The event last week was amazing. Tons of great info dispensed by our amazing panelists, Chris Olson from Amplify.LA, Arteen Arabshahi from Karlin Ventures and Austin Clements from TenOneTen Ventures. One of the main focusses was what they liked and disliked from the startups / founders that reach out to them, and they were very open about it.
Some main points:
GET A WARM INTRO. They said that they take warm intros 100x more seriously. Find mutual connections and don’t be afraid to ask for an intro.
BE CONCISE. Investors get TONS of emails. If you want to get their attention, especially if the email is unsolicited, keep it short and to the point. This way, you don’t waste their time or yours. I’ve found the best way to get an answer from a busy person is to send super-short emails with a specific question that can be answered easily.
START A CONVERSATION. Make it conversational. Get to know the investors in the room and don’t just dive into a pre-prepared deck. The investors are evaluating you, not just your startup. Help them get to know you.
ASK FOR ADVICE. “Ask for money, get advice. Ask for advice, get money.” Don’t come right in asking for cash (they know why you’re there!). Pick the investor’s brain. Ask good questions. Just like in the previous point, get to know them. Then, when appropriate, try and close the deal.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Come prepared and know a bit about the investors you’re meeting. It’s not hard to look up their website or AngelList profiles. Do it. You sound smart if you say something like, “you invested in HelloTech, so I thought you might be interested in our ‘on-demand’ startup that solves a similar problem for a market…” You sound like a dumbass if you say something like, “do you invest in ‘on-demand’ startups?” to someone like Karlin Ventures who list 3 startups that have the words “on-demand” in their one-line descriptions on the portfolio section of their website.
Some tweets from the event:
— Alon Goren (@alonymous) November 6, 2015
— Rob Bueschen (@RobBueschen) November 19, 2015
— Brandon Highland (@brandonhighland) November 19, 2015