Posted by: Amy Choi on April 24, 2009
Not to beleaguer the point or anything, but relationships matter. It was true back in October 2007 - long before the crash, if anyone can even remember such a time - when we ran Art of the Ask, about how to build a connection with a potential investor. And it’s even more true now.
At an NYC Entrepreneurs Week event at NYU this morning, a panel about how to survive the recession circled back, predictably, to how to get financing. (Money = survival. Another good thing to remember.) According to all of the panelists, your network is your most important tool. Said David Glasser, entrepreneur and chief executive of First Juice: “No one is going to invest off an email.”
Of course, all those unsolicited emails and phone calls do land somewhere. Owen Davis, managing director at early-stage investor NYC Seed, said that “at my fund, we read everything that comes in.” Sarah Tavel, an associate at Bessemer Venture Partners, hinted that venture capitalists might read such pitches just to have something to do. “People have SO much time right now,” she noted. Gallows humor aside, it could be a clue that now may be the time to build relationships, even if it’s not the ideal time to find funding.