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October 8, 2010

How to Meet a Venture Capitalist

Want venture capital? Click here to watch this free presentation.

You are an entrepreneur with a great business idea. You have a product that relieves an acute customer need. Your seasoned management team is the jockey to bet on, and you have the independent market research that proves the race is practically rigged in your favor. If you could only get the proper funding, you know you could cash out big time within three to seven years in an IPO or buyout.

So where are all the venture capitalists? There are only about 750 VC firms in the United States, and they will back only about 3,500 hot young ventures this year.

Face it. You need face time with a VC. Some tips on meeting a venture capitalist as soon as possible – so that you can get on with the business of running a high-growth business:

1. Purchase that investor database you’ve been second-guessing.

A quality investor database contains thousands of searchable angel investors, venture capital firms, and private equity firms. It lets you enter your location, business sector, and current growth stage to narrow your list to just those VCs that are relevant to your business.

2. Read your target VCs firms’ websites “from cover to cover.”

What you need to look for when looking through a VC website:

Located within 200 miles of your company
Sector (e.g., biotech, healthcare, cleantech, manufacturing)
Growth Stage (e.g., early, later, mezzanine)
Partners that have experience in your industry, for they will join your Board of Directors
Portfolio companies similar to yours or that might have synergies with your company
The VC has made investments within the past year or two (actively investing)
Deep assets – so you can solicit more cash in later funding rounds

3. Send out teaser emails to VCs.

Craft a great teaser email asking for an opportunity to deliver your slide presentation to each firm on your list. The teaser email must make investors unquenchably curious about how you are going to make them richer.

4. Work your network.

Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody. Hit up all your friends, family, business associates, and mentors for warm introductions to any VCs they might know. Even if such VCs are not quite right for your company, they might be able to introduce you to the appropriate firm.

5. Attend social gatherings and relevant industry events.

Most venture capitalists prefer to scout out new and growing businesses themselves. That is why industry events are the perfect place to run into a VC. Have your elevator speech on the tip of your tongue. Get out there and network.

Want venture capital? Click here to watch this free presentation.


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