Episode 15 of the Ignite Alabama podcast is a quick recap of two panel discussions from Rocket Hatch's Investor Day about how to pitch to and work with VCs and angel investors.
I’m giving you these takeaways in list format, and not necessarily in order.
Since there was a lot of back-and-forth and echoing of the tips, I decided to credit these to the panel, than the specific investor offering the tip.
Tip 1: Know something about the person you’re pitching to. Show them you’ve done your homework.
Tip 2: Before making a cold call, do your research. Look at the VC portfolio of companies. Is your product or service a good fit for their portfolio?
Tip 3: Use LinkedIn to do your homework and see if you have a common connection. If you do, perhaps use that common connection to learn something about the investor that reveal what the investor cares about most.
Tip 4: It can help to have someone introduce you, so if you have a common contact, take advantage of that.
Tip 5: Research the investor’s background. Find out if they’re from finance, accounting, marketing, sales. That will give you an idea about how to frame the pitch so it resonates with that mindset.
Tip 6: Venture capitalists and angel investors are in the relationship business. It’s important for you to develop relationships.
Tip 7: The character of your team matters a lot to the investor and this ties back to the relationships.
Tip 8: Investors are looking for an entrepreneur who is coachable. It’s OK if you don’t know everything. The VC has probably been in your shoes and knows what you don’t know, so be open to receiving guidance.
Tip 9: Some angel investors and VC funds like particular combinations of management teams.
- For example, The Lamp Post Group likes 3-founder companies. Others may have a different preference. So try to identify this before hand, to maximize your opportunities and pitch to the right investor.
Tip 10: Know your numbers on your product and your market.
Tip 11: Tell a good story.
Tip 12: Practice your pitch. Practice it over and over. Get feedback and practice some more.
Tip 13: When you’re updating your investors, give them 1-2-3 specific things they can do to help you move forward.
- For example, you might ask them to make an introduction to a specific person who could be valuable in getting a big account or landing a contract opportunity.
Tip 14: Heads-up for the women entrepreneurs. Many of the panelists, if not all of them, expressed an interest in hearing from women entrepreneurs and a desire to invest in women-led startups. So there’s an interest on the VC and Angel investor side to working with women. But we need more nurturing on the ecosystem side.
I also put together this Storify recap of tweets from the Investor Day Huntsville event:
I hope you found this episode helpful.
Check out Episode 14 for my conversation with Antonio Montoya, who explained the genesis of Rocket Hatch.