Andrew Warner is founder of Mixergy, which runs a popular series of technology networking events in Los Angeles. Andrew has recently been interviewing interesting entrepreneurs and thought leaders, and recently interviewed Adeo Ressi, founder of Silicon Valley's TheFunded.com, a site which allows startup to talk about their investors. Andrew's given us permission to cross post his interviews here.
Adeo Ressi is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of TheFunded.com, an exclusive web site where startups talk about investors and help each other get funding. In my interview, I asked him to teach us how to get funding. Here’s some of what I learned:
Identify bad investors early
Adeo told me stories of investors who made his life miserable when he ran his past companies. One demanded so much information that he couldn’t comply and run his company at the same time. Another kept him from selling his company at what he considered a fair price. He built TheFunded.com to help entrepreneurs alert each other to bad investors and identify the good ones.
Narrow your list of potential investors
Not everyone with money is a good fit for your company. As you might have heard at past Mixergy Forums or interviews, you need to put together a list of investors who really are a good fit for your company. Once you have that list, Adeo says get to know them BEFORE you want their money.
Do some “throwaway” pitches
Adeo recommends you pitch to a few investors who you do NOT plan to do business with. Do it for practice.
Quit trying to close the deal by email
Because he introduces entrepreneurs to investors, he’s often CC’d on many of the emails that startups send prospective investors. He says that too many entrepreneurs flood investors with attatchments and details in an email. Instead of trying to close the deal, your goal should be to spend more time with the investor.
Don’t pitch local investors first
Many startups pitch their nearest venture capitalists first. Then, when they get turned down, they head to Sillicon Valley and pitch there. Adeo says this path means local investors hear the practice pitches while Valley investors get the improved ones. If you want to stand out, practice with outside investors and bring your A game to local investors.Download the full podcast here.