February 19, 2016

How and Where to Find Investors for Your Startup


If you have decided that you can’t go it alone and that you need investors for your new startup, then you might think your next step is to find those investors you need.

But you can’t just walk up to people, tell them that you are starting a business, and ask for their hard-earned money. You need to have a plan in place that will demonstrate to potential investors exactly what your business is all about and how they are going to make money.

Once you have a plan, then you can start looking for the right investors. Here are some tips that will help craft a great pitch and find the right investors.

Tools You Can Use to Start Building Your Business

As you’re crafting your pitch, you may need some tools to aid in establishing a strong presence for your business. Here are a few you may want to look into:

– Logo Maker can help you craft a great logo for your startup, which will lend an air of professionalism to your pitch.

– Peek lets you test the usability of your site or app. You can use feedback from Peek to craft a more user-friendly site or app before asking for investors’ money.

– BugHerd collects information on bugs in your website. That way, you can make sure everything is up to snuff before approaching investors.

– Wix is, of course, a great place to start building your website, if you don’t have one yet.

Creating Your Pitch

After you’ve built a bit of a presence for your business, you need to craft a pitch. Some things your pitch should include or cover:

  1. Summary Slides: You should have one or two preliminary slides that show what your business is all about. These will summarize your story. Make sure that these slides include the main points that you will be presenting during your pitch.
  2. Your Niche Market: Your product or service needs to solve a problem for people. You need to highlight that problem and explain why there is a need for new innovations in that particular area.
  3. Your Product: You need to present your product or service and show the potential investors why you have the best solution for the problem your product or service deals with. This is where you get to shine, because this part of the pitch is all about you. This is also your opportunity to really drive home how great your product or service is.
  4. Financial Forecast: It is a given that your numbers are going to change. The projection you are using for your pitch is just that – a projection. But it still needs to be as accurate as possible. You need to be able to show potential investors that you can deliver and that they are going to see a return on their investment.

Finding Investors

FogOnce you have created your pitch, it is time to start looking for potential investors to whom you can deliver it. There are several ways you can go about doing this:

  1. Networking Groups: A great way to meet investors, contributors, and others is to get involved with networking groups. For instance, groups like TechCombustion and Technori often host events for tech entrepreneurs. Not only are you going to have the opportunity to meet possible investors at such events, but you will also be meeting many others who can help you with your startup in numerous other ways.
  2. Incubator Programs: You can use these programs for short-term growth opportunities and to scale your business. You will receive mentoring at all stages of funding. Keep in mind, however, that you have to apply to and be accepted by these groups. But, fear not: If yours is an amazing idea, you are bound to find an investor who is perfect for your business. Programs to check out include Techstars, Y Combinator, and Capital Factory.
  3. Angel Investors: Another option is to get involved with angel networks, such as Silverton Partners or Austin Ventures. There are application processes, of course, and you shouldn’t be disappointed if you don’t get the funding. There are thousands of others looking for those same investors, who can only spread their wealth so far. But, it doesn’t mean that you can’t try.

Entrepreneurs can look for funding in all sorts of places. It’s just a matter of finding the option that’s right for you and wowing them with a great pitch.

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Jane Hurst is a freelance writer from San Francisco. Follow Jane on Twitter (@janehurst26) and Linkedin!