CapitalTN will periodically post on topics in and around venture capital and private equity investing. Our inaugural post is on a frequent question we hear from companies.
Here are 10 ways to ensure that investment groups remember you and your company:
1. Make your story compelling and concise.
• Investors need to “get it” in a minute or two. The initial reaction will guide a deeper dive.
• An executive summary or short PowerPoint deck is a good way to fit everything in for initial contact.
• Include information that is eye grabbing and builds credibility. Highlight notable customers and management’s track record of success at prior companies.
2. Materials and website need to deliver a great impression.
• The look and feel of your materials is important, as is your company website. Sloppy materials tend to be indicative of the rest of the organization.
3. Get a referral and get a meeting.
• A trusted referral source can go a long way in making a connection. Especially from someone who personally knows someone at the firm. Use LinkedIn to determine mutual connections.
• The right channels can make things go a lot faster. The wrong channels do the opposite.
• Find a champion at a current portfolio company as a good route in. If you can be helpful to a portfolio company by introducing them to a potential customer, they may be willing to intro you to an investor.
• If you know one of the firm’s limited partners/investors, there is a very high chance you will quickly get a meeting. Use your connections to help you out in this situation.
4. Make the gatekeeper your best friend.
• Associates love free coffee and they can become your best advocates. Take the time to get to know them as they are the gatekeepers that can help you with an in.
5. Know your audience.
• Learn the background of the people you are meeting with, past deals and current investments. Appeal to that in some way as you deliver your presentation.
6. Do your research & determine how you fit.
• Research the current portfolio companies of the firm to get a better understanding of their investment focus.
• Determine how your company fits the investment criteria and current strategy of the firm.
• If you are not a fit now, but will be in the future, take it as an opportunity to lay out what you plan to do and spend the next couple of months or years executing on that plan. If you say you plan to grow 30% over the next year and then you do it, it builds confidence in your team.
7. Don’t be afraid of the telephone.
• Pick up the phone and give your 30-second elevator pitch. It’s more personal and less likely to be overlooked compared to an email.
8. Show up to events.
• Attend events and seminars where you are likely to meet investors. Make sure you have your 30-second elevator pitch ready to go and that you are open to introducing yourself to new contacts.
9. Invite an investor to a customer presentation.
• Make sure it’s a customer that is ready to buy and loves your company.
10. Stand out from the crowd.
• The most important thing is to make sure your company stands out from the crowd. Play to your strengths and build on what you have in order to maximize your chance on receiving investment.
Are you an investor under 40 that is interested in getting involved in the community and meeting other investors like you? Join CapitalTN, Nashville’s young professional group for investors under 40. Learn more at capitaltn.com.