I, like many active angel investors, receive several meeting requests a day from companies looking for angel funding. As I
was going through my inbox today, I started thinking about what separates the best meeting requests from the rest of the pack.
- Did they email me cold or come through a referral? I always prioritize warm intros. I’m a pretty public and well-connected person, so it is relatively easy to find a warm intro to me, and finding a warm intro, shows an entrepreneur’s tenacity and resourcefulness.
- Who is the referral source? I consider the track record of the referral source and will be much more likely to respond to referrals from investors who only refer companies they’ve invested in or spent time with, people I know well and/or people who have been particular supportive and helpful to me in the past.
- Did the entrepreneur do their homework on me? I’m much more likely to meet with an entrepreneur who has taken the time to research the types of companies I typically invest in.
- Am I interested in what the company does? Did they clearly communicate the company’s 30-second elevator pitch and is it something I am interested in?
- What is their traction? Are they in the idea phase or have they proven their market validity through revenue, strategic partnerships, purchase orders, etc.?
- Do I see potential in the team? Do they have a track record and/or industry experience? If not, are they scrappy and extraordinarily creative?
- Who else is involved? Have they convinced other smart investors, accelerators or advisors to invest time or money in their company?
- Can I answer these questions from a quick read of their email? Including this information in an easy-to-read short blurb shows respect for my time and experience in working with angel investors.
- Did they include possible dates and times, so I can set the meeting with one email response? The less back and forth, the better.
Here’s a warm intro that recently got me a meeting for MergeLane:
I hope you are well. Are you open to an intro to Elizabeth Kraus? I recently invested in her accelerator and thought you might be interested in speaking with her. She asked me to send along this note to you. Just let me know if you’d like to be connected.
Thanks and looking forward to seeing you next week – Bob
My name is Elizabeth Kraus and I am an active angel investor and the co-founder of MergeLane, an accelerator for high-growth women-led startups. MergeLane is out to prove that investing in women is not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Our inaugural class started in February and we’ve been more than pleased with the companies we’ve accepted and the overwhelming support we’ve seen from our startup community. Some of our investors and mentors include people like Kat Cole, the former President of Cinnabon, Jane Miller, a former President at Heinz, and all of the Foundry Group venture capital firm partners.
We are looking for a few additional high-value investors to add to our network and I came across your profile on AngelList. It looks like you have an interest in women-led companies, and we currently have three consumer internet-related companies in our cohort (Sugarwish, Havenly, TomboyX).
Would you be open to a quick phone call? I am available between noon and 3pm PST every day this week. Just let me know if you’d like to connect and which number I should reach you on.
Looking forward to connecting,