Do you remember Waldo? Wasn’t challenging to find his red-and-white-striped shirt, bobble hat, and glasses hidden in the middle of a crowd at first? However, once you had spotted him the first time, it became easier to do so in the next illustrations. The same thing happens with investors: Where are they? How can you identify them? Are they in different scenarios?
To launch a startup, or to make it grow, economic support is eventually needed. As we all know, it’s not always easy to find investors. The good news is that, as it happens with Waldo, once you have found them the first time, it becomes easier. We hope the following steps will help you to learn where to look for investors and how to identify them:
1 – Try to get connections from your friends and family
Most likely your first investor will not be a wolf of Wall Street but your uncle Jamie, who believes in you. He might provide the support you need to get things started. This can sound silly, but try this option first. You will be surprised by the response of your own people.
2 – Work on your NETwork!
Keep in touch with your classmates from college or high school, your old peers and current coworkers. They are a great source of added value: They know you, they can refer you to someone else, or they may become investors themselves. Also they can link you to a potential investor.
3 – Do research:
There is a ton of information on the Internet, but there are two places that you might want to visit when hunting for investors:
- ChrunchBase.com: Is the world’s most comprehensive dataset of startup activity and it’s accessible to everyone! Usually, investors are “reoffenders”, meaning that they always want to invest in the same type of company ;). You can have the names of those who invested on a company similar to yours, then get their contact information and try to reach out to them.
- Other companies’ public information: Find out who your competitors are and learn about other companies with your same target. Find out how they started, who is investing in them and who their clients are. That could help you find new contacts and make your business grow.
4 – Be present in every event you can
There are many events where you can find investors and some of them are really affordable. You only need to prepare a genuine and unique presentation about what you do. The Tech Day is an excellent example of an international event you need to attend to if you are running a startup on the digital market. You can also find a variety of events related to your field at Meet Up.
5 – Get support from foundations or win prices
Sometimes we fail to realize that our idea could be good enough to deserve a prize or the support of a foundation. Look for the opportunities offered by foundations, companies, or other institutions (like a Chamber of Commerce) that are open to startups and try your luck! These practices can put you on the right track to find investors for your startup. They will provide the economic support you need to develop your project. Remember, you still need to tailor your pitch to each potential investor (please find more information on the topic "Pitching for Investors").
To conclude, a final tip! Keep reminding people about what you do, do not be afraid to ask for support and don’t give up until a definitive “no”.