Real VCs make decisions and move on

The all-too-common knock against venture capitalists is that they never make up their mind. They lead founders on, always asking for more proof points only to disappear or finally say no months too late.

Although it may feel this way while you are in the middle of a raise, this is not entirely true and, as a founder, this is your fault if it happens.

It all starts with how you are connecting with the investors. A cold list and prayer is not the answer here. You can write the most compelling intro email with the most compelling numbers and get shut down or ghosted 100% of the time.

There just isn’t enough time in the world for VCs handle the volume. They don’t know you. They’ve never heard of your business. They see 100’s of deals per year (or month or day depending on their fund). When you send a cold email, just know that you are being relegated to their junior associate, 8 days out of B school.

No decisions are even being considered.

There are really only 2 ways to get in front of the right person with the ability to make a decision:

  1. A warm WARM intro. Not just an email “meet so and so” email but a deep, “I understand their business and they are someone you should look at” intro. The best example is a referral from an existing investor (angel or otherwise).
  2. Having an investment bank or the equivalent on your side. Time burns money so cutting through to the crux is essential for startups raising (series A and beyond — including operating debt).

Good VCs through warm intros say yes or no right away — because you are connecting with one of the decision makers.

Once you’ve established yourself — raised already and (hopefully) had a positive exit for your investors — this becomes reputation based. Until then, you are spinning your wheels and hoping without a strong endorsement.

Regardless of the path you are on to raise your funds, the common factor amongst all investors is that your business needs to be sound and growing. Investors won’t invest unless you’ve done the work on the business and you’ve earned the introduction.