How To Get A Meeting With Startup Investors

by Vadim Lidich

Posted on October 3, 2018

where to find startup investors

What should I do before contacting investors?

Being involved with startups and investors alike for several years now, I can tell that one of the most important aspects for a startup success is to get involved with the right investors. Smart money will propel your company, enhance your value proposition, and reduce time-to-market via tailored expertise and connections. Investors that like those would still be able to help you with funding, but will not provide value beyond the cheque. Moreover, some of your early decisions regarding investors will heavily influence the direction of your company, and willingness of other investors to get involved in the future.

My recommendation is to screen and research your investors to the point where you’re going after select few who will add value beyond writing you a cheque.

Where can I find startup investors?

Crunchbase - here you can learn about investors that previously invested in your industry. Find out who investment partners are, and check out their professional background and investment portfolio to ensure they understand your industry and would be able to add value while involved with your company.

Angelist - always was and still is a leading directory of active investors across the world. I find Angel List to be more insightful when conducting investor research. It separates partner investments from fund investments, and shows investor preferences and areas of expertise. You may use it to research investors you’ve identify through Crunchbase search.

Airdyme - Airdyme is a platform that helps startups to identify and build relationships with smart-money investors. Instead of you doing all the work, you can leverage their matching capability to provide you with suggestions, based on startup traction, investor experience, fund specialization, and more. You can then take it off the platform to reach out and pitch your startup.

What are the best ways to reach out to investors?

Once you’ve identify the right investors, reaching out shouldn’t be hard. After all, they already understand your business, and would be able to provide you with feedback as well as to poke holes in your thesis, while simultaneously determining whether to get involved with you as a founder.

Some of the strategies you can use to get a meeting with investors:

  1. Find warm connection with angel investor (or a VC) and ask for an introduction. Do a quick LinkedIn search to see who else is connected with investor. Then reach out to person who is most familiar with you and ask for an introduction. A quick background on why you think an investor would be a great match for your startup idea may be required. And sometimes you will be asked to send a forwardable email to make it easier for the person who’s making an introduction.
  2. Take my previous suggestion one step further and ask one of the entrepreneurs who already received an investment your coveted investor to make an introduction. It takes a bit of effort to get to know the entrepreneur first, but it is by far the most effective way to maximize your chances of getting on the right foot with the investor. Entrepreneurs are usually willing to do this favour if they like your idea and your personality.
  3. Send a well-crafted cold email. Sometimes it’s better to not overthink it and just send a straight up email providing a quick overview of your company, problem you’re solving, traction, total addressable market, and a request to meet to get some feedback. Asking for feedback is a great way to get an emotional buy in from the investor, who will then be more interested in seeing your venture through. Remember to tie your company background back to an investor background. Investors who understand your business are more likely to invest in it.
  4. If you have an opportunity, you might be able to meet with them at the conference, pitch competition, industry event, and engage in a small talk before pitching on your idea. Startup events, demo days, pitching competitions are attracting investors - and might be a great opportunity to connect with them face to face. Plus, you can meet their friends and other individual investors involved with local eco-system.

Good luck!