022. Referrals to Investors

The wrong way to ask for referrals from your network is to say, "please introduce me to investors."

VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.

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Now that you’ve built your list of targeted investors. It’s time to take it to your network and ask for referrals. 

The wrong way to do this is to say, “please introduce me to investors.” There’s not a lot I can do with that. Which ones? Why would I intro you? What do I send them? Make it easy for your network to make referrals for you. 

First, you should have a target list of introductions that you would like, researched in advance. We’ve already talked about how to find the investors and where to put them: Excel, Sheets, Airtable, et cetera. 

Identify your key targets, the funds that you think would be absolutely perfect for you. Dig through LinkedIn and see how you’re connected to somebody in that fund, and then go make an ask of your network. 

That ask should be ready to be forwarded directly, and it should include why you’re targeting that fund, an intro about your startup and a pitch deck, with your email in the pitch deck. Make it clear, concise, and super easy for your network. 

The other thing to keep in mind, is it most seed stage funds have some way to contact them through their website. Take advantage of this. For most funds, this is part of opening their doors to undiscovered and underestimated founders. Your network might not overlap at all with that fund, but if they have a “send us your pitch” on their website,  They want you to send them your pitch. So do it! 

Get out there find those connections and get your pitch in front of those investors.


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