Who Can I Contact to Pitch My Idea?
February 6, 2020
February 6, 2020
A quality product idea and a creative pitch deck are needed to attract investments. You may also need an investor to take your business to success. Someone who works in the same industry, who can share pearls of wisdom throughout the development stage and someone who offers a reasonable financial deal would be perfect, right? But all this doesn’t come without due diligence and lots and lots of research.
For some brands, an investor is critical.
For instance, if Andy Bechtolsheim (founder of Sun Microsystems) hadn’t invested $100k early in August 1998 and Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins hadn’t invested $25M about a year later, Google’s story would have been very much like the numerous tech start-ups that launched and failed in the late 90s.
Unless you have well-connected friends or family, you can’t expect random calls from a big venture capitalist or the producers of Shark Tank. Here are some tips to find the right investors.
Tips to Find Your Guardian Angel
Look at some channels where you can find worthy investors:
- Online Fundraising Platforms: AngelList, CircleUp, Wefunder are some prominent names among countless online fundraising platforms out there. Right from peer-to-peer lending sites offering business loans to donation-based, debt and equity crowd funding portals, you need to find the platform that best suits your needs.
- Angel Investor Networks: These are member-based networks that offer services, based on location. Don’t expect the investor to reveal their identity too soon but do expect your applications to be screened extensively.
- Accelerator Demos: Popular start-up accelerator programs extend open invitations to entrepreneurs. If you get accepted, you could obtain some good funding, business advice, access to major venture capital firms and help to stage future fundraising rounds. Typically, these programs have a “demo day,” where start-ups pitch ideas to a sea of investors in the audience.
Check out this video, where the founders of Aspire Food Group present their ideas to investors for the prestigious Hult Prize in 2013, a $1,000,000 award given to student-led disruptive social enterprises. The team won because of their impeccable presentation skills, drawing a clear parallel between planned use of funds and food security to 21 million slum residents at lower prices.
- Industry Gatherings/Events: Visibility is the key to finding the right investors. There are plenty of investor events that you might want to consider. You could participate in pitch nights or coding marathons, or simply be a part of industry trade shows. Money2020, TechCrunch Disrupt and Collision are some examples of highly sought-after events for tech start-ups. Try to know the who’s-who of the attendance list and schedule meetings wherever possible.
Some of the Biggest Names Out There
It’s a privilege to get noticed by any one of these investors. They are smart, crazy rich and can turn a mere idea into a multi-billion dollar undertaking. Some of these names might have cropped up in your research already!
- Jeff Clavier: Founder and Managing Partner of Uncork Capital (formerly SoftTech VC), one of the original seed VC firms in Silicon Valley, with investments in 200+ projects since 2004. Clavier is mainly interested in eCommerce, mobile and infrastructure monetization projects. Some of his major investments include Mint (Intuit), Wildfire (Google), Eventbrite and Brightroll (Yahoo).
- Dave Morin: CEO and co-founder of the social network, Path. Interestingly, he is also the co-creator of the Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect. Guess what he is interested in! Social media apps, of course. Apart from that, Morin also is also interested in agriculture, sports and blockchain.
- David Lee: David Lee has been listed as one the top 50 best investors for early-stage funding by Business Insider. Lee is best known for his former role at angel investment firm SV Angel, where he held the position of managing partner for many years. David Lee has invested in firms like Airbnb, Stripe, Flatiron Health, Pinterest and Slack. His primary interests are in the fields of consumer internet, big data, eCommerce and analytics.
There are thousands of investors out there who could be interested in your product. If the product and pitch are right of course. The competition is tough, and you might only score one chance to impress the biggies.
Let PitchProper help you with that. We can advise you on funding, creating your perfect pitch and developing your brand. We’re ready, let’s talk!