Leverage your Network
The best way to talk to an investor is talking to the people you already know. Make the investor’s job easy and let a trusted source vouch for you so the investor knows you mean business. Establish context for the exchange, what can your network tell the investor to get them excited to see you? If you can’t do this, then you’re not trying hard enough. In Boston, and especially in the innovation ecoystem, everyone knows someone.
According to the panelists, it’s more difficult to create relevancy than to network. Do more than just an introduction, position yourself to be relevant to their areas of investment interest. How can you benefit their story? What can you add to their story? Know the investor’s buttons and follow them on any media possible. That means keeping track of their LinkedIN, Twitter, blog posts. Furthermore, you should be trying to go to whatever conference or panel that your prospective investor speaks at.
Short, Sweet, and to the Point
When finally landing a meeting with your investor, what’s next? What do you send? Don’t attempt to be really stylish and send a vague powerpoint deck – keep it simple. Keep it punchy, short, but interesting. Investors, according to the panelists, are like animals. They percieve and synthesize everything they need within forty seconds or less before they move on; you want to catch their attention. Don’t worry too much about details, crystallize your pitch and make it compelling. Don’t give your potential investor a reason to say no before you even put your foot in the door. Focus on your team, your impact, and why you are uniquely qualified to build your product/service. If you’re having trouble being consice, try
Investors are People Too
Much of what investors do is subjective. They are, after all, people. You need to create chemistry with the investor that you seek, because investments are a partnership. It’s never easy to determine whether or not you are clicking with that venture capitalist you’re meeting with, so stay focused on delivering your passion. Show you investor why you care, and then show your investor why they need to care. Make them believe in you, and make them want to become your partner.The right investor is your champion. Once you get access to a mentor that truly cares for your cause, you will then find yourself on a good vantage point to court more angels.