VC firms are a great way to help launch and finance your startup. If you are unsure about how to approach a VC firm, here are a few tips:
1) Find a connection/advocate
The best way to create initial contact with a VC firm is by getting an introduction. You can get referred by an entrepreneurship program such as ProMontreal Entrepreneurs, or simply be introduced by a friend or colleague.
2) Never send in your business plan
The VC firm will not read your 40-page business plan over email. Instead, once you’ve secured a meeting bring your pitch deck to the firm. If they want to know more about your business, that’s when bring out the business plan.
3) Don’t cold call, especially if you’re not ready
If you cold call a VC firm without having been introduced, you run the chances of a) not getting your call returned and b) your chances of getting a deal are close to zero. Furthermore, don’t rush to approach a VC: make sure you are ready. If your start-up is not ready and you make contact with the VC firm, you have missed your opportunity of the first impression and possibly ruined your chances of making a deal with this firm. Remember VC firms, get pitch ALL the time. Make your chance count!
4) Do your research
Yes, this point seems to appear in every single blog post, but research is important. Research the firm itself, to find out the services they offer and to make sure your start-up would be of interest to them. Furthermore, talk to companies that have already been financed by that firm in order to see what kind of experience they have had. Don’t blindly accept the first deal that comes your way. Make sure that the VC firm you approach has the connections you need to make your start-up grow.