Securing meetings with VCs
Entrepreneurs need to determine which VCs to contact. Read about how to pick your investors. Once you’ve done your research, made a list of potential investors to approach and prioritized that list, you’re ready to plan how you get meetings with them.
To get a meeting, you should try to get an introduction to the VC, and your job is to find someone who will be willing to make that introduction. This approach is necessitated by the fact that VCs are extremely busy. They are either attending board and other meetings with their portfolio companies, attending industry conferences, meeting with entrepreneurs and negotiating potential investments or traveling to those meetings and conferences. In short, they have very little time, so the VCs are more likely to consider a company that was referred to them by someone they know and trust.
Entrepreneurs have resources they can use to assist in getting introductions. Tools such as LinkedIn are extremely useful to help find connections. If you work with an attorney that specializes in working with startups and venture-backed companies, the attorney will likely have strong connections with most VCs and be willing to reach out to them on your behalf. While the attorney can never promise that a VC will meet with the entrepreneur, if their relationship is strong enough they can be confident that the VC will at least look at your executive summary. From your review of the VC’s portfolio companies, you should search on LinkedIn to see if you have contacts at a portfolio company of that VC. Be resourceful and use all of your contacts. The takeaway is that you will need to search your network of contacts to find an introduction.
While it is possible get a meeting with a VC without any “warm” introduction, such as by introducing yourself to the VC at a conference, this approach has a low probability of success. The same as true of making a “cold call” or just emailing your business plan to the venture firm without an introduction. An associate at the venture firm may review it, but the probability of getting a response is extremely low.