Finding the right investor may be one of the most challenging tasks for a CEO. Having the right business partner can unlock unrealized value for years to come. It can be a complex Rubik’s Cube of matching cultural needs, industry expertise, with the benefits of a deep network of relevant relationships.
The best way is to network is through friends. They know you, trust you, and can be a highly efficient way to connect to the right people. When your friends and existing networks need additional help, the following suggestions may help:
- List out your industry ecosystem: Find out which competitors received funding as well as the structure and terms of the deal. A lot of this information can be readily searched on-line.
- Review who is on their Board: Spend some time understanding Board members, who is in their ecosystems, and their groups. This information can be found on sites like LinkedIn.
- Review which Venture Capital firms funded which assets: Develop a list of relevant investors.
- Build a Thesis as to how your company fits into the VC’s Portfolio: The thesis should contain the characteristics that meet the profile of the investors. These investors should have domain expertise and some form of synergy of the respective assets.
- Seek Large and Small Investors who seem to invest in your industry: Do research on industry experts.
- Seek investors that made decisions early in the company’s life who can add significant value to the business.
- Work with investors and entrepreneurs who have invested successfully or who have exited successfully. They have lots of happy friends who are more than happy to get another shot at success.
- Be super clear on how the company will make money: The pitch deck should clearly articulate go-to-market strategies and revenue models.
- Share your message with everyone: Practice your pitch with fellow entrepreneurs, friends, colleagues, mentors and family members. Ask for referrals to pitch your message. Be thoughtful about asking the World for help, without over shopping the asset.
- Setup several meetings each week to message or to share your opportunity: Spend the time needed to coordinate meetings. Startup events are a great way to network.
Finding the right investor takes time and effort. Creating a repeatable approach will get you the right results.
For more information about Heritage Ventures and how we share in your risk, please contact either Cameron Ackbury Cameron@HeritageVentures.com or Chris Wheeler ChrisWheeler@HeritageVentures.com.