How to Attract Investors: Tips from a Valley Entrepreneur
Not too long ago Brian Wong was another aspiring entrepreneur hanging around Silicon Valley waiting for the right idea and the right investor. As a Canadian he had to deal with all the immigration problems we all face trying to enter the Land of Dreams.
Photo Credit : Olga Kubliy's blog on http://blogs.ubc.ca/,
Clearly he did something right because Wong is now CEO and Cofounder of Kiip, a startup that has raised 32 million dollars since inception in 2010. Here are some tips from his new book, “The Cheat Code.”
Get active on LinkedIn – Start connecting with potential investors, mentors and any professional you think that can help your cause. You don’t know them, they don’t know you. It’s a good way to level the playing field.
Cold Email – Start emailing potential investors and the like. If you don’t know their email addresses, guess. Usually it’s first name.second name@company name.com. But add in all the other possible combinations in the Bcc section. That way the recipient won’t know you’re desperate.
Keep your emails short and intriguing – Do not write spiels. Typically the email should be about 3-5 lines. Make those few lines incredibly interesting. Brian used to add images of the investors with a pig face filter.
Use exclamation marks in your emails – Show emotion, interest, enthusiasm, excitement for your proposal. Use a few exclamation points, about 1-3. Doesn’t “Thank you!” sound better than plain “Thank you”?
Do not waste an investor’s time – It’s hard to get a meeting with an investor, so don’t blow it. When you’re given 15 minutes please stick to 15 minutes. Make it short, exciting and interesting (like the emails)
Do not treat investors like gods. Be confident. But not arrogant – When you speak to investors forget about the dandruff, forget about your sweaty palms. Speak like you know what you’re talking about. Be confident like you’re not desperate for the money and you’re a human being just like them. Do not be humble, and do not be arrogant.
Show investors how you can add value – Show investors that you can help them perform a function better. But please don’t talk down to an investor. Again, confidence, yes. Arrogance, no. All you have to do is make sure they either love you and/or the idea to get another meeting.