Recently, while interning at Atlanta Ventures in the Atlanta Tech Village, I had the opportunity to converse with some of the top venture capitalists in the Southeast region at one of their Member-Only Capital Conversation events. Here are my three biggest takeaways…
Reaching Out To Investors
Conversation with an investor is the first step toward building a meaningful relationship. Reaching out cold to investors can be difficult, but it is not impossible. When sending a cold email to a VC, l include relevant information that you’ve surfaced. Make sure to research the firm to know its strategies and the different sectors they specialize in. You can make cold emails easier by using your network to make a warm introduction. Remember that a cold email aims to get you a meeting, not an investment.
One of the founders’ most common mistakes is using the same pitch deck for everything. You must know the purpose of the pitch and alter the information on the deck to fit that. Different investors are looking for different things. A pitch deck won’t be able to answer all a VC’s questions, which is okay. The deck should give an overview of the team, market, and product and stress the significant pain points.
Different founders might come from various backgrounds, but many of the qualities of successful founders are the same. To be a successful founder, you have to be a storyteller. It is vital to communicate your story and the business’s story. There must be some enthusiasm and passion regarding the space your business is in and the work the startup does. Founders should show how they are unique and the best person to solve the problem. Many founders are smart, but great founders are coachable.
Even though raising money early on is hard, being aware of these three things will make things much more manageable. These takeaways might not lead to funding automatically, but It is important to know the expectations of VCs so you can build strong relationships with them.