As a Startup Entrepreneur stepping outside of your comfort zone is a daily norm, especially in the search of funding for your business.
Scoring a meeting with a Venture Capitalist becomes a network juggling act between strategy and innovation.
A key point to remember when approaching VC’s is that the question always on the top of their mind is… Will your Startup idea bring a significant return on their investment capital?
Assuming your answer is an undeniable yes,
the following resources offer you VC networking location suggestions. We encourage you can develop your relationship further both personally and professionally, as often times the connections most beneficial come as a result of the most unlikely resources.
Accelerator programs, unique startup events and other brain storming events offer great opportunities to meet hundreds of experienced mentors from around the world. Many of these accelerator events are held in Silicone Valley or other communities where experienced startup founders abound. Accelerator programs like the UnSexy, The SmashSummit and GeeksOnaPlane offer wonderful networking opportunities; a place where you can easily get your pitch heard by qualified investors. More importantly, you can also find mentors here who will help you develop your funding plan.
The National Venture Capital Association
This is a trade association that provides resources for entrepreneurs about VCs. It offers information about different venture capital organizations, tools you may find useful and resources to specific VCs and entrepreneurs. You can find this association at www.nvca.org.
Angel Investing Service Companies
Angel investment service organizations help entrepreneurs get started. Most angel investors have entrepreneurial backgrounds themselves, and in a wide spectrum do of industries, not just tech. Many angel investing companies fund large numbers of new startups. And if they don’t, well then they do offer critical business connections, hands-on mentoring and help in building a qualified management team.
You can search databases of Venture Capital and Angel investors on websites like Gust. This type of database gives you the opportunity to contact investors directly and pitch your idea.
Angel Capital Association
Also known as ACA, this association offers useful resources and information on ways entrepreneurs should prepare themselves for finding investors. It also offers a database with a list of professionals such as attorneys and accountants who help startups looking for funding.
Local networking groups and events can also help entrepreneurs network with venture capitalists. Attend local Meetup events that pertain to your industry.
Participate in local TEDx events; offer to be a free keynote speaker for local events or associations. This will help you network with other entrepreneurs and investor associations.
Join local associations like the Small Business Association. This organization often has SBA investment programs you can join. Even if you don’t get funded this way, it will offer you the networking contacts you need to further your funding needs.
Another way of networking and meeting all the right people is by attending industry events and finding out how other entrepreneurs have attracted venture capital.
Finding venture capital is not all that difficult any longer because there is so much information available over the Internet. At one time, this type of information was almost a big ‘secret.’ And only a chosen few knew where and how to find investors.
Today, investors actually want to be sought out, and they hold important events, brainstorming sessions and more. They also give you specific information that can smooth the process for you and help you find the funding you need.