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VC tips #1: How to land a pitch meeting

Picture from the awesome guys at http://www.gratisography.com/

In this guest blog post Linus talks of how’s best to approach an investor and get a meeting. Short and straight to the point piece of advice that will get your head around the topic.

After more than 3 intense years in the wonderful world of VC, I thought it was about time I communicate some thoughts. A question I often get asked is how do you get a pitch meeting. Easy, just get your email to top of the priority list. So here’s how you can make it to the top of mine (and hopefully the other VCs you’re trying to get the attention of).

But first some basics — most well-renowned VCs receive an extreme amount of inbound investment opportunities and for the most part, there’s not enough time to read them all. The same goes for when a VC goes to a startup conference, it’s not uncommon to have swapped business cards with more than 30 or 50 entrepreneurs. This means a lot of emails to go through. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting interesting companies and am often blown away by the vision and foresight of many startup founders. But I have to admit, it’s hard to remember all companies I’ve met and heard pitches from.

So is there a secret to landing a meeting with a VC?

Well, it’s not a secret but something that’s super simple — make sure you are referred to us by someone we know and trust.

Think about it. When you have more emails than you will have time to respond to — which one’s do you prioritise? The one’s from people you trust and have long-standing relationships with. In my case it’s usually either founders/employees of companies we’ve invested in, other investors we usually do syndicated deals with, business angels we discuss deals with or even founders we haven’t invested in but have a good relationship with.

So how do you do it if you don’t know which relationships matter? Here’s where social media is your friend. The easiest way is to use basic tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You’ll easily see if there’s any overlap among the contacts (which there should be — otherwise hustle more!☺) If we have someone in common, ask that person if they¹re comfortable sending an intro. Or get to know someone you know we trust and work with, such as the people in our portfolio companies. If the portfolio companies like what you do and can genuinely take the time from their busy schedule to learn about it, so can we.

Simple! I should say that this is not the only (or necessarily best) way to land that meeting you want. Only that it’s a good way to increase the likelihood.

Let me know your thoughts around this topic and if you have another trick, please get in touch!

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