Top 6 tips for getting the attention of startup investors

Finding the right investors for your business and securing some of their valuable time can be challenging. Fundraising takes time and effort, so you want to ensure you’re going about it in the right way from the start. Here are our top six tips for getting the attention of startup investors.

First thing’s first. Before you dive right in, you should define exactly what kind of startup investors you’re looking for. Ask yourself, what type of funding would suit your company and what should an investor be able to offer you?

Do you want venture capital funding, for example? Maybe angel money would work best for you, or corporate investment? If you’re unsure about the various options, check out our guide to the different kinds of startup investors out there.

Secondly, you should consider what kind of support you want from your investor. Of course, you will be looking to secure financial backing, but what else? You might want to consider investors that have good industry connections, can mentor you in a specific area, or who have previous experience with your product category.

So, now that you have a broad idea of what you’re looking for, let’s run through our tips for how to find investors and get their attention.

Get well connected

Meet as many relevant people as you can and prioritise growing your network. Admittedly, it can be trickier to network, given the circumstances of COVID-19. However, you can use platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with people or attend virtual events and meetups.

Startup incubators and accelerators are another great option as they generally have extensive industry networks that you’ll get access to by taking part in their programme. Be prepared to share opportunities and expertise with others – and you might be surprised to see how many are willing to return the favour. Finally, don’t forget to have your elevator pitch ready, for when those moments come!

Alumni startups after pitching for investment
ProVeg Incubator Demo Day, founders pitch at this event in front of startup investors

Start engaging early

You don’t need to wait until you’re actually fundraising before you begin engaging with potential investors. Start early, and make them part of your startup journey. In this way, you can build up good relationships with the right people. You’ll know who to reach out to once you do want to raise capital, and, more importantly, they’ll know you.

Be persistent

You are going to get a lot of ‘no’s. Don’t let that put you off. Send emails, make phone calls, and do follow ups. Just because an investor doesn’t reply the first time that you reach out, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not interested. Investors are busy people and they receive a lot of messages. Don’t cross the line all the way into harassment territory, though, but do be persistent.

Ask for intros

A warm introduction is always better than a cold one. If someone you know  knows someone that you want to meet, then ask for an intro. It’ll still be up to you to impress them, but at least you’ll have your foot in the door!

Formo raised over $50 in startup iinvestment
Formo raised $50 million in one of the biggest food-tech funding rounds to date. The biotech company makes animal-free cheese.

Show how you can add value

Research and understand the strategic focus of potential investors that you want to work with. Identify and show them how you align with their values and how you would fit into their portfolio. Make sure that you have a killer pitch deck (you can check out our pitch-deck guide here) that outlines how much money you want to raise and why. A logical and detailed financial model could also help to grab an investors attention.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

By all means, have a short list of the people who you’d most like to work with. But try not to limit yourself to too few options either. Especially in the early stages of building your company, you’re going to need a long list of potential investors. Reach out to as many of the people on that list as possible, especially before you apply for series A funding, and try to get warm intros where you can.

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