Hunting for A VC

Yesterday on the the VC fundraising panel at the TECH cocktail conference, Eric asked the VC’s how an entrepreneur can hook up with a VC. (BTW, great job Eric & Frank pulling off a class A event). While there is the standard answer of “networking and finding people who know the VC for a qualified intro”, I believe there is another more important suggestion that is often missing. Entrepreneurs are very targeted when they determine who to sell their product to (right fit, receptive, budget there, etc). They should do the same with fundraising. In other words, you should be very specific with who you want to raise from and why. Specifically, you should identify those VC’s (not firms, but individual VC’s at the firms) who have been a) active in the space and b) who are well known in the ecosystem. In sectors where there are only one or two, then you obviously need to expand beyond. Even if they don’t fund your business, you will usually get great feedback on the competitive landscape, informed analysis of your business model and potentially other connections (VC or business) to talk with. So, look for the prominent plays in your general space (not competitors as you don’t want your info possibly getting out) and find out either a) who backed them or b) who they think are the players in the space. Network in as per above and go from there.