And if you can’t: how to get the most out of cold intros
OK, so you have has created a comprehensive list of investors you want to talk to. How on earth do you come across them?
A vanishingly small number of investors will look at every pitch – GoAhead ventures is one such company. However, for most VCs, you need to get your foot in the door to be heard.
Many investors prefer and insist on hot introductions. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for doing research here: Check out your target company’s LinkedIn page, then click “People.” Here you will see your 1st and 2nd degree connections to everyone in the company. If you happen to have a first-degree connection, it could mean that they met you and would remember you, or that you somehow got their attention and now have the option to reach them through a message, post, or email. -mail. If not, it’s time to mine those second-degree connections.
A second-degree connection is when you and the investor you want to talk to have someone in common. If that person is part of one of the company’s portfolio companies, you’ve got payroll mess: Investors prefer introductions from people they’ve already supported. If you think about that for more than 20 seconds, you’ll realize this is problematic, but we’re here to put you in front of an investor, not solve that particular problem.
In the remainder of this article, we’ll discuss the art of the warm intro, and how to take matters into your own hands with cold outreach when needed.
How to set up a warm introduction
Once you’ve determined who can introduce you, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Contact your mutual acquaintance and ask how strong their bond is with the investor. At this point, it’s not a bad idea to ask if there are any other investors you should talk to.
Engage this person and politely ask if he or she can introduce you to the investor you are targeting or someone else who might be suitable. Once this person agrees to introduce you, give them the following information: