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How To Raise With Your FundBoard
You’ve done it! You’ve found a list of investors that invest in startups like yours. Now you need to meet them. You can use your FundBoard to make that easier, and track your progress with the following steps:
- Open the FundBoard CSV file you downloaded in your favorite spreadsheet app. One that can be shared online like Google Sheets is ideal.
- Use the priority column to prioritize the investors. You can do this in numerical order (1, 2, 3…), or in groups (group 1, group 2, etc.).
- Go through your list of potential investors, and try to find mutual connections that can arrange a “warm” introduction between you and the investor. A warm intro is one where someone the investor knows suggests they meet with you. Even if the investor is open to being contacted by anyone, a warm intro is more likely to result in a meeting.
- Use the LinkedIn, Twitter, and CrunchBase links for each investor to find mutual contacts. Look through the startups they have funded in CrunchBase, organizations they have worked for in LinkedIn, and people they know on Twitter. Check their posts on LinkedIn and Twitter for subjects they’re interested in that overlap with you and your startup. Look at other areas of potential overlap like the city they live in, groups they belong to, or where they were educated. A little extra digging now can return a lot of value later.
- You may want to look up the other investors at their organization. You could discover you have connections with some of them you weren’t aware of.
- Record your list of people that might be able to intro you to each investor somewhere else, and contact each one with a personalized message (don’t copy and paste the same message, people can tell). Briefly explain what your startup does and why you think the investor would be interested in talking to you. If you aren’t sure why, do more research!
- You can keep your FundBoard spreadsheet private, but we recommend creating a public version of it and sending a link to it with your intro requests. You might want to remove the priority column and any private notes or other information from the public version.
- Ask the people you contact to fill in the “introed by” and “date of intro” columns in your public spreadsheet. You can just fill in the information yourself when they make the intro, but sharing it can create a powerful social incentive to help you.
- If you can’t get a warm intro, try to find a way to contact the investor directly. This is a more challenging approach, but can pay off with hard work. You can email them directly if you can find their email address, or you can ease into a contact by replying to them on Twitter, blog posts, or other social media if it’s a topic relevant to your startup or your personal experience. Investors know people do this, so make sure it’s genuine, and you have something valuable to say. If they have a process for direct contact on their organization’s web page, make sure to follow it.
- Keep track of what you need to do next in the “status”, “next steps” and “notes” columns.
- Be patient. Investors taking a few weeks to respond is normal. Be prepared to play a long game, and make sure you plan for this process to take a few months.
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