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Tips for Contacting Venture Capital Firms

Tips for Contacting Venture Capitalists by Brian Hill Your strategies are sound, your business plan is perfected and now it's time to begin contacting potential investors. If you choose to go the venture capitalist route, you can make the process less frustrating and improve your chances of success by doing some advance planning. Article continues below.

Make Friends with the Administrative Assistant

You may visit the VC firm's website and find that there is no email contact information for the firm's partners. So how do you get through to them? Calling the firm's phone number and asking to speak with the partner does not usually work. At best you are directed to their voice mail, leave a message and never hear back from them. The partners have administrative assistants, though, and many times if you ask to speak with the assistant, you will be put through to her (the assistant is usually female). Ask her for the best way to email the executive summary to the partner. She may provide the partner's email, or at least give you her email. If you are polite, charming and you have caught her on a good day, she may agree to make sure the partner reads your information.

Avoid Blind Email Addresses

One technique VC firms employ to deal with the vast numbers of inquiries they receive is to have an email address on their website where entrepreneurs are directed to send their executive summary or business plan, something like PlansAndStuff @ The problem with taking this approach is that you have no way of following up to find out if any living person has read your plan. They might just pay the janitor to sit at a computer after hours and hit the “delete” key 100 times. We asked one of the partners at a VC firm who in his firm reads these unsolicited submissions and he confided that they have an intern from MBA school review them. You may have spent years and lots of your own money developing your venture. Do you really want to trust its success to some kid studying for an MBA? Target Your Submission Research the VC firm's website and make sure their stated investment criteria including stage of the company's development and industry or market niche are an excellent fit with your venture. Then pick out the partner of the firm who specializes in companies like yours. The Pricewaterhouse Coopers consulting firm tracks venture capital investments each quarter and publishes data about which firms made investments in which industries and regions of the country. The website is This is a good place to start building your prospect list of VC firms.

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