Tips for First-Time Investment Fundraisers

The first time a venture seeks external fundraising, often from an angel investor or venture capital firm, is a major milestone. The following suggests some tactical tools for reaching out to, and getting the attention and interest of, these investors:

1. It is important that your venture aligns with the investor's core investment strategy.
Research each prospective investor, in order to determine whether your venture meets the prospective investor’s core investment strategy. Not only will aligning your venture and the investor's strategy increase your chances at eliciting a positive response, but researching potential investors will give an entrepreneur the opportunity to consider whether that prospective investor would make a good long-term partner.
2. Seek a referral, if possible
First time capital fundraising often means a lot of cold calling. However, although cold calling does work, a referral tends to be a more effective strategy to gain a prospective investor's attention. A referral to an investor, for example from another investor or another entrepreneur, can be the result of networking efforts. Not only can referrals be more effective, they show a degree of resourcefulness on the part of the entrepreneur that can be comforting and attractive to the investor.
3. Prepare an elevator pitch
Prepare a pitch on your venture that can be communicated verbally in around 45 seconds to 1 minute, as well as a 1-2 paragraph written pitch. An elevator pitch can be very useful and compelling in explaining your venture to prospective investors, but it can also be a helpful to an entrepreneur to spend time drilling down on the company's succinct core value proposition.
4. Include specific information about your venture
Investors want to know specific information about the opportunity being presented. This information may include, (a) what pain point the venture is solving, (b) how the venture's business plan, product or service solves the pain point (c) a description of the market and opportunity, (d) the venture's competitive advantage, and (e) how the venture will monetize the product or service.