Approaching investors—those fortunate people supporting start-ups—represents a challenge if your contact network is limited. Here are some tricks to improve your chances of capturing their attention.
You have decided to present your business in events attracting investors and entrepreneurs? Excellent initiative. The hiccup? They may not necessarily understand the market in which you operate. For a lack of understanding, many will not be able to judge where you really are in your progress.
First bit of advice: target well-known investors in your field of activity, notably those who have already invested there. Conduct your little investigation. Are they active in Quebec? Across Canada? Overseas? What does their portfolio resemble? On average, how much do they invest? AngelQuebec, AngelList, and Gust are useful sites for your information gathering purposes. Also, think about going through their LinkedIn profiles and questioning your entourage—along with their own—on the subject.
All the time, investors are receiving entrepreneurial projects to analyze. If their expectations or interests differ, they all want to see that you did your homework before soliciting them.
First, make sure that you are present on social networks. Second, demonstrate that you have discovered an innovative, exploitable niche in your market. For example, you can create a temporary webpage to persuade them and quickly bring them up to speed on the problem—or need—that you have detected and your proposed solution. Third, present your team and business model to them. Finally, consider demonstrating your product. It is always useful when investors develop an interest in your project because it can quickly make up their minds about your offered product or service.
Earn their confidence
To earn an investor’s confidence, you need to make yourself known. You don’t have contacts in common that can bring you together or vouch for you? Despite that, it isn’t impossible. For example, you can build a relationship with one of their acquaintances on LinkedIn or exchange words with an investor on Twitter or in Facebook group discussions.
This advice also works for contacts in person. Startupfest—taking place in Montreal (From July 13 – 16 for the 2016 edition)—is fertile ground for meeting investors and mentors. Keep investor interest in your crosshairs at meetings or conventions. The idea is to meet them and ask for their advice in order to progressively earn their confidence.
First contact with an investors still remains the most difficult to obtain. Hone your strategy… as well as your patience. Once the first step has been taken, it becomes easier to approach other investors.