Investors are not celebrities who should be admired and cherished by everyone in startup community. The truth is that we all work hard to make the tech industry thrive in our countries so let’s try to treat each other as partners. Here are 5 simple tips for investors which, I guarantee, will improve not only their image but also the pipeline.
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- Start using social media
Your startups are there, or at least should be. Hundreds of millions of people use social media every day. It is just a part of the industry. This is the simplest way to share your knowledge and really take part in building startup communities. This is the way to show that besides money, there is much more you can offer. If you can, of course. How can you invest in new technologies without using the basic tools?
- Stop being so important
We know that managing millions is not an easy thing to do for a living. But we’re entrepreneurs and we’re all managing something. It is easier to get in touch a CEO of IT company employing 100 people than CEO of a VC with 10 people in the team. Of course, we all have different duties, tasks and obligations but the amount of money your company spends or invests, doesn’t give a you a right to be too busy to ignore the fact that investors are also part of the startup ecosystem. The industry can’t exist without investors, but can it without startups?
- Stop being so busy
Local events organizers are killing themselves to invite managing partners, general partners, CEO’s or whatever fancy position name you choose for yourself. Kudos to all investors attending local events, but those agreeing to come and then don’t show up, are the real pain in the ass. You need to understand that there are people who attend events just to meet you. I know it doesn’t bring direct value for you, but it also doesn’t cost much. Please understand that events are the only way for startups to get to meet you, hear your advice or get your feedback. Investors are often the most important guests attracting participants to register to the event. If you don’t have time to show up, do not put your face in the agenda just to get some fame online.
- Throw some money on communities
Most of VC / seed funds, especially in CEE countries, think they will manage sourcing of projects on their own. However, good startups will always go to the best, well-known VCs which are working together with communities and helping them grow. There are many events for startups every week in your cities. The small ones do not require huge budgets from you to become a sponsor. Organizers will be happy to get any financial help. I guess for a VC investing millions it should not be a problem to spend 500 EUR from time to time to support the local community and build engagement with future founders.
- Evangelize at least a bit
Startup industry is growing because more and more people decide to follow the entrepreneurship path and make our world a better place. We associate success in business with money, so obviously, investors are perceived as being successful and we all want to learn from you. Public speeches at conferences are a great opportunity to share your stories, to inspire and educate. But don’t be afraid of doing it all the time. Use your social media channels, write a blog, get interviewed in media and encourage more and more people to start their own business. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are awesome cases but their stories do not always fit the reality of non US countries. Especially here, in CEE 😉