It’s well known that companies seeking investment pitch with RVC almost every single month. The events that unfold after the pitch are a bit more of a mystery. The RVC Investor Forums meet and discuss the deal. Ok, that makes sense. So, what happens after the Investor meeting? I’ve heard a legend that checks are delivered under the pillow of each company founder in the night. Or is it that a stork brings the term sheet? Wait, what really happens after you pitch at RVC?
You just pitched at RVC on a Tuesday night or in a conference like the ACS. People congratulated you, maybe you won a handshake from a VC or angel. You and your team make plans to celebrate over a well-deserved dinner out that week. Then what? We realize that there is no RVC handbook that tells you what to do next. We see entrepreneurs who work our system so well, we just stand in awe. Sometimes people pitch, disappear, and the next thing we hear is a rumor that they are calling us bad names for not getting them investment. Yikes!
The pitch is such a tiny part of the whole fundraising process. You need a good pitch to communicate your deal with investors, but it’s only 5% of the work you need to do. Your company has to be good, your deal has to be well thought out, and your fundraising activities have to be proactive. I promise that if you pitch and do nothing else, you have a really high chance of never raising money.
What RVC does best
We have built, and continue to grow a community of (250) angels who are educated about early stage investment deals. Meeting angels at our events is like shooting fish in a barrel. Investors are at a concentration of 1:3 at RVC events.
We educate entrepreneurs about taking investment capital. When, for what purpose, and how does that conversation sound. There is a lot to know; they don’t teach this stuff in school.
We make Colorado, and more specifically Denver, a place where people can find capital.
We don’t have an application or acceptance barrier. Anyone can come to our events and meet angels. Anyone can take our classes, learn how to raise money, and meet angels right there in class.
To clarify RVC’s purpose, we play the role of the dating service. Like Match .com we help entrepreneurs identify strengths, weaknesses, desires, and warts. Then we shop RVC companies around to investors. All the while we’ve been helping the investors identify their strengths, weaknesses, desires, and warts too. RVC exists to be a legal and safe place for investors and entrepreneurs to meet and connect. Also like a dating service, we don’t go on the date. We don’t know if you are talking with investors unless you tell us.
[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]I promise that if you pitch and do nothing else, you have a really high chance of never raising money.[/pullquote]
Why is RVC valuable to founders? Because we work really hard to make sure there is a place for accredited investors to learn how to be good angels. We give them a way to meet other angels so they can work together on deals. We vet companies so dealflow is easy to manage. These activities create an angel community that founders can tap into.
In a perfect world, both the founder and the investor are highly experienced and have been through the angel investment process before. They both know how to behave and who calls whom. But what happens if neither the angel or the investor has ever seen a term sheet? Both sides of the table to wait for the other to make a move. Don’t wait!
As a founder, your deal will close faster if you are completely prepared with a draft term sheet, a PPM, and a plan to communicate with angels. As part of the communication plan, your job is to stay in touch with RVC (through Stacy, our Communications Manager) about the details of your raise. We keep a dropbox of company files and a list of current deals. If your deal is half committed, let us know! We can post that info in the Investor-Only Newsletter that goes out once a month as a hot deal. Your company will stay on a list of active deals until you tell us the deal has closed.
What if you don’t hear anything from us or from investors after a month or two? Come to RVC networking events. Be visible. Talk to people and market that deal! It amazes me sometimes that companies put so much time and effort into the pitch and then don’t make any effort to follow up with us or the community.