You can think of connecting with an investor as a three step process:
- Getting the Intro
- Getting the Meeting
- Scheduling the Meeting
It’s much like a sales process, only your selling your company to an investor instead of your product or service to a customer.
Getting the Intro
It’s always good to get a warm intro to an investor. Find someone who can introduce you. To make the introduction easy for them, send a forward-able email that includes some background information for the investor. It’s generally best to provide them with a short blurb (a few sentences) that includes a description of your company, who you help, and how you help them.
I recently spoke with a friend and fellow entrepreneur who offered to connect me with a specific investor. After our phone call I sent him an email to facilitate the introduction. Here’s what I sent to get the intro:
So nice to catch up with you, as always. Like I mentioned, I’m preparing to raise a round for my company, ACME, for which I’ve included a brief overview below:
ACME provides big data mining software as a service. With ACME, data scientists can expedite their analysis saving time and money. ACME’s algorithms have been engineered using extensive proprietary training data from millions data points.
I’m trying to connect with some investors who have an interest in big data mining software as a service. Is there anyone who you can introduce me to?
Getting the Meeting
Once the introduction is made, it’s generally best to provide some additional information to the investor. This allows the investor to decide whether they want to spend time meeting with you and ensures that nobody’s time is wasted. At this point it generally doesn’t make sense to share your entire deck because they (or their associate) will read through it, but won’t hear your incredible story. For now, share a one-pager that provides just enough information to warrant a meeting.
Scheduling the Meeting
Now that the investor has agreed to meet with you, you have your opportunity to tell them all about you, your business, and the story. You might share a copy of your deck shortly before the meeting so that they have a copy for reference.