Efficient and less efficient investor-search methods in Silicon Valley
We have been here in the Valley for more than a month and are moving on the San Francisco — San Jose railway line. I feel lucky about the situation, that our location is the best: we are between Palo Alto and Mountain View. The cities come together here, so it’s hard to tell where is the beginning of a settlement and where it’s over. From here to San Francisco, you can hardly see a section where there would be no houses.
The big challenge, of course, which one is more worth visiting and which is not.
Because there is not much to be learned from the pre-registration description, there is no other way to learn more about en event, except go and test them one by one. We are trying to go to most of these events and build up the list of events that we will be presenting for next month.
The question is, should you pitch?
Based on my experience so far it is not necessary. We were already on a program where careful selection was preceded by organizers who could get out on the stage. At the end of most of the events, investors are listening to startups carefully, then after a business card exchange, we are shaking hands with a “look for each other”, then close networking.
This is not to say that if you are looking for investment, do not pay relatively expensive pitching registration fees. It is simply there is an economically more efficient way to connect with an investor. Beyond the pitch, it certainly strengthens the argument that more people can hear at once, everyone is watching you, and so on. You never know who’s going to come to you or what’s coming out of it. No matter what, we were at few events, where we had the same chances to talk to investors as those who performed.
Of course, the golden rule is that you have the greatest chance to get funding is being personally presented to the investor.
There are other things you can do to find investors, but some tips are weird. For example, it is not uncommon for investors to be hunted by startups in front of a restaurant or even at their own house. This is a bit wild solution (but I am sure there are few cases when it is succeeded).
Suddenly, the scene came to my mind from the Silicon Valley series, when Richard Hendricks himself abducted a VC (a venture capital investor), fooling himself into an Uber driver, to push him down there. The reality is that it is not stupid to drive Uber / Lyft in the valley if you have a startup, because you have enough time to ask what your passenger is doing and if the investor would help with pitched advice (it always comes in, never ask for money for the destructive loop).
Meetup — Eventbrite events (a large overlap between the two systems) I definitely recommend:
VIP Investor Dinner and Demo Showcase — Werqwise at Decipher Capital149 New Montgomery, 4th floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
There were no real hype around it, but was so effective. 3–4 startups came forward, followed by a reception. Meanwhile, the 15 investors talked to each of the 15 startups presented. We knew exactly where to go and who would invest just over $3 million in A-round (he could only be interested later).
PitchForce — San Franciso, but Palto Alto also hold such gatherings.
More info here, but the point is that if you’re pitching here investors are watching you.
Pitch Global — The whole valley is full of events
there are pitching and netwörking options at different locations every two days. If you didn’t know about them, there is no way that you won’t go into an event they organize. Here, however, you need to know which organization is right for you: the scale is wide and varied: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/pitch-global-14550045321
I hope I can help you, but if you have more questions, you know where we are. :-)
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