(Editor’s note: Elliott Hauser is CEO of Trinket, an education technology startup in Durham helping instructors and teachers get their course materials online. His report on how connecting investors with founders they want to meet is a “win-win-win” is part of the news partnership between WRALTechWire and ExitEvent.)
DURHAM, N.C. – As a CEO, the three things you must do well are: set the overall strategy and vision of the company, hire the best team and make sure there’s enough money in the bank, according to Union Square Ventures investor Fred Wilson. This post is about building the relationships you’ll need to raise money when you need it.
To build a relationship, give first
It’s easy to get caught up thinking you’re trying to get something from an investor. This is a trap. My test of a good investor is whether they add value in the first meeting though their questions, analysis or advice. So why not return the favor? Find out what – or who – investors are looking for when you meet them and then keep an ear out. It’s that easy.
I learned this partially through example: Local founders have been a huge source of intros to angels and VCs for us. Local CEOs like James Avery of Adzerk, Anil Chawla of ArchiveSocial, and Taylor Mingos of Shoeboxed have all opened up their networks to help me get meetings with investors they know. Now that my network is expanding, I’ve been able to help promising young CEOs I meet get meetings as well.
The full story can be read online at ExitEvent.