So you have emailed venture capital after venture capital without any measure of success. Why isn’t it working? The simple answer is that everybody is doing the very same thing. When you reach out to VCs, you need to make yourself stand out from the rest of the people out there.
This is done by ways of introduction. Okay, so you don’t have any contacts that are in contact with a VC. Where most others quit at this point, after they have been on LinkedIn for months trying to get into contact with the right people a real hustler plays his strategic game for the long haul. This strategy, called portfolio mining can grow your tiny network into a truly huge one. The thing of it is, you will have to spend a lot of time constantly at it and do a bunch of networking. Here’s how it can be done:
Identify the venture firms you want to target. Not all of these firms are identical. They may specialize in different sectors like SAAS, health and mining. They may also specialize in specific investment stages that could include seed, series A or later stages. To find a bit more info about who may be approached you can google venture capitalist list to find an array of results. You will find results for the Australian scene in the same way. Once you have identified who you are going to target you can visit their website.
To use an example, if I were to build an SAAS product for the American market I may decide to look at Square Peg Capital. Next you will need to click the particular link on the page of your VC of choice to see what qualifies as a portfolio or investment to them or just click companies. Square Peg has seen the funding of a huge amount of investments and they can all be viewed there. At this point being strategic becomes part of the game. Instead of sending the same old email to Square Peg, the same as everybody else you need to find other ways of connecting with a portfolio company.
Do you have a friend or acquaintance working there or can you get the information for the next meeting where the CEO will be speaking? It has happened previously where a founder went through the twitter feed of a CEO and in doing so got information about the place where this CEO regularly has their coffee and then planned to bump into them, giving them the chance for a personal Q and A. The goal of organizing such a meeting is to get a chance to offer help or ask for advice. You need to establish a casual atmosphere where you can ask questions like how they found Square Peg and to make sure that this firm did invest in their company. In this way you will get a firsthand opinion of the considered VC and you may even be introduced after chatting a couple more times. You are now in a position where your network has grown to include a person that may be able to introduce you to your VC of choice.
With the use of this strategy (repeatedly) you will ensure you become well networked and well known. You need to start your research immediately and start meeting founders using this mining method a.s.a.p too. You cannot go wrong in offering the CEO of the preferred portfolio company something they don’t usually hear. Inquire about ways in which you can be of assistance to them. CEOs are used to being accosted for an array of reasons and once they hear that you have something to offer them you are very likely to really capture their attention.