This is a short post to encourage all founders to keep listening to customers, to keep building, and PLEASE, for the love of building something people want, NEVER EVER PAY TO PITCH INVESTORS.
1. You do not need investors for your company to work. But investors need access to companies to make their business work. Why would you pay to access an investor when you’re the one offering the opportunity?
2. Warm intros are better than cold intros. Cold intros are better than paying for access to a pitch event.
3. The Founder and CEO needs to do the fundraising. Why? Because fundraising is sales. If you bring in someone who states they’ll help you raise the round, that shows you can’t do your job as the Founder and CEO. Getting help with your slide deck review from someone who has been there and done that? Yes. Paying them a fee for their fundraising services or a slide deck review? Yuck.
4. You shouldn’t have to pay for access to investor databases either. Here’s some good starting lists, for free, that I pulled from a Google search that took 5 minutes.
a. List of programs and investors focused on underrepresented founders here: https://airtable.com/universe/expzgDgsO8QLDmvdt/list-of-investors-accelerators-and-resources-supporting-underrepresented-founders-and-funders
b. My Twitter list for Investors here: https://twitter.com/i/lists/961440864928137217
c. Jason Calacanis’ Meet Our Fund Directory here: https://meetourfund.com/directory
d. Founders for Change list here: https://www.foundersforchange.org/diverse-investors-list/