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When you are finally ready with your startup, the last, but the most important, thing you have to cope with is finding investors whose money will bring your project to life. Frankly speaking, this is one of the most challenging parts – talking to investors might be quite difficult and even stressful.
Be ready to face a fact that most angel investors receive dozens of pitches every day and simply don't have time to meet with every startup founder. Even more, you have to pitch 50+ angels before closing a round of funding. So, your final goal is to identify dozens of people who could potentially like your project.
Not to scare you, there is a good news too. There are a lot of resources today to help you reach out to the best investors for your business. There are five useful tricks when setting up a meeting with the right people.
This resource is a great way to learn about investors and to let them easily get information about your company. A profile includes all the specific info about your project or product and team members, which are important to people looking for you . Once you've filled everything out, share your profile link with friends so you can be followed and shown to others they know – this is a great chance to pique people's interest.
To have a meaningful dialog with an angel that would turn to investment deal, it's essentially for you to want to cast yourself as wide a net as possible. Instead of pitching hundreds of people that have already made angel investments, choose 30-50 investors who might be on the same page with you and your company. Always keep this list about yourself to expand it later.
What to start with? Go through the education section of AngelList to find people who have already invested in other companies that aren't directly in competition with you. The next step is to show your list to other entrepreneurs to get their expertise. The experience of fellow entrepreneurs is invaluable when identifying potentially interested investors. Besides, you will be aware of those angel men who are difficult to work with. Enter your list into a spreadsheet and include all the additional information you want to remember (mutual connections, education, location, etc.)
If you would be introduced by a common contact, you get more chances to be heard. Go through your contact list to see if you have any mutual acquaintances with the investors. Show your contacts how awesome your startup is to make them feel like they are doing you a favor by making a recommendation.
After fundraising, follow the next steps. Did someone agree to make an introduction? Great! Send him a 3-4 sentence pitch on your company so he could include it in the initial introduction email. Then watch closely for the intro in order to follow up an investor as quickly as possible.
If you can't write an introduction to an investor, you should be more thoughtful about crafting your emails. Look through your intro email carefully. Isn't it cold? Speak to an angel in a free format. This manner will give you a good response rate from the investors – just be honest and tell the reasons you think they would be interested in your project.
Don't think that only startup companies are looking for a partnership; investors also look for great ideas they could be involved in. That is why you should make sure your company also puts itself out there. There are many reasons you should garner attention for your product even if it is isn't alive. Also, leadership is very important for your mission, so get it! Start conversations on Quora, write guest posts for tech blogs and share your ideas on specific forums. There is always a chance that you will be heard and asked to meet by this way.
Note that if your fundraising tactic is kind of ideal, you should be prepared to get turned down by investors you're expecting to be a part of your business. Be diligent about the continuous follow up in a professional manner. Even if you don't hear anything from them in weeks, continue sharing news about your company (product launch, a key metric, etc.) in order to get investor's interest . This also concerns partners you've met but haven't heard from since.
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