A millionaire isn’t just going to walk past your open garage door and offer you the cash you need to get big next week, although that’s the dream, right? You need to put you and your business out there and get networking within your industry; talk to other business owners and get yourself invited to networking events. While in the previous article we’ve talked about the types of investors, now let’s shed the light on how to find them for your tech startup.
Here’s how to find investors in brief.
Know your market, and take note
Use your connections
Get into accelerator programs
Have a quick pitch in your pocket
You need to get your ideas clear and organized, so first, you have to write down all the contacts and connections that you’ve already got with investors that might be useful to you. There are thousands of venture capitalists with money to invest out there, but you just need contact with a solid 30–50 of them to be in with a chance of getting money. When looking at where to go, follow the advice you get along the way, the best investors come with a recommendation.
You want investors to come with a recommendation, and it’s infinitely better for you to come wrapped in good words from a friend or colleague too. Take advantage of all of the connections you’ve picked up over the years, there're three areas of your life to take a look at:
School — tap into your alumni networks and business groups that have grown out of them
Work — consider all of the people you’ve worked and collaborated with over your career
Social - your social network accounts and real-life friends and peers can be invaluable
Look for people in the finance community or those who know people who do, make a list of these people so you can systematically approach them. Put together different approaches depending on your relationship with them and see if anyone in your extended circles can connect with useful people. It’s never a bad thing to ask people to help you.
An accelerator program lets you tap into the expertise, find other business people in the same situation as you help you source mentors and soften up some of the rougher edges to your idea. There are a few different ways these programs are structured, but usually, there is some seed investment on offer in return for equity, and there’ll be a Demo Day at the end where you can pitch in front of engaged investors with money to inject into a great idea.
Once you’ve got yourself facetime with an investor, you need to seal the deal. When you invest your time into your pitch, they’re more likely to invest their money in you. What’s your unique selling point and who makes up your niche market? Keep it succinct, powerful, and clear. You’re the only one who can create your pitch, you need to get to grips with your pitch deck and know your value prop. Make it easy for someone to pass your pitch along even if they’re not pumping money in.
Whether you’re going to smash it out of the park or sink like a damp squib all depends on your pitch. We’ve got some great tips to make your pitch effective, and by that we mean will get the cash injected into your business. When it comes to pitching, we’ve got you covered with tips for attracting angel investors and venture capitalists — two very different but equally useful beasts.
Dig deeper into the topic by visiting our Instagram account, where you can check out the top three pitching errors that every startup makes. You can subscribe for updates and learn more about our business facilitation services.
Catch you next time…