When delving into the success stories of entrepreneurs and startup founders, a common thread emerges—the development of effective investor networking strategies.

Startups aligned with accelerators and incubators gain a significant advantage by accessing investor networks. However, not everyone enjoys this edge. Bootstrapping, a successful approach, sees many founders building companies with personal savings or contributions from family and friends—35% of small businesses commence with just $5,000.

While statistics indicate a 90% success rate for ventures, the challenge lies in the fact that 50% close within five years, with 38% attributing closure to inadequate funding.

Funding is the lifeblood sustaining any venture beyond its critical first year and through subsequent years. However, acquiring funding is far from easy, with less than 6% of the nearly 500,000 new US companies established each year attracting funding.

To secure funding, establishing connections with investors is crucial. Building robust relationships within your industry and community can make the decisive difference in your startup’s growth and sustainability.

Continue reading for comprehensive insights into utilizing investor networking strategies to ensure success for your budding company.

Maintain a Broad Perspective for Long-Term Growth

Founders, constrained by time and resources, often limit their networking efforts to a select group, focusing on potential investors within their industry. However, it’s essential not to overlook venture capitalists offering series A, B, C, and subsequent funding rounds.

Emphasize the long-term growth of your company and the potential for future connections with these investors. With the venture capital industry valued at $63 billion in 2022 and projected to grow at a CAGR of 20% through 2027, building relationships with VCs and angel investors early ensures visibility when your business is ready for more finance and expertise.

Networking with these individuals may also open doors to others in their network interested in providing seed funding to promising startups.

Identify Your Networking Goals and Plan Strategies

Effective networking strategies begin with clearly defined goals and carefully devised plans. The objective is to connect with influential leaders in your space who can expand your network, providing industry expertise, mentoring, funding, guidance, and technical know-how.

Be open to contacting people, attending events, and refining communication skills. While funding is an obvious target, garnering interest in your company and recognition for your business idea also constitutes success. Platforms like Crunchbase, AngelList, and FundersClub connect entrepreneurs with investors.

Target Existing Networks for Startups

When seeking networking opportunities, explore both remote and in-person events. Connect with individuals in your industry or fellow entrepreneurs interested in innovative business concepts.

Reach out to family, colleagues, friends, and alumni. Explore connections based on shared hobbies, personal interests, and professional competency. Utilize diverse backgrounds, geographical locations, and age demographics to broaden your network.

LinkedIn is an excellent starting point for implementing investor networking strategies. Craft a robust professional profile, highlighting achievements, qualifications, and experience, as potential investors often check backgrounds before offering funding.

Use Social Media Platforms to Build Relationships

Engage with investors on professional social media platforms, but avoid generic messaging. Establish an authoritative presence by regularly publishing value-driven posts with industry-wide insights.

Follow and comment on targeted investors’ posts, building a network of like-minded individuals. Once communication lines are open, personalized messages are likely to yield positive results. Platforms like Facebook, Meetup, Twitter, Medium, and Instagram also offer networking opportunities.

A noteworthy addition to virtual networking is Professional Ask, a feature under the Upstream banner, gaining traction for connecting founders with various needs, from seed funding to technical assistance.

Make Waves in the Real World

While a virtual presence is essential, physical presence is equally crucial. Attend conferences, trade shows, and industry events, conducting research on attendees and speakers. Mingle with industry experts and successful founders, creating opportunities for connections and referrals.

Consider securing a booth to showcase your startup’s products, and if confident in public speaking, seek opportunities to demonstrate expertise in front of industry-specific audiences.

Focus on Developing Relationships

When interacting with investors, prioritize relationship-building over immediate funding. Conduct research on investors’ backgrounds, preferences, and past support for startups. Find common ground and initiate conversations without immediately requesting funding.

Exchange business cards and discuss mutual interests. Build familiarity before introducing your business concept, using communication channels preferred by investors. Focus on relationship-building similar to customer lead generation.

Be Prepared with Your Elevator Pitch

Whether in-person or virtual, founders should have a concise elevator pitch ready. In under 30 seconds, articulate the market problem, your company’s solution, differentiating factors, core values, and what sets you apart from competitors.

Rehearse the pitch with family and friends, varying durations based on the context. Tailor the pitch to different situations, ensuring readiness for questions investors may pose.

Your enthusiasm and assurance in presenting the business idea play a crucial role in investor interest. Be prepared to discuss your funding needs without providing specific amounts immediately.

Nurture Investor Relationships

Implementing investor networking strategies requires a long-term perspective. Consistent effort is essential to maintaining connections through emails, texts, calls, and face-to-face interactions. Attend events where targeted investors may be present, and reciprocate by inviting them to your events.

Sending holiday cards and industry-related updates reinforces the relationship, signaling its value. While these tasks demand time and effort, they contribute to successful fundraising endeavors.

Be Persistent with Your Investor Networking Strategies

Acquiring investors for a startup involves learning from mistakes and persisting through challenges. Expect setbacks and view failures as opportunities to refine your pitch and approach. Persistence is crucial in overcoming rejection and finding the winning strategy that secures funding.

The Takeaway

Securing funding for a startup is a challenging journey, but your venture could be among the 20,000 to 30,000 attracting investor interest. Emphasize building relationships before making funding requests.


Conduct thorough research on target investors, utilize social media for connection, and develop an extensive network for ongoing funding rounds.

Maintain focus on the long-term growth and sustainability of your company, exploring opportunities beyond your niche. By implementing effective investor networking strategies, your startup can navigate the complexities of fundraising and foster lasting success.

How will you take your business to the next level? Please let me know in the comment box below how you do your investor networking?

If you need help with Fundraising please let me know and book a call with me to look at your situation.