VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
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It’s also good to come in with some questions prepared specifically for the VC. I can remember a number of times that I was just going from meeting to meeting to meeting, jumped into a pitch, and had not done any due diligence on my own by looking at the website, reminding myself who they had invested in, or seeing what shared connections I have.
Those types of things can just establish an easy first connection. For the purposes of this conversation, SpringTime invested in Manatee. I know, Manatee, that’s a good conversation starter with any VC. So, it’s good to have those.
And then it’s also good to have some thoughtful questions for the VC. Particularly ones that demonstrate what your best assets are as a founder.
asking things like, “What problems do you see in companies like ours? It lets the VC know that you’re going to welcome their feedback. You think that they probably have a perspective on your company that is worth hearing. So, it shows that you’re a coachable founder who can listen and receive feedback.
The questions that I often have ready to ask investors at the end of the pitch are: What metrics help you determine if we are a good fit for your fund? They can tell you exactly where I want you to be in order to raise a Series A with us as the lead.
What challenges do you see for companies like ours?
What are some current concerns you have about my company? Maybe they’ve seen this pitch a thousand times, and they want to give you their feedback on why they passed before.
Can you tell me about the latest deal you made and why you chose to invest? I think that gives the founder very good insight into their thought process and their perspective on, let’s say, healthcare or FinTech.
What’s your typical check size? Do you prefer to lead or participate? Is a good one to know.
This one is one that’s been asked a lot, but I still feel like it’s important, and it’s outside of capital. What are some of the main values you bring to your portfolio companies?
And then ending the call by saying something about are you interested in investing in Motivo? Or maybe something even softer, like, could you potentially see yourself investing in Motivo? Something that puts it out there.
That’s something I’ve had to learn how to do in my sales conversations: start the call with an ask—a very clear ask—where does this go next? Not kind of softly putting that out there, but actually asking, “What’s the decision that we’re moving forward with here?
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