Cloud Range is a cyber security company helping large organizations proactively prepare for cyberattacks. In an environment in which cybersecurity attacks are increasing significantly, CEO Debbie Gordon helped the company raise its first outside capital this past year.

"We knew that we had more opportunity than we could really handle," Gordon says. "Over the past few years, you can imagine the demand for cyber preparedness has increased significantly. So, as a company, we wanted to make sure that we were leveraging the opportunities that we had; that we haven't had enough resources in place, both on the technical and the business development side. We knew that it would be important to raise money to be able to keep up with the demand that we were seeing. So, we set out, early 2021, to do a relatively small round just to get us to where we were normalized a little bit. We had a lot of growth, a lot of activity in a really short time. So, we wanted to do a series seed round, just to get us over a hump. So then we could start thinking about a series A in 2022."

Being in front of investors, she says, is a great use of her time. But finding potential investors and managing the art and the science of that wasn't.

"I had a great consultant who I had known for probably about 10 years who came on board during this process and really guided what the process should be," she says. "As we were talking and looking at the different strategies with different investors and also just making our plan, and that helps me continue to be able to run the business and also be able to speak to investors and work with them and present and answer the questions. But he worried about, here's what we need to do for the follow-up, Debbie, let's do this. So, he was end of the leader and I would show up and do my thing. And in the beginning, it was a little overwhelming. I said, there's so much to learn here. And then by the end of it, I started to understand the art of it a lot better."

She says she learned a lot about fundraising through the experience.

"Investors want us as much as we want them. That was enlightening. I never want to take that for granted, though," she says. "Always keep your house clean. When you start a business, if you start off with an organized set of books and files and documents, everything is much easier for when you are ready to raise money. And then just in terms of the business itself, is continuing to always build value — whether it's developing intellectual property, increasing revenue per customer, profit per customer. There's so many things that as a CEO I'm always focused on, that's my job, but seeing it in the eyes of a potential investor takes it even to another level."

Gordon spoke more on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about her fundraising experience.