In this short FundRaising Radio blog post we will summarize the tips Sarah Leners, Venture Capital Senior Associate at Bull City Venture Partners, shared in regards to getting your first call with an investor.
Networking advice for founders:
- Perform a basic web search before hand;
- Research companies in a similar space in order to find out who were their early stage investors (this fact will mean that they are already familiar with your space and they also might be able to connect you with new customers or mentors);
- If you and a VC do not fit or mesh well, do not be afraid to ask if they could recommend you to another venture capitalists/investor. The VC community is quite small and because of that mostly everyone knows and keeps in touch with one another.
- Reach out to a local ecosystem or investor community (via LinkedIn or email). To find Email addresses of people from LinkedIn we recommend using SalesQL.
In regards to finding your first investor Sarah states that the strategy described above is the right one. She also recommends using special databases to conduct research, for example you can use Foundersuite, CrunchBase or PitchBook.
When you find an investor who might be interested in your idea, you have to do some homework before contacting them. It means you need to find out whether an investor has participated in some podcast and/or written an article you could be able to refer to in your message.
It is also a good idea to check LinkedIn and other social media in order to find some possible common connections, which will possibly become «ice breakers».
First call advice:
Be prepared with your pitch deck and demo if it is applicable to your business;
Remember that investors are human too, so that is completely in order if you do not have an answer to something.
You should be well prepared to present your idea and show your vision of the market so it is better to do some team practise before your first call. Moreover, it is also wise to have all of your team participate.
Even if it is not the full team or if you are working solo it is important to have a second person taking notes of what is happening in order to improve your way of leading the call and answering the questions in future.
This article was written by Elizabeth Belinskaya for FundRaising Radio.