In 2010 Ron J approached a charismatic serial entrepreneur who also happened to be a skydiving triathlete. In addition to those shared interests, it turned out they both had NYC, some shared connections, and not being bantam weights in common. His name is Peter Shankman, world traveling author, media personality, customer happiness expert and the first thing they ever did together was to sit down and grab coffee. As a team we are proud of Peter for being named one of NYC’s 25 Angel Investors you should know. And we are grateful he believed in us so early and has continued to mentor, advise and back our play as we’ve grown and evolved.
But here’s the thing: It started with a coffee. Plus validation that they had shared interests and connections. Percolate’s Jason Shen wrote about how coffee literally powers Silicon Valley. Guess what, it’s the same everywhere because what the coffee meeting is about is cultivating a rapport with smart creative people you’d like to collaborate with. Especially the ones predisposed to be warm to YOU and YOUR IDEA, ORGANIZATION and MISSION.
A VC went on the record this year saying that of the thousands (literally 1000s) of inbound requests for meeting his firm got, he didn’t take a single “cold call”. Every single meeting he took was through a warm intro.
Doesn’t mean you can’t make cold outreach work. But you should certainly work smarter and smart with what you’ve already got access to.
So what are you waiting for? You’ve got great ideas. You’ve got exciting plans. Figure out which angel investors (or funders if you’re a non-profit) you should be talking to immediately. And don’t miss opportunities for warm, easy conversations. Find out which founders you can ask for angel investor intros.
Make SURE you don’t miss any across you and your team’s thousands of connections. Those coffees that change your life ain’t gonna schedule themselves.
Pro-Tip for finding investors using Simplist:
If you’re still reading this far, here’s the recipe of terms we’d suggest you use to identify and start tracking investors in you and your team’s networks (twitter, facebook, linkedin, addressbook):
Angel Investors Search Terms: “angel invest” “early stage” “seed stage” “active angel”
Founders Search Terms (people to share your “Search Party” link with): “founder” “entrepreneur”