Talking with Venture Capital

So I don’t know how many of you read my 6 random things post, but in it I mentioned that I sent T!’s executive summary to a venture capital firm.  I knew that a cold e-mail, without an introduction or personal connection, was probably the worst way to send a plan.  But we did not know anybody and had not yet met any of their members, so I wrote a specific e-mail to someone at the firm who shared my alma mater.  Steeling myself for inevitable rejection (the chances of receiving venture capital are something like 1%), I wrote then that “I hold out hope that they will at least take the time to read my e-mail and determine that our idea at least warrants reading our summary.”

Well, they did read our e-mail, and our summary.  In fact, I received a response from this fellow alum in the middle of that very night.  That person passed the summary to an analyst at the firm to read. This was our first VC submission, and we chose this firm in particular because of their business model.  They focus on early stage companies and invest smaller amounts of money than traditional venture capital firms.  And today, I heard back from the analyst. We have scheduled a phone call. This is a small step, but I am both thankful and excited.

Each step brings us closer to our goal of finding funding for our company.  But whether we eventually score funding or not, each step also brings us valuable experience.  Every phone call and business meeting gives us a little more comfort, a little more familiarity with the fundraising process.  It also gives us some feedback on our ideas and our plan, and another chance to assess how we are presenting it and to see how others respond to it.  And with each step we build confidence, which in turn increases our chances of convincing others that we are worthy of their consideration and possibly their funding.

Husband and I and our team want to make it to the goal so badly.  But whether we make it there or not, it’s already become apparent to me that both Husband and I have gained lots of valuable experience and skills from our work on this company.  All the time, I’m feeling more comfortable pitching myself or our business to complete strangers.  And it’s spilling over into other areas.  I’m finding it easier to pitch myself as a skating coach, tutor, or babysitter.  I’m more organized and I know where to start when I want to find new clients.  Husband is receiving tons of positive feedback as he looks for more consulting gigs.  And just last week I was chilling with some friends and we decided to start a small tutoring agency.  Now I’m a founder, too!


5 thoughts on “Talking with Venture Capital

  1. Thanks! I am uncharacteristically proud and confident. And I am learning a ton – in only 7 months so far. By the way, LinkedIn rocks. I think it’s more effective in business than academia, but it can be really useful.

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