What’s the best way to do outreach to investors?

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Raise Money

You should always talk to investors in parallel rather than serially. You can’t afford the time it takes to talk to investors serially, plus if you only talk to one investor at a time, they don’t have the pressure of other investors to make them act.

Reid Hoffman (Partner & Co-Founder at Greylock Partners)
LinkedIn’s Series B Pitch to Greylock: Pitch Advice for Entrepreneurs

Identify the investors you most want and the investors who are most likely to say yes. These are not necessarily the same people (though it’s excellent if they are). Approach your likely investors and your ideal investors at the same time, because your likely investors provide a temporal forcing function by which you might end up with your ideal investors

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
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Find people who grew up in your town. They’ll understand the nuances of the market better.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
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Try to find an investor who already has a portfolio company in your town. The extra effort isn’t as much for them.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
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[If you’re not in a major market] consider moving to a new city and keeping product/tech in the older city.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
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Go through local angels who might be a good partner with the VC to help keep [an out of town] VC’s responsibility smaller.

Reid Hoffman (Partner & Co-Founder at Greylock Partners)
LinkedIn’s Series B Pitch to Greylock: Pitch Advice for Entrepreneurs

Understand your audience. Research prospective investors thoroughly. What kinds of businesses are they looking at? What model/criteria/triggers do they use to judge whether a project will be successful or not? If you don’t have some sense of their points of view, your likelihood of making the pitch go well is more random


Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Fundraising Tip: Don’t Send The Same Email To Two Partners At The Same VC Firm – AVC

[Send] an email to only one partner at a VC firm, not two or more.
A good alternative is to send an email to one partner and copying an analyst at the firm as well. The analysts are the most diligent people in a VC firm about staying on top of inbound deal flow and they will often step in and reply to an email that a partner has missed or forgotten about. The important thing here is to avoid confusing who has the responsibility to reply to the e… (read more)

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start … | Bothsides of the Table

You need to consider the type of investments each VC does. Can you look at their portfolio and see deals that are at least similar to what you do?

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start … | Bothsides of the Table

If you’re raising a seed round and talking to a billion-dollar growth-stage fund you’re not being very focused. Equally, if you’re talking with a $100 million fund about your $20 million round your hit rate will be low. So understanding the stage of a VC matters

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start … | Bothsides of the Table

So make sure you qualify before even making calls or asking for intros. The research you put into fund raising before you start the process will pay huge dividends in your efficiency and hit rate.

Ben Erez (Product at Breeze)
22 Mistakes I Made as a First Time Founder — Viabilify

There’s one thing just about every high net worth individual we spoke with had in common: none of them knew shit about tech startups. I was always able to explain what we were building but the idea of building technology was so foreign to them that none of them were able to stomach investing in such an unknown. You could also rephrase this mistake as “thinking all rich people are potential investors”.

David Beisel (Co-Founder & Partner at NextView Ventures)
Pull the Plug or Keep Searching for the Believer? When Fundraising is Tough. – GenuineVC

Because of this learning, we counsel our seed companies when raising a Series A to run a full & synchronized process with a broad array of firm sizes, types, and shades to determine what profile will become believers. It’s not until you have had a broad array of conversations are you able to tease out the profile of (and subsequently specific) firm(s) which will be attracted to your company. My partners and I at NextView talk a lot about how fund… (read more)

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
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If you’re not in the investors market, say that you’ll be out to where the investor is 6-8x a year for business anyway and that you just ask they fly out once a year to meet to the team.

Ron Conway (Founder & Co-Managing Partner @ SV Angel)
Ron Conway, Mike Maples Jr. – Angel Investing Revealed by Stanford eCorner | Free Listening on SoundCloud

You have to have a great executive summary with a great elevator pitch. If you can’t communicate via writing exactly what this company’s doing you’re not going to get through the system