Angel investors love referrals
Without question, the most common question about startup funding I get is how founders can meet angel investors. It is such a common question that I created an online course just to answer that one question.
The truth is that networking is far and above one of the most important skills that founders need to master to succeed at startup fundraising.
However, networking is just the start. Getting to know people who are connected to angel investors is only the first step. Once you have identified the right people then you have to get them to be willing to make an introduction for you.
Notice that I said they had to be willing to make an introduction for you. Before I grew my own angel investor network, I noticed that people who already had an established connection to angel investors were hesitant to make an introduction for me. It didn’t take long to realize that was because they wanted to make sure I wouldn’t abuse the connection.
So, who does make the best introduction to angel investors? There are three main groups to think about when looking for introductions.
Fellow startup founders
Other startup founders are a great group to seek angel investor referrals from. More specifically, I am talking about startup founders that have raised funding before. Not only can they possibly refer you to the angel investors that have put money into their company, but they most likely met other angel investors during their fundraising process.
Investors tend to run in a group. They do this for social aspects, the chance to learn from one another, and they often look to participate in each other's deals.
As part of the fundraising process, you are likely to meet a lot of angel investors. Make sure to turn each “no” into a possible referral to an investor that is interested in your type of startup.
The purpose of any good program is to help you increase the speed at which your startup grows. The purpose of any great program is to also help connect you with potential investors.
So, it should come as no surprise that accelerator and incubator programs are great places to get introductions to investors from.
What other ways can you think of to get introductions to investors that have worked for you? Please feel free to share in the comments section.