How to Get Noticed by VCs – 3 Tips for Founders

Blog, Trind Insights

In this blog post, Iryna Krepchuk shares three tips for founders on how to get noticed by investors.

Before I get into the chances of getting an investment, let me talk about your chances of even getting noticed (especially if you are at a very early stage).

When I was applying for a job at a VC, I spent a while knocking on every door without understanding why I might be a fit for that particular fund. Now, I see similar behavior from startup founders who spend little time figuring out whether or not they are the right fit for the fund. It sucks to be rejected and, even worse, to be ghosted, but the chances of you hearing back from investors if your case is completely out of scope are minimal. To give you an example, there is little chance I will get back to your biotech and quantum startup if we only do consumer tech, marketplaces, and consumerized B2Bs, but if I see you are at the right stage, focus, and geography – I am all ears.

Here’s my sales background talking. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-written cold email/message. It depends on the fund, of course, but we look at every single email that hits our inbox, and oh boy, how easy it is to spot a message that is specifically tailored to me/our fund. The purpose of the email is to get the reader’s attention so that the conversation can continue later. In my perfect world, cold emails should be a) relevant, b) informative, and c) relatively short. You can always mention something like “Hey, we haven’t had a chance to meet, but I think XYZ might be relevant to your fund because of ABC”. Fun fact: We have actually invested in a few companies that came purely from cold outreach, so not having access to warm introductions does not mean you are doomed.

I have a good friend who is a first-time founder, and she does not have much experience raising money. When I asked her what she’d done so far, she replied “polishing the idea in my head”. But being in your head not only does not help you iterate, it also does not help you get noticed. Talking about your startup, answering questions, and getting feedback will help you better understand what problem you are trying to solve and eventually give other people a chance to talk about you to other founders, business angels, and VCs. The entrepreneurial world is built on networking, so presenting yourself and being visible will increase your chances of meeting the right partner.

Of course, there are many other things that could be done, but in my humble opinion, even doing these three things could make you stand out.

Target the Right VC

Go on the fund’s website, check their investment focus, stage, average ticket, and other portfolio companies, and only then decide whether it is worth reaching out in the first place or not.

Master Cold Outreach

You don’t always need a warm intro. It’s incredible how much well-written cold messages stand out from the crowd. Remember quality outreach gives better results than quantity.

Be Visible

Building an online presence, attending pitching events and demo days, and even simply talking about your startup with people can draw the attention of the relevant investors. Let the world know you exist.

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