Networking is what allows businesses, especially small businesses that are trying to make sales and find vendors, succeed. When you have a strong network, you’re able to secure funding and deals you would otherwise miss. A startup matching platform or investor platform can help you forge these connections.
Startup investing is all about meeting the right people, but where do you even begin to find investors?
Everyone has a network even if they don’t realize it. All founders should leverage their network of friends, old classmates, colleagues, and even family members to raise money. The one issue, when dealing with family, is that you have a close relationship with these individuals.
Experts recommend being open and honest with investors, especially when they’re family.
There’s a good chance your startup will fail — most do — so it can be difficult to take your parent’s life savings and end up losing it all. Be honest with your network, particularly you’re leveraging family members, and explain that they may not earn a return on their investment.
Using a startup matching platform eliminates a lot of hard work when trying to find investors. You’ll be connected to people interested in startup investing, but you need to remember a few things:
Take your time, write up a pitch, and remember that you have to sell your idea to these individuals or companies interested in your business.
Are you attending industry events? Conferences and events are going to help you demonstrate and promote your product or service to the world. Going to these events and connecting with others is key if you want to secure funding.
When you attend events, be sure to bring along:
You’ll want to connect with everyone you can, from competitors to potential investors. The key is to be social. If you’re an introvert, being social can be very difficult. If the founders are not social, bring team members along that can help stir up conversations and help with the networking process.
Of course, when you go back to the office, be sure to add these contacts to your social accounts, email them, and keep the relationship going.
Social media is one of the easiest ways to connect with people from the head of a Fortune 500 company to the head of lending. The idea is to introduce yourself to social media. Like, comment and show a general interest in the person and the business.
As these investors follow you, be sure to use storytelling in your posts to entice your followers to learn more about your business.
And when you’re finally looking to secure funding, don’t be afraid to post about it on social media and other platforms. One of the key mistakes startups make is failing to broadcast their need for investors to their network.
Schools have a lot of contacts and can help you build a network rapidly. Some schools will invest in startup projects of their students. A lot of the world’s most successful startups were from founders who met at business school, including:
Whether you’re attending school, looking for talent, or are a graduate, go to business school networking events and events for alumni. Chances are, you’ll build your professional network and find investors, too.
Speaking of schools, one of the best opportunities to find an investor platform is to join an accelerator program. You’ll find a variety of different programs, including:
When you work with an accelerator, you’ll be pushing your business forward with a quick program that typically lasts three months. The program is designed to help you build your product and achieve rapid growth. When you “graduate,” you’ll go through a demonstration phase where investors may see your business and want to invest.
The accelerator may invest in your business for equity.
Some of the world’s largest companies grew from these programs, including Airbnb, Twitch, Stripe, Instacart, and many others.
If you build a strong product or service that can fill a void in a niche, the next step is to find investors that will help you propel your growth forward.