Over the past few years, I have grown a quality network of investors and entrepreneurs. I’ve done this primarily through networking. I’ve built my business around attending networking events. I am literally at a networking event Monday -Thursday unless I’m meeting with a client or there’s some sort of holiday. I’ve been doing this for two years! Attending so many events has allowed me to meet people I would never meet through my direct network. A group of people that many founders want access to are the venture capitalists (VCs).
What Is A Venture Capitalist?
A venture capitalist is someone who invests in business ventures that are starting up or expanding. Venture capitalists primarily work for venture capital firms, which are investment firms that are focused specifically on this type of investment activity. People typically associate venture capital investing with investments in new technology companies. Venture capitalists invest in companies from all types of industries and various stages.
Founders seek out VCs to get the funding they need to take their business to the next level. VCs can provide you with capital to hire more people, build your product, for marketing, or anything else that might be needed to help grow your business. VCs also tend to provide advisory services. VCs help companies make the right decisions to properly scale, or come with a network or resources of some sort that will help a company grow revenues.
If you are ever looking for a VC to invest in you, be sure you understand the stage your company is in ( Seed stage, Series A, Series B, etc) and what industry you are in. You then want to only pursue VCs that are actively investing in your industry and at the stage, you are in. Conversations with anyone else may be a waste of time.
How Do I Find A Venture Capitalist?
Unlike other types of investors, VCs are extremely accessible. You will be surprised how hard it is to find a great company to invest in, and VCs are in fierce competition with each other to find good deals. VCs have to be transparent to attract entrepreneurs of caliber. Being exclusive prevents them from finding great companies. Nowadays VCs are spending big on marketing. They are building their digital presence and hosting events to engage the tech community. This means meeting your future investor has never been easier!
One way to start meeting VCs in person is by attending networking events. I’ve found demo days, events where startups showcase their companies, to be a place where you can find a room filled with VCs. VCs, go to demo days to find potential investments. You can also find VCs at VC focused events, like a VC networking event, VC panel discussion, or some sort of investor presentation event relevant to the VC industry. You can also visit the websites of VC firms to find events. Anywhere that you can find quality tech startups, you can usually find VCs in the room. The following websites are great to find networking events.
Another approach is to grow your network digitally. VCs are really building up their digital presence to better connect with the startup community. It has never been easier to search and find VCs online.
Searching Google for things like top FinTech Venture Capital Firms, or Most Active Venture Capitalists, will get you a list of some notable firms. Getting creative with your search query is a great way to find specific types of VCs. Once again you only want to connect with VCs that are interested in companies like yours. You can also search for investor networks.
Social media is another great way to connect with VCs. You can type venture capital into a LinkedIn search, and find thousands of VCs for you to connect with. VCs can be found on other social media platforms, but I personally feel LinkedIn would be the best platform to search and engage them.
Lastly, you can make use of venture capital industry resources to learn about and find VCs. Some of the resources are listed below
Your next investor might be closer than you think. Being able to meet someone in person and have a conversation is the best way to establish a relationship. You can also leverage social media and the internet to gain access to VCs who might not be in your vicinity. If you are actively looking for an investor for your company, feel free to reach out to us firstname.lastname@example.org . We have a network of VCs and private tech investors that we can pass your information along to.