Where to get discovered – Positioning your startup in front of investors

One of the biggest challenges faced by startups who are looking to attract investor interest and funding, is simply the hurdle of getting discovered. With so many emerging ventures vying for investor attention, founders need to be proactive about getting in front of investors and position themselves for maximum visibility.

As an entrepreneur, understanding where investors focus their search efforts for new deal-flow is important for potentially getting on their radar. By strategically making your startup visible through key channels and platforms, you increase your chances of receiving warm introductions and investor interest.

We’ve put together a list of places where investors go to find promising startups to invest in:

Startup pitch competitions and events

Investors frequently attend, speak at, mentor or judge startup pitch competitions, accelerator demo days, and entrepreneurship conferences or events. It is important to find opportunities that are reputable, and fit well with your company’s goals: don’t attend just any event or signup for just any pitch competition. With sufficient research, you can choose where to go and adequately prepare to mingle with other founders and speak passionately about your business to investors.

Angel groups and Venture Capital networks

Many investors are actively part of local angel groups, VC associations, or regional investing networks that share deals and co-investment opportunities among members. Consider attending ecosystem gatherings frequented by or organized by local angel groups and micro-VCs looking for promising deal-flow in your city.

Find top investor organizations  in Africa to follow on the VC4A Investor Network. For interested investors who are looking to access exclusive startup deals, join the Network here.

Startup accelerators and incubators

Accelerators like Y Combinator, the VC4A Venture Showcase, Techstars, 500 Startups and many others, either invest directly in their cohorts or create deal rooms for participating startups. Many investors keep a close eye on the alumni startups from accelerator programs as potential new deals.

Additionally, your startup may now be entered into what is called a Data Room which allows investors to efficiently review your company’s documents. When you create a complete venture profile on VC4A, and include your relevant documents, you are entered into our Data Room.

Online startup platforms

Ensure you have a polished, comprehensive startup profile on major online platforms like VC4A, AngelList, Crunchbase, F6S. Startup platforms allow investors to browse cleaned-up startup profiles, connect with fundraising founders, and often times make request for warm introductions to be made where there is interest.

Start a fundraising campaign on VC4A. By requesting to go into fundraising on mode on VC4A, ventures may be considered for Deal Rooms.

Personal networks and referrals

It is often said that an investor’s strongest deals come from their own network which includes referrals from other founders, investors, lawyers, fellow investors, startup mentors, and so on. For instance, your VC4A mentor may be able to create a warm introduction between your company and an investor friend or partner within their rolodex.

University entrepreneurship programs

Often overlooked, yet just as valuable as the 5 places to get discovered by an investor mentioned above, is your alma mater. Many investors are affiliated with universities through entrepreneurship centres, competitions, and incubators – tapping the alumni talent pipeline. By being a member of your tertiary institution’s programs you may get access to referrals where a fellow alumn can strongly vouch for you. You may also access grants, invites to exclusive fundraising events, warm introductions and more.

While there’s no guaranteed way for investors to discover your startup, it’s important to be strategic in your approach. Plan to establish your presence across various relevant channels. The more you engage in these channels, the higher your chances of capturing investor interest and securing a desired first meeting.

On VC4A, vast opportunities from the global startup ecosystem await. Set up your free venture profile to unlock avenues for growth, mentorship, learning and funding. This is your chance to showcase your startup’s potential to a network of motivated investors who are eager to discover and invest in innovative businesses like yours.