For the last two weeks I have been talking with a particular venture capitalist seeking funding for a new project. It’s my first time doing so and I’m learning a bit as I go. As you may or may not know, it’s quite difficult to get in front of a venture capital partner with access to a $225 million fund. In this particular instance, this VC hears so many pitches every day, week and month it’s ridiculous and given the fact that his fund only makes 12 investments per year, the odds of getting funding from him are pretty astronomical.
We’d been exchanging emails for the past couple of weeks and I was doing everything I could to actually get some face time with him. I’ll show you that email exchange looked like later in this post for your inspiration. When I did finally catch up with him in person I learned quite a bit about how his screening process actually works. He told me that out of the thousands of good ideas he hears, he tries to weed through them within 60 seconds to determine whether or not it’s an idea that is part of the top 100 that his firm will consider seriously.
I didn’t walk away from the conversation with a funding offer, but I did walk away feeling pretty good. I realized that my product wasn’t a great fit for his firm (as I had originally thought) and I realized that that was okay. I didn’t expect the first person I talked to to fund me right on the spot. Nothing about being an entrepreneur is easy, especially the first time around (I have bootstrapped 2 previous companies but have never gone after actual funding). What I did walk away with was a greater knowledge of what I need to do next and a valuable offer from the VC to make some important introductions elsewhere.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to see through barriers. So many menacing problems you face will turn out to be mere illusions when you actually test them for weaknesses. When something seems impossible, you’ve got to press on. Especially when talking to investors. They aren’t just investing in your idea. They are investing in you and you’ve got to show them that you can solve problems with creativity and persistence. Take things one at a time. Little successes can ...