You dream about them all the time. They’re financial power executives and you want them on your team. They are investors. Like Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec Or Lori Greiner, you want VC’s who are honest, good leaders, good business people, and understanding. How do you meet them though?
Here are 5 tips to get you plugged in with your investment bestie:
Have Someone Hook You Up
It’s always better for someone you know to connect you with a warm lead. Investors, like executives, are usually okay with taking time to chat when introduced by a contact he/she knows. Investors need filters. It’s crucial you spend your time targeting well-connected folks, rather than reaching out cold to investors. Oh and please make sure the person introducing you is a super reliable (and trustworthy) source. You don’t want the intro to backfire because of a flighty mutual acquaintance.
Hangout with Angel (Networks)
Angel networks make for some of the best connectors of entrepreneurs and investors. Do your homework because each angel network operates a little differently. Some are free while others charge for consideration of an application or require a pay to pitch fee. A CEO may fork over $50 to $5,000 for just a short presentation before investors. (Hint: This is why pitching at Lady Pitch Night USA is so valuable!! Apply here.) Below is an example from Forbes.
“The Gathering of Angels holds monthly meetings in a number of different cities nationwide. For a $2,500 fee, six companies get to present a 20 minute PowerPoint presentations each followed by two to five minutes of Q&A. The Keiretsu Forum, which has 850 accredited investor members throughout nineteen chapters on three continents, hosts an Angel Capital Expo that allows 10 start-ups to connect with and pitch to potential backers. North Bay Angels is a membership organization that provides opportunities for business owners and inventors to get together. The cost is a one-time initiation fee at $425, annual dues of $350 and $75 per dinner meeting, held every two months and allows for two company presentations.”
Prepare for Feedback That May Not Be Favorable
Networks and groups as we’ve discussed have different processes. When meeting an investor, the goal is to make a good impression and hopefully get an opportunity to pitch. Be clear and honest in your application. State your competition clearly. Make sure the investor has a clear understanding of your business model in your profile. You will receive feedback along the way. Like a term paper, it’s important to get a ton of feedback from the right people ( other VC’s or friends in the industry) before you pitch or set up a profile.
Sign Up For Bootcamp
Bootcamps in this industry are considered business acceleration groups rooted in business incubators that hold boot-camp-style programs who offer initial seed money and other services (marketing, mentoring etc.).
Many investors write blogs or are even on Twitter. Bloggers, no matter how big, love getting comments. One way to take advantage of this is to build up a relationship over time via commenting. Right after a post is released, write a response that is thoughtful and at least 7 or so sentences. If you do this enough and you will eventually get noticed. If you are looking to raise money immediately, this is not the best approach to take. However, it’s helpful when starting the process and working to build relationships.
Hope this helps. Come to Lady Pitch Night as a shortcut and start the networking process immediately!