5 tactics using time & consistency to build your VC syndicate

It is too late to start raising money from a VC when you can see the end of the runway for your company.

Give yourself time to build relationships and find the best VC for your startup.

This is as much about you qualifying THEM as it is the other way around.

Here are my 4 tactics for getting the job done.

#1: Make a very big list of 100+ investors

Do the desk work to build a list of 100 investors that match your startup.

  • For sources, use Crunchbase to search for companies like yours and look at who invested in them.
  • Even with targeted desk work, you will need to kiss many frogs. This is why you need 100 targets.
  • Try to collect individual investor targets as well as firms.

#2: Challenge yourself to meet 1+ investor per week

Now start meeting them to gather feedback on your company and the milestones you intend to hit.

  • VCs want this. It is our job. It is OK to reach out before you are ‘ready’. If they do ignore you or get grumpy, strike them off your list.
  • When I do this, I pair with someone else in my firm who sends me the name of someone to meet and I need to find a way to reach them. The accountability helps and it can be fun.
  • Use LinkedIn and your personal network to find warm leads.

#3: Build a Twitter List & have a conversation

Create a new Twitter list and add all the names on your investor list that you can find.

  • Check it every day.
  • Tune into what they are interested in and thinking about. Many VCs use Twitter to show the market what interests them most and to learn from their community.
  • Join the conversation. Try to add value to their thesis. Help them look at issues in different ways.
  • Avoid flogging your company in these threads. If you are interesting, they will follow you. Make sure your profile description and images take them to your company.

#4: Ask everyone you meet who you should meet next

This is where you can discover the diamonds.

  • At the end of EVERY conversation, ask who else you should meet.
  • If appropriate, ask if it is possible for an introduction.
  • Followup with an email reminder when you thank them for their time.
  • Build your list

#5: Mark the leads

Only a few of the people you meet will be open/able to lead your round.

  • As you meet investors, ask them if they tend to lead or follow in rounds and how they would feel about your company if you meet your milestones.
  • If they are possible leads, mark them on your list. This is the group you wil begin with when you eventually start the fund raising.

Every day, I write about what I am learning in deep tech venture building. Currently I am focusing on a primer series for scientists and people new to the space to get a quick understanding of the basics. The collection is here.

I hope you will follow me if this is valuable to you ⇢ @philmorle

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Phil Morle

Phil Morle


Deep tech VC — Main Sequence Ventures. Ecosystem builder. Maker. Director. Startup Scientist.