Want to meet New York angel investor David Rose?Easy. He told people on Quora, the question-and-answer site, exactly how to score a meeting with him.
The advice applies well for courting any wealthy backer as a mentor and investor.
Quora charges users “credits”—a point system you accumulate by answering questions—to ask another user a question. Some entrepreneurs pooled together 900 credits to get an answer from Rose, who’s known for his investments in LearnVest, Panjiva, and Say Media, among others.
Here’s his advice:
I prefer to invest in highly-scalable, technology-based ventures, with a particular focus on platforms, at a very, very early stage (but, oxymoronically, where there is already some type of traction). I almost never invest in ideas or plans, so you’ll need to have a company and at least a product, if not customers. You’ll need to have invested significant cash (whatever that term means to you) in your own company, and you’ll need to have the core of your team in place (typically a techie and a marketer, at a minimum.)
Because I’m a poor little angel and not running a fund like all those “Super” guys, I typically start with investments in the $25K-$50K range, and because I’m all-too-familiar with the *real* economics of angel investing, I rarely invest at pre-money valuations north of $2-3 million, and usually well below that.
I’m also allergic to funding “bridges to nowhere”, so I would like to hear your explanation of what you are going to do if no money appears to follow your seed round.
I like to invest in companies where I can really add value from my experience, network, etc., so checking out my portfolio of other investments, and my background, will generally give some guidance there.
You think you made the cut and it would be a viable investment for Rose, so now what?
He recommends using Gust, an investor-relations site designed to simplify angel investments. Make sure to include everything, he writes: financial information, presentation materials, an elevator pitch video, and complete answers to Gust profile questions.
Use his Gust email—[email protected] Mention any mutual acquaintances, and better yet, have them provide an introduction or referral. And then be persistent:
With all this referring and applying, it’s still conceivable that you might not hear back from me. My bad! You therefore have my official permission to periodically (say, once a week), ping me for an answer, referring to this authorization. Frankly, it’s only fair that I give you either a Yes or a No, and if I don’t, then I deserve a weekly pinging.
If the response you finally receive from me is “thanks but no thanks”, then please accept at face value that I would really NOT be the right investor for you. You’ve got to trust me on this, and in this case take no for an answer. While it’s true that I might be making an epic mistake in passing, it is highly unlikely if I’ve passed after reading your introductory materials, that I will change my mind no matter how many emails you send me.
Got a meeting? Come prepared.
Carefully prepare your material, preferably including an on-screen presentation (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, whatever), and then something you can leave with me on your way out. Plan on a 30-60 minute meeting (it sorta depends on my schedule), but keep your pitch to no more than 20 minutes; I’ll ask questions and then we’ll have a discussion. If you have a co-founder, see if you can bring him/her along with you; I like to meet the key players.
There you go: That’s how to score a meeting with David Rose.
Check out the full post on Quora.
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