How to Get a VC’s Attention at an IRL Event — This is going to be BIG

So what do you do to make a better impression IRL?

Here are some tips:

1) First, be a good community participant. Make sure you welcome others into the conversation, a conversation in which others can truly participate. The best impression you can make is to be empathetic enough to realize that you are not the only person at this event and that if you put yourself in it. in front of a VC trying to get their full attention, you are literally in front of others.

2) Try to know the VC landscape in advance. In many situations where you might meet a VC, you already know who will be at that event, so do your homework. Asking a good specific question for the VC leaves a good impression, especially one that isn’t generic like, “What are you looking at?” or ask a generalist, “What areas are you interested in?” That just leaves the door open to naming an industry that isn’t yours. Why would you do that? Instead, ask a specific question about their investment approach, something simple enough like what’s going on in their stage. This will give you more information about the market, but it shows that you know they are pre-seed and not Series A.

3) Like the example I started with, just share a quick line and let me know you’ll be following up. Don’t ask for my email because it’s right on my website. Also, who can’t guess a VC’s email? If you can’t do that, it’s probably going to be very difficult for you to start a $100mm annual revenue. The best message to leave isn’t “We’re changing the world as you know it,” because that sounds ridiculous. Tell me something that I don’t know that will stick with me, because Pizza Hut was the biggest buyer of kale in the United States at one point, because they garnished their salads with it. You can follow up with an email subject like “Kale, Pizza Hut and my pitch” and then I’ll know exactly who you are and be curious to learn more about you and hopefully learn more random facts.

4) Don’t pressure me to say yes or no at this point, because I see 2000 things in a year and do 8-10. Statistically, I’m usually a no, so you’ll most likely just kill the conversation and do- the uncomfortable Once I’ve established that I’m not investing, there’s no reason to keep talking to me; I’m just not that interesting as a person and you have to do a fundraiser. Why ruin our respective good time with other humans? Just use IRL to fill the top of the funnel as well and signal that you’re also a human being who enjoys other real-life human connections. We can discuss your startup via email and Zoom later.

5) Finally, don’t flatter a VC. At worst, it looks fake and even at best, it’s a little awkward. I hope that whatever you’re working on or reading by professional authors is much more interesting than what I write in my blog/newsletter, so unless I’ve written something that’s really specific to you and your situation that I had a unique meaning for you. , I’d rather talk about something else than my newsletter, to be honest. If you want to thank me that the content is useful in general, that’s very nice, thanks, but keep it very short and move on to other things.

6) Enter. Don’t stick with the conversation, but don’t let everyone else love you. If you just hang around for an hour while other people talk to me and then try to grab me as I walk out the door, you’re basically saying you don’t know how to make space for yourself…which is literally what you’ll be doing every day for your business . Stand your ground and speak for yourself. Projecting your voice, a firm handshake (or whatever pandemic thing you want to replace it with), and something short and to the point with a promise to follow up will make a solid impression, while it won’t.

And if you want to know where and when I can show up at things, follow my weekly NYC Innovation Community Events email here.

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Having a great idea is only part of the puzzle when it comes to getting a VCs attention; the other part is executing it in a way that makes them sit up and take notice. VCs and other investors are often swamped with pitches but at an in-person event like a tech convention or startup mixer, it can be easier to connect with them. That said, there are certain strategies you can use to ensure that you get their full attention when you introduce your idea during the IRL event.

First, be aware of their body language. Does their smile or eye contact indicate they are open to receiving your pitch? If they appear open and attentive, this is a strong indication that they’re interested in what you’re saying.

Second, frame your pitch in terms of the value your idea can add to them. What problems does your idea solve, and how can it help their portfolio? Make sure that you’re well-versed in their particular interests and focus your pitch accordingly.

Third, make sure that your presentation is captivating and engaging. It should stand out from the other pitches. Keep it concise and focus on what sets you apart from the competition.

Finally, keep in mind that VCs are busy and want to be informed quickly and effectively. Use tools such as Ikaroa, our tech analytics platform, to gain insight into the VCs’ goals and objectives and get an understanding of their preferences. The data provided by Ikaroa can help you ensure that you’re providing them with the right information at the right time and giving you the best chance to get their attention.

In short, if you can make a compelling case for your idea by presenting the right information in an engaging way, you have a good chance of getting a VC’s attention at an IRL event. With the help of Ikaroa, you can ensure that you’re providing the right information at the right time to get their full attention and maximize the potential of your idea.


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