Earnest Capital Trailhead

Let’s be honest, the entire process of pitching investors…sucks.

From the start, we tried to make our application form as approachable as possible, but honestly, it’s still not a great process. 

Here’s the reality:

  • Application forms are mostly onerous, time-consuming data collection processes.
  • Founders have other priorities besides filling out forms for an investor’s convenience.
  • It’s always unclear when is the exact right time to submit an application.
  • Application windows can be a good kick to go ahead and apply, but they also force the process to be on the investor’s timeline, not the founder’s.
  • Pitches are pointlessly stressful and never give enough guidance on how to prepare. How do you fit your entire history, traction, and strategy into 20 slides and a 30-minute call?

So we’re re-thinking the entire concept from first principles.

The result? Earnest Capital Trailhead.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You subscribe in 10 seconds at any time via the form below, but ideally after you have already launched a product and have some revenues.

  2. Over the next few weeks, we’ll send you a series of emails walking through the core topics we often cover in a pitch process. We’ll provide strategic advice, related external resources, and a series of questions and prompts to help you think through the topic on your own time.

  3. It’s your choice: either just do the exercises for your own benefit or send the results back to us. If you choose to share it with us, piece by piece over time, you’ll build your “application” to Earnest Capital.

  4. You can view/edit your profile at any time and eventually (on our roadmap), you’ll be able to export it to an investment memo that you can share with other investors.

  5. When you’re ready (or if we proactively reach out), we can skip the application and get straight to the investing discussion, saving everybody a ton of time and uncertainty.

  6. If, at the end of the series, you feel it’s not the right time yet, you can opt in to keep us in the loop (and your other advisors and supporters too) with structured monthly “investor” updates.

  7. Got questions or need help along the way? You can leverage the Founder Summit forums for feedback from the Earnest team and our broader community of awesome founders and mentors (a free trial is included for everybody on Trailhead).

Why Trailhead?

  • Works on your schedule as a founder, not ours.
  • Replaces a boring pitch in favor of weekly interactions which produces a fuller picture of your company.
  • Gives us visibility to reach out proactively and tell you when we think it’s a good time to consider investment. No more wondering if it’s the right time or not.
  • Provides value to you first in exchange for every bit of information we ask for.
  • Enables you to work together with other founders to improve your thinking with a shared company language.
  • Creates, over time, the best possible “pitch” for your business.

We’re trying to practice what we preach to our founders on shipping fast and early, so we’ll be manually approving companies individually so we don’t blow up our system. It may be a day or so before you see the first email.

P.S. – If you prefer the old way, our application form is still alive and kicking.

P.P.S. – We built the whole thing on a no-code stack. Look out for a tutorial someday soon.

✌️ Crafted in Earnest.