May 22, 2011
There are more than seven hundred venture capital firms in the US alone; so as an entrepreneur or non-profit organization, how are you to know which firms are the best match for your venture?
The best place to begin is with an understanding that every venture capital firm is different; like any organization, they are made up of the individuals who make up their Board of Directors. Every partner in these firms comes to the table with their own experience in their respective industries. When you choose a venture capitalist, they will often end up with a seat on your own Board of Directors, which means that you need to seek out a partnership with a venture capitalist that has the knowledge and experience to understand what your business is about and more importantly, its value proposition.
The standard practice is for venture capital firms to make information on their partners publicly available, so you can find out everything you need to know about their backgrounds and use this information to find the right partner for your firm. Choosing wisely can mean bringing a lot more to your company than simply some much needed capital investment.
Once you choose a particular venture capitalist you’d like to partner up with, the next step is to get in touch with them. You’ll have a much better chance by finding an “in” via a personal introduction to the person or persons you’d like to speak with. Venture capital firms receive unsolicited business plans and invitations to invest all the time and it isn’t possible for them to screen all of them. Try to speak with accountants, lawyers, other businesses who have received funding from the firm. In many cases, all you need to do is to ask.
The first step to successfully raising capital for your business or non-profit venture is to find the right partners to work with. You have to get their attention and convince them that your venture us one which is worth being involved in – from there, it is much easier to get the rest of the venture capital’s board on your side.
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