“How should I finance my start-up?” is a common refrain from first-time founders and serial entrepreneurs alike. There is no manual for how to best do this, and intuition can only get you so far in the absence of experience and mentoring. As with investors evaluating start-ups, it is and always has been people first. Having a deep trust relationship with your investors and confidence in the value they bring is absolutely critical: more important than valuation; more important than pretty much anything. Making the wrong investor decisions might not only hurt a company’s chances to reach full potential, they might impact the company’s ability to survive the inevitable challenges and near-death experiences borne by early-stage companies. This is not an issue to be taken lightly.