Will Cardwell is an American, based in Helsinki. He has spent 17 years in the Finnish high-tech environment in several roles including: venture capitalist, CEO and board member of a number of companies, researcher, lecturer, and–needless to say–public speaker.
Types of venture investors
- Angel investors. Wealthy individuals, who are investing their own money, and usually invest in projects they are passionate about.
- Venture capital investors. Companies who invest money from pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, etc. and aim to create a portfolio of investment.
- Corporate venture investors. Large companies (e.g. Intel, Cisco, Sony) that invest part of their money in projects that are complementary, symbiotic to their core business.
How to communicate effectively with venture investors
Figure out their motivations, each category thinks different.
Share all news with your investors, both good and bad. Communicate regularly about customers: weekly to angels, monthly to venture capital investors, less often to corporate investors. Everybody is interested about sales.
Elevator pitch and storytelling
Either you are founder, CEO, or just an employee, you’re pitching all the time, even unconciuously. You need to learn a storyline.
Customize your elevator pitch, based on your audience and how they like to receive information. Chemistry matters. Some investors are more interested in the team, others in the market, etc.
You need several stories ready to be used: about the customers, about the founders, about the team, about the product. Also bring something visual, such as a mockup or prototype.
“The shit’s chess, it’s not checkers!” – Detective Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington, from the movie Training Day)
The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Routine to Shine
Keep your brain healthy. Keep yourself moving, even in micro activities: taking the stairs, walking instead of driving, etc.