So far I haven’t met any of my investors in person
I was a first time CEO who had just finished Techstars with my co-founders when the pandemic hit last March. I remember sitting alone in my basement room in Boulder, Colorado, in sweatpants, while contacting my advisors. They confirmed my biggest fear: Warmly, our startup, only had three months of track left.
It was every founders’ nightmare back then: I would be forced to fundraise in the midst of a global pandemic.
Of course, venture capitalists weren’t having in-person meetings at this time, which meant talking about Zoom. Unlike late-night drinks, cafes strolling along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, and board meetings at Sand Hill (environments where I thought I could excel), I was stuck in an under- ground.
You should definitely have two versions of your deck: the pre-meeting deck that you send out to potential investors and the “Zoom deck” that you use in your live meeting.
Whether I ask friends, mentors, or Google, no one seems to have any great tips for getting in touch with investors virtually. But I learned as I went, embracing new technology to help the VC funding process, and we were able to close a $ 2.1 million startup round in August. Phew.
While we might have thought virtual fundraising would be impossible when the world closed a year ago, I don’t think anyone believes it more. Not only is it more efficient – no expensive trips to San Francisco or the hassle of arranging investor meetings in a day – virtual fundraising helps democratize access to venture capital.
Founders can raise funds from investors based anywhere in the world, and investors can also consider startups from anywhere. My investors today are from California, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and the UK. And so far I haven’t met any of them in person.