Where does one go to find Investors?

I have zero connections in this field and wanted to know how does one go about finding investors and or VCs?


  • Moderator here: Because there are plenty of searchable resources on this topic, I wouldn’t have normally approved this question. However, I think this could lead to an interesting discussion on unique ways others have found investors aside from the obvious.

  • I went to starbucks once and ron conway was there. I pitched him in 30 seconds while he was adding sugar to his caramel frappe. Had him hooked and begging to invest by the time we hit the sidewalk. I told him I’d think about it.

  • While the commenter talking about Ron Conway is probably trolling, these collisions actually do happen and can make a difference. I ran into Dave McClure at a hotel bar on his way up to the bathroom. I didn’t pitch him, but did get a chance to carry a conversation for 15 minutes. Since then, we’ve communicated several times. Haven’t been in the position to pitch 500 yet, but when I am, nothing about it will be cold.

    Don’t underestimate random collisions. Downtown Vegas is being built on that simple idea.

  • When we first started raising money, we looked around for companies that were in the same space as us but weren’t competitive. That gave us a list of quite a few companies. We took that list and narrowed it down to the companies that had 1. raised money and 2. appeared to be performing well. Then, using Crunchfund, AngelList and anywhere else we could find data, we made a hit list of all of their first investors. This was became our hit list. While all of them didn’t end up investing, many of them referred us to others that did. This was the only list we needed to raise $500k.

  • Lawyers are a good source of institutional investor leads. Most big name law firms like Fenwick, Wilson Sonsini etc have programs where they defer their fees for “promising” startups and for them the bar is incredibly low since its their overpriced time they’re spending.

    If they understand your solution and like your company, they will introduce you to VCs. We’ve gone that route but we didn’t get any investments though we did pitch to a few VCs.

  • The most underappreciated source for investor introduction is other founders. Network with founders, especially founders of companies in your industries (not direct competitors though…). Especially in Silicon Valley, people love to help. If they like what you do, it’s almost 100% guaranteed they’ll introduce you to their investors. A portfolio founder intro is the best kind of intro there is, much better than an intro from another investor. It’s also worth to take intros do investors that might be less relevant – if you impress them with your team or pitch, and they’re not personally interested in investing, they might refer you to someone who will.

  • What about equity crowdfunding? While it’s still in its nascent stages the goal of it is to help entrepreneurs such as yourself connect with investors outside first degree networks. There are general sites such as SeedInvest and Rock The Post, Circle Up for consumer goods, Return on Change for cleantech, edtech, etc.

    • Equity crowdfunding has to go through growing pains first. It will be similar to bitcoin, the first generation will be horrible and filled with fraud, until the industry is consolidated and “regulated” (in so far as bitcoins, for example, can be regulated). Right now is the wild west phase, sort of like online gambling sites in the early 2000s.

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