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5 ways to get noticed by venture capitalists

Venture capitalists are people who will invest money into a business venture; often for a startup or company expansion. Knowing how to get a venture capitalist’s attention is an art – and could be what separates you from your ambitions.

Here are five tips to help you get that all-important ‘yes’.

1. Have as much set up as possible

Before arranging the pitch, you should have as much of the groundwork of your business laid as possible. Is your website up and running, or the domain at least purchased? Are your social media channels optimized and sending out content, or at least reserved? Do you have a product prototype to showcase?

Your venture capitalist will want to see proactivity as well as a tangible idea.

2. Keep your initial email short, sweet and entirely to the point

Many venture capitalist companies will receive lots of pitches every day. Save yourself the man-hours of putting together 100-page case studies or incredible video pitches; these will not be read/seen.

Instead, focus on crafting an email that can be digested easily, understood fully and excite your venture capitalist enough to invite you in.

The subject line needs to be instantly engaging to stand out. For the email body content use the following four questions as a guide, writing a paragraph per answer.

  • What does your company do?
  • What problem are you solving?
  • What’s special about your product/marketing/expertise etc. (i.e. what are you selling and why do we want to invest in it)?
  • Who are you?

The case studies, presentations, videos are only important for the actual interview itself.

3. Get an introduction

In order to get an introduction, you should consider a few key things:

  • Is the venture capitalist you are approaching right for you?
  • Is there someone who can help you get a pitch?
  • Do you have great references?

There are lots of venture capitalist organizations out there, many who have a preference for the market they invest in. Do your research to see which ones fit your product and business the best. There is no point wasting time on the unlikelier ones.

The time old adage of “it’s not what you know but who” can often hold very true. Use your contacts to get your product and pitch in front of the right people. As well as this, you should have some great references lined up, especially customer ones.

4. Have your expectations charted

A base expectation from a venture capitalist looking to invest in you is a 10 times return on their initial investment, within seven years. If you can maintain this level of growth you will need to prove it.

If you cannot, then venture capitalism is very unlikely for you.

5. Highlight what makes you unique

The most obvious, but often negated, a thing to put across is why is your business unique? Originality is a powerful motivator for venture capitalists. If you can prove your expertise and answer the “hard questions” you are likely to make a much larger impact. Anticipate and prepare for questions like:

  • Why does your business need to exist?
  • Why you?
  • Why now?
  • What makes you unique?

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