At Masthead, we meet with many entrepreneurs pitching us their startup for a potential investment. A lot has been written in the blogosphere recommending how to generally approach these meetings, so instead I thought it would be good to highlight some of the small smart things that I’ve seen entrepreneurs do outside the meat of these conversations. They aren’t the significant make or break actions, but rather little ones that I notice which were deliberate, conscious, and beneficial.
The first thing that struck me recently was two separate entrepreneurs who, at the end of their formal pitch while the conversation was transitioning to small talk, posed a simple question. Both of them casually asked if we knew anyone it would be helpful for them to speak to. They didn’t ask for an introduction to anyone specific, but rather just posed an open inquiry about an introduction to anyone that might be useful to their business. VCs are well-connected and well-networked people, and are often able to facilitate an introduction that could be helpful to a startup. I am not suggesting that an entrepreneur should be looking for a VC to open up their rolodex after just meeting them for the first couple times, but rather that it could be helpful inquiring if anybody immediately comes to mind – if delivered correctly. While nobody immediately emerged in the first instance described above, someone occurred to us in the second. And whether or not we end up funding the company, both entrepreneurs did a smart little thing in these cases.
I’ll post a few more soon.