No doesn’t necessarily end the conversation and other investor tips for early stage companies

In a panel discussion geared to leaders of early stage companies, a mix of angel and venture investors offered some insights to give entrepreneurs some food for thought in different stages of their dealings with investors. The conversation at the IMPACT 2014 conference in Philadelphia this week included Ellen Weber of Robin Hood Ventures who […]

In a panel discussion geared to leaders of early stage companies, a mix of angel and venture investors offered some insights to give entrepreneurs some food for thought in different stages of their dealings with investors.

The conversation at the IMPACT 2014 conference in Philadelphia this week included Ellen Weber of Robin Hood Ventures who recently became head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurs Institute at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. It also included David Bookspan of DreamIt Ventures, Bruce Luehrs of Rittenhouse Ventures,  Kevin Kleinschmidt of Gabriel Investments, Ned Moore of Clutch Holdings, Rick Nucci of Philly StartUp Leaders, and Mindy Posoff of Golden Seeds.

“When we say no because a company hasn’t reached a milestone, it isn’t the end of the conversation. When we look at our portfolio, most of [the companies]  had to go back and get more data before we agreed to invest.”

“We don’t always feel the problem and if you can help us do that, great.”

“Don’t ever leave a fundraise meeting without asking ‘What would you need to see before you invest?’ Then ask, ‘If I come back in six months and do XYZ, would you then invest?’ It shows a desire to encourage respect of the investor’s and the entrepreneur’s time.”

Another investor recommended that startups start fundraising before they need the money. That way, startups can take their time and find the best investor fit for their business at that time. As part of that process he encouraged entrepreneurs to ask investors to make introductions to leaders in a couple of its portfolio companies so they can learn how the investors execute and what kind of investor they are.

“If you don’t close fast after a strong demo, you will fade in investor memory.”

“Look at other companies in the [same sector and] market as you. These are your analogue companies. Look at who is on their boards. That points to who the investors are in that area are.”

[Photo credit: Listening from BigStock Photos]