Over 627,000 companies are launched per year while over 595,000 close per year. As an investor it’s important to look for the outliers that won’t fail and for operators that can protect your investment.
Before getting the opportunity to find the companies that might be a fit to invest in it’s important to find dealflow to review and examine which companies have the most investment opportunity. We’ve assembled 4 important strategies to help find potential deals based on our industry experience that could work for angel investors or venture capitalist firms.
Strategy 1: Attend curated events
In most major cities around the US, and the world, there’s usually an event happening for something involved with startups. The challenge is to find events that bring you value, have quality entrepreneurs attending these events and having the time to attend all of these events. A good way to filter the events to attend is by putting on your investors lens and completing the following:
- Search meetup, Facebook events and Eventbrite for events
- When you find a list of events you want to attend do the following:
- Search the attendee list and look up the companies attending
- Search the history of the event to see if any quality companies have attended
- Search for the event organizer and their background
- A hack to help you save time is doing research before and even messaging the attendees you want to connect with. If these attendees have a quality company you could setup a separate meeting or find out more information from them before you attend the event.
Strategy 2: Social Media and Trend Watching
One of the best places to find trending products is online. Product Managers, Developers, Designers and more share their favorite products online. By setting up notifications on Google trends, following hashtags on Twitter and following key trend makers you’ll be ahead of the curve. When a company is getting news and press in its early days contacting them early on will allow you to open the door to invest in seed and series A rounds.
Another great place to find deals online is Linkedin and AngelList. Linkedin is becoming a great platform for companies to announce their product launches and search for new users. AngelList is built for investors to find companies but it can be full of competition. A way to get around the competition is search for companies by the industry and by when the company has joined AngelList. This allows you to bookmark and follow new companies before other investors even know these companies exist.
Strategy 3: Setup pre-screened office hours
Startup founders are constantly looking for two things; expert advice and funding. By setting up office hours you’ll be able to meet with startup founders that are a fit for your investment. A way to ensure you’re not wasting your time would be to ask for founders to fill out a form asking some of the following questions found below. If they don’t meet your criteria you can ask them to hit certain milestones before the meeting or let them know that they aren’t a fit for what you’re looking to invest in.
Questions to ask founders:
- When did you start working on this idea?
- Give a short project description?
- What problem does this idea solve?
- What is the total addressable market?
- How much funding would this idea need in order to break even?
- Why are you the person to succeed with this idea?
Strategy 4: Build a deal flow team
One of the most important strategies is the one that takes the smallest amount of time for you as an investor. Building a deal flow team is as simple as tapping into your network and using your personality to meet people to introduce you to potential companies to invest in. Here are some of the people you should look for introductions:
- Startup lawyers
- Angel investor networks
- Leaders or owners of development firms
- Leaders or owners of design studios
- Managers or owners of coworking spaces
The tips we’ve shared here are the strategies used by investors and partners in our network. We’ll be sharing more tips and strategies that can help investors and startups with their craft.
At Vault we have the Learn, Build and Grow model that helps companies of any size from startups to Fortune 500 launch and grow their company.
Interested in finding startups to invest in? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can connect you to startups in our network.