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October 12, 2010

How to Network with Venture Capitalists

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

Here’s how to network with venture capitalists…

If you are networking properly, you will eventually run into a venture capitalist. Be on the lookout. You never know when an opportunity might present itself for you to deliver a high-concept pitch or elevator speech to a qualified investor.

Take the following steps to prepare for that eventuality.

1. Make Your Own Luck

Reach out to friends, family, associates, mentors, online networks, and extended networks (2nd, 3rd, and 4th degrees of separation.) Tell the you are starting a company and that you are looking for qualified investors.

Use email, social networks, the telephone, snail mail, and face-to-face encounters to send out your intention to acquire assistance.

Attend industry events and social gatherings where VCs might congregate.

Don’t wait for a VC to fall into your lap. Go where they are. Reach out. Make your intentions known. Obviously, carry plenty of business cards.

2. Write a High-Concept Pitch

A high-concept pitch is a phrase or two that describe the essence of your business. It is comprised of a familiar, successful business model – combined with whatever makes your company unique. For example, an online book rental business might have a high-concept pitch like “Netflix for books.”

The high-concept pitch allows you to get the point across that your business model has been proven in the field, yet you have your own market to conquer.

3. Write an Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is one that encapsulates what your business does, how big the market is, how fast the market is poised to grow, and how you deliver your product or service to that target market. In essence, it is a business plan in 60 seconds. Memorize it and deliver it gracefully when the opportunity presents itself.

Eventually the opportunity will present itself.

4. Write a Teaser Email

A teaser email is a 200-word (or less) message inviting investors to let you give your investor slide presentation. It creates excitement, is designed to pique the curiosity of investors, and establishes a sense of urgency in your business.

If you make contact with a venture capitalist and she expresses interest in taking a look at your company, it is handy to have an email prepared that you can personalize and fire off.

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

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