July 10, 2011
With so many different venture capital firms, how does one know which one is the right fit?
First of all, keep in mind that venture capital firms are not impersonal, monolithic companies. Instead, they are partnerships and have partners who typically sit on your Board of Directors after investing in your company. That means that when you’re choosing a venture capital firm, you’re also choosing one of your company’s directors. Each of these individuals has their own unique experiences with the businesses and industries they have worked with, so it’s important to select the venture capital firm partner with the most pertinent expertise. Find the one which has the best understanding of your company and its value proposition, and you’ll find the best fit.
Venture capital firms typically publicize the identity of their partners and their areas of expertise.
Depending on how detailed the biographies are on a venture capital firm’s website, it will be easy for you to find basic information regarding their background, education, industry experience, work history and professional affiliations. If you identify the right venture capital firm partner, you’ll gain advantages for your business in addition to funding.
Contact the specific partner you decide you’d like to bring on board. It can be difficult for venture capitalists to adequately screen the tremendous number of unsolicited business plans they receive, so obtaining a recommendation or personal introduction from another professional is always helpful when you’re seeking funding. Connections such as accountants, attorneys, university alumni, and previously-funded entrepreneurs, among others, can help you gain credibility with venture capital firms and their partners. Sometimes all you need to do to obtain an introduction is ask.
The first step in raising venture capital is successfully identifying the right partner. After that, you must grab their attention and convince them your opportunity is worthy. Finally, you’ll need to convince the other members of the venture capital firm that your company is worth the investment.
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