TRC 007: 10 Tips for winning over angel investorsApr 13, 2023
Read time: 5 Minutes
I have been investing in early stage startups for 10 years.
I see somewhere in the region of 20-30 decks, founder outreach or pitches most weeks of the year.
I have also advised hundreds of founders on getting investment ready.
Here are 10 of the most simple, regular pieces of advice that I find myself giving to founders:
1. Make your pitch deck titles memorable:
Instead of generic titles like "Problem," use engaging, specific titles that convey the core message you want investors to remember.
Narrative titles that explain things in this way, make it easier to understand the business by quickly scanning the deck.
Generic titles means you are making an investor work harder in hunting out what the take-away from the slide might be.
2. Keep your pitch concise:
Investors appreciate brevity. Limit your deck to max 15 slides.
This should always be enough to get across what you need to communicate to get get the conversation going.
This demonstrates focus and clarity in your vision and is, for investors, a great proxy for how you will communicate with potential customers, employees and partners.
3. Outline your goals:
Clearly state what you aim to achieve with the funding, not just how you'll spend it.
Show investors the impact their investment will have on your company's growth and potential success.
This will give them a good idea of whether your goal will unlock either your next round of funding or positive cashflow.
4. Be prepared with financials:
Whilst there is often debate about whether they are required in a deck, it is highly likely you be asked about your numbers.
At least to give a guide of the scale of your ambition.
It will serve you to have a well-structured financial model that shows that you understand the numbers involved.
5. Warm intros matter:
Experienced investors already get good deal-flow through their network.
Leverage whatever network you have (typically on LinkedIn) to get an introduction.
It’s also a good signal for investors about how you might hustle to get early sales.
6. Understand angel motivations:
Angels don't always invest solely for financial gain.
Identify what else motivates them, such as industry expertise, mentorship, or personal passion.
You can sometimes hunt them out on Linkedin or podcasts where they talk about how and why they invest.
7. Research before you reach out:
You should have a clear reason for everybody to be on your potential list.
If you don’t, they will likely feel it when you reach out.
Public sources of information like Companies House in the UK are often underutilised.
8. Be patient:
Fundraising takes time, and conversion rates can be low.
Be prepared for this journey and stay persistent.
If you imagine anything less than 6 months (and possibly longer) you are likely to be disappointed.
The more you prepared you are before you start (investor research, path mapping for warm intros, financial models, due diligence information etc) the more likely you to be able to compress the timescales.
9. Prepare data room materials in advance:
Before fundraising, assemble all essential data room materials to answer common questions investors may have.
Snappy, thorough answers build confidence and can help you close faster.
10. Follow up and stay connected:
After pitching, follow up promptly and maintain communication as your raise progresses.
Keeping investors in the loop helps build trust and strengthens relationships, increasing your chances of success.
You never know the metric or piece of news that might tip people from a no to a yes.
I hope that helps
- Make your pitch deck titles memorable
- Keep your pitch concise
- Outline your goals
- Be prepared with financials
- Warm intros matter
- Understand angel investor motivations
- Research before you reach out
- Be patient
- Prepare data room materials in advance
- Follow up and stay connected
Whenever you're ready...
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