When your startup is looking for investment there are a lot of things you should consider. We break down the steps to take to meet investors the right way.
1. Look for the Right Investors
This is easily the most important part of the process. If all you need is money, then a bank is the easiest way to go. If you’re looking for an investor that means you’re looking for a long-term business partner. When looking for investors, take the time to consider what kind of investor you are looking for:
- Sector: Are you looking for an investor that focuses on your particular sector of business?
- Investment patterns: What type of investments does the investor usually make? Seed, or series A/B? Does it match the phase your startup is in, or what you’re looking in the future?
- Region: Are you a global startup, or are you focusing on a region? Is the investor also focused on a particular region?
- Are you looking for someone with experience and contacts in a particular sector that you want to reach?
This will help you have a better understanding of what kind of investor you’ll need and how do you know if you’re a match.
2. Do some healthy stalking
After you considered and defined all the point in the previous step, it’s time to look for people who fit your criteria and preferences. Don’t be lazy and do your research! Do not approach investors randomly – research their past ventures and investment portfolio, and try to understand if they are a good fit with your company.
Approach leaders and connections within the sector you’re working on and ask for recommendations.
This one is pretty simple – to meet investors you need to be where they are! Join the same events, participate in roundtables and join conversations about the industry.
Certain events, like the Lisbon Investment Summit, happening in Lisbon on June 5-6th, are the perfect setting to join discussions and meet the right people.
Don’t forget the 6 degrees of separation – meet as many people as you can and engage in conversations with them. You might meet someone who can introduce you to an investor that might be a great match.
4. Be considerate of the person
Most investors won’t take cold emails, so make sure to get an introduction within your network. Also, don’t spring your business plan on them – take the time to get to know them and understand what they usually work on and what are they looking for at the time. Make you sure you are bringing something valuable to the table.
5. Build a relationship
Let’s be real: no one invests in a complete stranger. You have to understand that an investor is investing as much in you as in the business. So make sure to let them know you are a reliable person, who accomplishes what he sets out to do. After initial contact, if there’s interest, keep them posted on your work and the results of the business.
Keep joining the conversations the sector is having and show that you are an expert in what you do.
In the end, it’s important to realize that there must be a match between the interests and goals of the entrepreneur and the investor. Don’t be shy to say what you want from them (mentorship? introductions?), and what you can offer in return. None of you should ask for something they’re not willing to bring themselves – it should be an equal partnership that is mutually beneficial.