August 15, 2008

Networking

I have recently had a lot of fun researching the best way to get in front of any equity investor. This post is a list of some of the creative ideas I have seen. Additionally It provides some general council.

First off let me say that if you are looking for an equity investment, don’t automatically assume you have to go to some institutional fund or firm. Look at it as a networking opportunity. Likely hood is that your investment will come from someone you know or a friend of someone you know. Guy Kawasaki says if it is more than 2 connections away you probably have as good a chance going direct.

Here are some key individuals I would think about that could refer you to the right kind of money.

1. An accountant that has dealt in equity deals.

2. If you know a lawyer that puts equity deals together, get him/her to refer you.

3. If you have a friend that has raised equity, tap his network.

4. If you were an extraordinary performer in college and it hasn’t been to long, get a professor to refer you.

More generally I have found that two actions in particular are consistent with raising money.

1.  Hang around the arena of individuals and events that are consistent with entrepreneur ism.  Don’t be a groupie, but be a professional participant in your communities entrepreneurial events and try to be places that investors might be also.

2.  Be an advice seeker.  Seek professional advice in all the avenues that were outlined in the beginning.  Everybody you know that is well connected should see your plan and give you some feedback on it, after you have the feedback, see if they no anybody who might be interested in the deal from a funding perspective.  If the plan and everything is compelling, you probably won’t even have to ask, they will just volunteer the information.

Well I hope this helps, It may seem to simple but the fundamentals if consistently followed almost always produce results.  If you take issue with that, ask any professional athlete what is most important on game. day.