by Martijn Lentz
A good pitch attracts investors’ interest, but getting your story right requires practice and learning from each comment. Meetings and networking events, like Amsterdam Capital Week's Capital Tour Xclusive event (25 September 2018), are a good place to test and tweak your story.
Making contact with investors is a process of trial and error. You can make a good start by following the next steps.
- Learn the basic steps: get a basic understanding about startup funding.
- Know what you want: Funding isn’t your only concern, but it is an important element when doing business. So be sure you know what you want from an investor.
- Show you exist: Make sure you can be found. Build a brand, create a recognisable logo, promote your website…. And more importantly, go out there and present yourself with a good pitch. There are numerous networking events for startups and investors. If you talk to someone and the reaction is: “Hey, I’ve heard that name before”, you are doing well.
- Make a list: You should have a list of potential investors in your company. For Dutch-based startups: you can find active investors checking out the websites of the NVP or BANN, or checking out StartupDelta's Startup Finder. Not all investors match your startup, so be sure to filter for startup phase, investment amount, sector and region.
- Practice what you preach: Get out there and talk to as many people as you can. Use meetings at networking events to test your story, practice your pitch and listen to reactions. Don’t take it personally if an investor reacts with ‘this is not for me’. Most investors have a narrow investment scope, so often there’s not enough coherence between their scope and your proposition.
- The top-10: Once you get the hang of it, you can carefully start contacting your dream investors. Work the top-10 of your list from the bottom to the top. Maybe you have met them before and they remember you.
Martijn Lentz is a KVK Entrepreneurial Financing Expert. During Amsterdam Capital Week 2018, he will post a short daily blog on ‘How to raise capital in five days’. Do you have any questions? Contact KVK’s Startup Information Desk 00 31 88 5852222, or e-mail email@example.com. You can find Dutch info on KVK.nl/startups.