What Is The Best Way To Get Introduced To Potential Investors?

I’m sorry, but it’s very rare that investors are going to come to you.

You can try sitting back and waiting, but I certainly wouldn’t advise that approach.

I can only tell you what I did which was the old fashioned way:

I networked my ass off to get as many warm introductions as I could.

Warm introductions from a trusted source to the investors is always the best way to go because you are reducing risk for your potential investors.

Here’s what I did:

I would write letters to the VCs I wanted to meet.

I researched the firms that were investing in the areas I was interested in. Then I found the partners that invested in these areas, and I created a database of names.

Sometimes I contacted only one person at a firm. Other times I contacted multiple people.

I think I had about 100 VCs on my list to contact.

Then I sent them a short letter. I don’t remember the exact contact, but I remember explaining a couple different ways I could help them (the VCs) based on my expertise.

The letter writing strategy worked.

I started getting phone calls or emails suggesting we meet. Sometimes I got phone calls from retained search firms that heard about me from VCs.

And sometimes I got funny letters back like the one I got back from Bill Unger at Mayfield. Bill’s letter went something like:

“Thank you for reaching out to Partner 1, Partner 2, Partner 3, Partner 4, and Partner 5…”

You’d think I’d blown it, but Bill set me up to interview for the CEO position of one of his portfolio companies (I didn’t get the job), so you never know…

The bottom line was I had a achieved my goal of building a network in the VC community. I reached out to that network again when I left my next role.

This time I sent an email to my network with an even simpler message:

I’m available.

That simple message led to me becoming an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) which led to me starting my company.

There’s an infinite number of strategies you can use to network.

Letter writing worked for me back in the day. But I also:

A. Met with everyone I could think of.

I met with everyone I could in my network when I was building my team. I met with them even if there was only a remote chance they could be helpful. And..

B. Called everyone I could think of.

The old tried and true method of calling people up and introducing yourself or reintroducing yourself works. One my cofounders came through just calling him up. And…

C. Used LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a godsend for entrepreneurs. You can search for people that fit what you are looking for and introduce yourself.

LinkedIn’s Inmail is a great way to network. You can send email without knowing someone’s email address.

I got a ton of useful meetings using LinkedIn. And we continued using LinkedIn as a recruiting tool once we were operational.

The key, whatever techniques you use, is to just get going and get out there. You’ll naturally learn what works for you in your situation.

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