Everything begins with an idea. The powerful imagination of the founder now needs to converted into viable business. Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani had said that “Think big, think fast, think ahead. Ideas are no one's monopoly.” So, founder will need seed capital to build its dream into reality. No bank gives a loan against idea but a venture investor does.
Start-Up Venture investor in India is in business of
How does one get attention from such seed stage venture investors who are flooded with funding requests?
- Funding Seed capital in lieu of equity,
- Mentoring founders for success and
- Building an outlier hit exit
strategy to get investor attention
- Pitch – Work hard to prepare your meeting pitch to get investor attention. Start your opening with what is the mission of your startup - here you define the problem you are trying to solve then talk about what is your value proposition – here you highlight the solution, the IP, the product and finally closing with the elevator pitch – refine on what is your ask.
- List – Curate a list of venture investors who lead deals. A lead investor will establish credibility of the start-up idea & also represents the group of investors before, during and after the fund raise. He is a marketer of the deal. Narrow down the names of such lead investors who understands your domain and has done past deals in that sector. This will help you get attention from interested venture investors with positive responses for your pitch meeting request.
“It’s not about the ideas. It’s about making ideas happen”
- Attend –Events and pitch meets are best opportunities to get investor attention & do soft sell. Do your homework by connecting with Venture Investors before the event on social media like twitter or email. In event when you meet the venture investor you will have his attention. Take pictures, post on social media and tag the investor it works nicely as a follow up after the event meeting.
- Text – You have managed to get venture investor mobile number. Use only text message to request for call or meeting. Keep it short. Show results first & do not be aggressive by cold calling just because you have his number. Text messages are the best way to follow up, keep them updated on key events and get investor to recall on your idea.
- Find – Ask for advice. Create an advisory board. Find advisers who are willing to stick their neck out by lending their name & trust to your idea. Venture Investor can’t ignore a who’s who list of names on your advisory board. Ensure you have updated your advisors on your business periodically and names of the venture investor you are pitching.
- Online – Create a powerful online digital identity which can establish you as a thought leader in your domain. Social media is a extremely useful medium to solicit Venture Investor interest in your idea. Write an effective pitch story to communicate your idea on LinkedIn, Twitter or Email. Be polite. On interest Venture Investors always do digital search and would want to understand founders background and profile better.
- Referral – If you want to avoid following the crowd then ask for referral to venture investors. Study the Venture Investor existing portfolio companies, meet those founder & request them to give you referral. This is the best way to get the pitch meeting. Use office bearers of not for profit organizations like TiE, Nasscom to help with introduction. Finally use media connect, editors or journalist to recommend your idea to the investors.
- Mentoring – Even Sachin Tendulkar needs a coach. So, get yourself a good mentor who can help you build your business idea into an investable venture proposition. Mentor are the best sounding boards. Most mentors would have an inner circle of trusted venture investors where they can sponsor founder to get invited for pitching their idea.
There are more ways to get investor attention. But having invested in over 100+ companies. I would recommend first time founders to follow the PLATFORM Strategy to get Venture Investor attention.
- Sanjay Mehta
Published on: July 13, 2019