Fundraising, immigrant women and f-ing LLMs up

That’s finetuning, you perv!

October 19, 2023

Happiness course

Totally happy, yeah

Ha, gotcha! Nowhere to go, you’ll have to become happy over the next four weeks 💗

Berkeley’s Greater Good Science center (the ones researching happiness, eww!) have tested and released a 4-week Pathway 2 Happiness free online course that had shown some nice results.

It’s obviously got no secrets - spot happy things, ground yourself, augment with social proof, sprinkle with self-compassion. But still, have a look at those:

The guys even got a longer (and harder) 8-week option.

Quoting the post with some study links:

In fact, a 2022 study published in Nature Human Behavior found that appreciating small moments, a practice not too different from the “Finding Silver Linings” and “Three Good Things” practices in P2H, effectively enhances meaning in life. It’s important to note that although we visualize each virtue score separately, there is overlap between these virtues; they can have interdependent and synergistic effects.

For example, increasing empathy is very likely to also increase compassion. As evidence to this effect, many studies report how practicing gratitude strengthens relationships, promotes forgiveness, and makes us more resilient, helpful, and altruistic. In a similar vein, studies find that mindfulness makes us more likely to help someone in need and helps us become more compassionate toward others and ourselves.

Pitchers, pitchers, pitchers

Never forget ‘Developers developers developers’ chef d’oeuvre…

Let’s talk fundraising + pitches, and I’ve got a couple of resources eating up the RAM…

Finta’s fundraising playbook

Phases of fundraising

  • Prepare deal materials

Duration: 2-4 weeks

Takeaways: Data room, business model (projection examples: Jeff Wald’s Projection Revenue Model, acceptable terms (18-24 mos runway, not overasking), cap table, pitch deck. Preparation is key, 20/80 is the keyhole

  • Prospect target investors

Duration: 1-2 weeks

Places: Finta, Signal NFX, Crunchbase, PitchBook

Takeaways: gather additional info, use CRMs, prepare for outreach

  • Deal outreach

Duration: 8-12 weeks

Takeaways: ~92% of closed rounds from warm intros (ask for warm intros), ~100+ meetings to close a round, use VCs’ FOLS (fear of looking stupid) > FOMO pitching trends/resources


  • 74% spend 4-10 hours or more working on each pitch

  • 58% of businesses allocate at least six team members to a pitch, and 87% allocate at least three

  • 65% of respondents say it’s tougher to secure new business in today’s economy

Burnout is a thing:

  • The majority (77%) of teams report that they’re currently pitching remotely in some form, whether they have positive feelings about it or not.

  • Larger companies still prefer pitching in person (easier when you have an office…):

  • 61% say remote and hybrid working is making it more difficult to deliver pitches

  • 69% say it’s harder to build relationships when pitching remotely

  • 72% say it’s harder to engage audiences with remote

  • 69% say it’s more challenging to obtain feedback when pitching remotely

  • Top five pain points for pitching teams

    1. Pitching asynchronously when necessary - 29%
    2. Integrating performance insights and prospects’ feedback to improve future pitches - 29%
    3. Performing a smooth pitch delivery that grabs and maintains attention - 27%
    4. Accurately understanding prospects’ progress toward a decision - 27%
    5. Sharing useful, up-to-date pitch or proposal materials in advance - 26%
  • Three changes that would have the most positive impact:

    1. Discussing the structure and content of the presentation before creating slides
    2. More time spent building out ideas within the deck rather than formatting
    3. Using a consistent design template throughout the whole process
  • Top three aspects of pitching:

  • Top advice for improving pitches:

    1. Focus on improving the design of your pitches to create impact - 17%
    2. Better enable your pitching teams with training and collateral - 16%
    3. Continually analyze what works in pitches to improve your materials - 15%
    4. Personalize your content for each client - 15%
    5. Invest more time in delivery preparation - 12%
    6. Include video recordings in async communications to better engage prospects - 10%
    7. Send materials to prospects in advance - 9%
    8. Send follow-up materials to prospects - 7%

Pitching tips from

Sales and customer success teams





AI bootcamp

Sorry, I’m too lazy to find images now…

A lot of things covered, from AutoML to no-code AI tools, RL, synthetic data etc.

Immigrant women

And their life satisfaction.

Apparently, immigrant women are:

Welcome to Teleogenic/Boi Diaries❣️

Other places I cross-post to:




BibTeX citation:
  author = {Kogan, Zakhar},
  title = {Fundraising, Immigrant Women and f-Ing {LLMs} Up},
  date = {2023-10-19},
  url = {},
  langid = {en}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Kogan, Zakhar. 2023. “Fundraising, Immigrant Women and f-Ing LLMs Up.” October 19, 2023.