Raising handsome amount of funds for a startup is the ultimate goal of any entrepreneur; after all this is an essential to take your startup to the nest level. Some of you start raising capital from friends and family, some opt for credit card funding, while others explore options such as merchant cash advance, getting a business loan, online installment loans and running a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Whatever the financing option you choose, make sure it fits well into your business model (here is a quick guide on how to choose the right funding option for your startup).
One thing you must know, that selecting the right type of funding may even not work, if you are not actively networking with the right people, i.e. who are actively looking to invest in startups.
Where to Find the Investors?
So, if you are reading these lines, I assume;
- You have a killer idea, but lacking finance to make it happen.
- You have launched a startup that needs better financing to grow to next level.
- You are looking for investment for a number of projects.
Well if any of the above is the case, you must join networks like:
These are some great places to get started to network with investors from around the world and get your idea, startups and projects funded accordingly. However, on a later stage you may want to explore some smaller and niche specific options too, i.e. Prikk, Ratafire, etc.
AngelList, Crunchbase, Funded and LinkedIn, however, remain the best meeting places for investors and entrepreneurs, especially when you are intending to grow your startup faster.
The Offline Connections
You may also consider promoting your business in networking events, but that’s going to be a later stage when your startup has enough money and resources to be part of networking events.
However, actively participating in events where you can chance to meet potential investors without spending much is definitely a good idea!
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How to Find Potential Investors Online
Create your very own account and get active in communicating with others on the above mentioned platforms. Explore their profiles and investment portfolios to know about their potential interests. Send them direct messages with brief intro of your business and showing interest in knowing about their ventures.
Make sure not to be show off or asking for investment right away. This never works!
Rather take the opportunity to build long term relations and finding an opportunity of mutual benefit.
That’s too much of work…. how to balance?
The initial communication with the prospect investors can be quite a laborious work. In that case when you are too busy to keep up with the activities on raising capital, you can always delegate the task to someone from your social media team. Or, may be you may also consider outsourcing some of the tasks to a virtual assistant.
Alternatively you may also hire a dedicated person to help you to work on these platforms and bring finalize the leads. This dedicated resource can do all the initial part of communication with the prospects and can forward you a solid lead.
When to Network with Investors & When Not?
Networking with potential investors is a must not only when you set up a business, but also when you are doing nothing, because many time, seeing the potential investment you may come up with a great idea.
You must know that raising money for your business should never stop, because you cannot raise capital overnight, and your business will always need money to grow to the next level and you have to make sure that it doesn’t run out of money!
The Bottom Line:
Networking with investors is not always for raising money probably. Many times it can be used for other areas of business growth, i.e. it gives you an insight of how investors value a startup and what ideas they want to invest in.
If you are a proactive entrepreneur you may not need to get into the details of whether or not to join online and offline networking events, because you already know what to do!