Communicating with Venture Capitalists

I just sent this email to a buddy of mine and thought I’d share. . . .

Venture capitalists are an interesting bunch. They lose interest quickly or they’re pulled in so many directions that it is hard to get and/or keep their attention.
The trick is to bother them in short bursts.
Since they don’t NEED to work, its all about people (whether they say that or not).  If they don’t like you or have fun working with you, it will never go through. Don’t make all your communications about business; Keep an ear out for their interests, then pass along related links as you trip across them – but keep it brief.

Anyhoo, keep emails brief and always show progress or working on something initially.
They’re suckers for emails like the one I’ve outlined below.
Key points to note in the email:
1) subject short and makes me want to know more

2) break out the summary and action items and put at top. Usually easiest to write the email first, then make that “the Details” and then pull out the summary and actions.

3) when setting meetings, give them 2 or 3 options, but not open ended. They may pick a new option, but choosing for them gets them engaged.

4) Always include timezones

5) always end it with something that gets them going like “thoughts?”  “should I set this up?”  “Did I cover all the bases?” “should I look elsewhere?”

Subject: Found a developer

Executive Summary
Talked today with a good friend in web application development. Can do phone conference next week or 2.

Action Items
Pick Meeting time:  2/13 at 1pm Central  OR 2/17 at 10am Central

The Details
I have a good friend that has a web development company in Missouri. They are a team of 12 and work on a myriad of projects regionally and nationally.  I discussed the idea with him very briefly. He had some interesting thoughts. If they can’t help, they may be able to steer us in another direction since he is connected to a dozen other companies in several states. They have ties in to CP+B and the people doing the OSI Restaurant websites (Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish, etc).
My thought was this was a good next step. Thoughts?

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