While most people ask themselves “What should I do?” when seeking investment from a venture capitalist, there are also some things that a person should not do. Doing any of the following at best makes you look like a rookie (which is okay, we were all rookies once, but you don’t want to look like one) and at worst kills any chance that you have of getting funded by the VC you just contacted. While this chapter isn’t about the best way to fundraise (there are many other books covering that), we encourage you to avoid doing the following when you are raising money from VCs.
Don’t Be a Machine
While you may have created the greatest technology in the world to invest in, fundraising is ultimately about the people involved. If a VC doesn’t like you personally, they probably won’t invest in you despite your brilliant idea.
We tell entrepreneurs that we want to fall in love with them in the style of “first date” energy. We want to feel time slip away and regret when we must go on to our next commitment. After the entrepreneur leaves, we want to keep thinking about him or her and wondering when we’ll get to meet again.
Some others call this the “beer test.” If we don’t want to have a beer with you now, imagine how bad it will be when things inevitably get tough later on down the road. Being from Boulder, we also accept chai lattes or vitamin water. We realize that some people might not be comfortable grabbing a beer or may not want to go out ...