of the hit Netflix comedy special, Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine


“This book should be mandatory reading for early stage startup founders looking to raise money. Hayley skillfully breaks down the art of fundraising in a digestible, approachable and unfiltered manner while also providing major insights, tips and tricks on how the process really works.  You will close the book feeling armed with the information you need, prepared for the process and ready to secure the bag. As she says, opportunity is not universal but this book will absolutely make it more accessible.”

Jaclyn Johnson, Founder of Create & Cultivate and Investor in Away, Live Tinted, Ceremonia, Crown Affair, Chillhouse, and more


"The most practical, actionable, and immediately useful book on fundraising out there. It's full of plug-and-play templates, real-life examples, and practical advice for every step of your fundraising journey from founders who’ve done it. You’ll have a much more successful fundraising experience after having read this book."

— Lenny Rachitsky, Founder of Lenny’s Newsletter and Podcast, Product Expert, and Angel Investor in Figma, Linear, Weblow, Substack, and more 


“This is THE book I wish I had in-hand before doing an accelerator, raising a pre-seed round, and continuing to raise various rounds of venture capital. The entire fundraising process is a black box when you've never done it - mysterious, elusive, and fully gate kept - and pandora's box once the process begins - confusing, frustrating, and chaotic. Leibson's articulate and precise how-to is the only content I've ever read that addresses both of those realities. Leibson breaks down why to fundraise, how to fundraise, when to fundraise (as in, literally the best and worst months to ask for money!), and how to tell and sell your startup's story so you actually secure those checks. Not to sound shady, but there really are a ton of unspoken rules in Silicon Valley - more than I ever imagined. And now finally, someone in a direct, relatable and authentic way is removing the veil and telling all. Every single founder and aspiring entrepreneur looking to raise venture funding needs to read this book. There's nothing else to call it but a "secret weapon" - and I don't say that lightly.” 

— Ali Kriegsman, Author and Exited Founder


“All women teams raise roughly 2% of VC funds each year, and I love that this book makes startup fundraising more accessible for all.”

Vivian Tu, Founder of Your Rich BFF, Personal Finance Educator, Creator, and Author

Raise Early Stage Venture Capital is a quick, tactical guide to startup fundraising that will save you time, money, and heartbreak.


Fundraising is one of Silicon Valley’s best kept secrets—kept by a boy’s club of mostly privileged heterosexual white men. Raising venture capital is famously difficult, and even more challenging if you are a woman or minority founder. Industry data shows that women-founded companies receive roughly 2%, and Black founders receive approximately 1% of total venture capital dollars. Helping more women and minority founders get access to capital is critically important to building a more equitable society and thriving economy.

From the globally-renowned technology entrepreneur and angel investor Hayley Leibson, debuts the world’s first guide to startup fundraising for women and minority founders. In this actionable playbook, Raise Early Stage Venture Capital demystifies and democratizes the world of startup fundraising and offers step-by-step guidance to help more women and minority founders successfully raise venture capital for their businesses.