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written by Vivian Pham
YEC Members Offer Advice for Finding, Vetting and Learning From Investors
From online resources to helpful questions, YEC members cover the basics of finding a great investor.
These resources originally came from a feature article on how to vet your investors in the Winter 2016 issue of YEC Quarterly Magazine. You can read further tips and stories from this issue and more here.
7 Helpful Resources for Finding Competitors and Investors
CrunchBase: This is your No. 1 source of information on leading companies, founders, executives and investors.
LinkedIn: Find mutual connections on the largest professional networking service.
AngelList: This platform allows investors and job seekers to discover the most innovative startups.
Quora: Ask any question to a community of knowledgeable users or search its database for similar queries.
TechCrunch: This online publisher is your go-to resource for the latest news in the tech industry.
Onevest: Find reputable investors on this popular crowdfunding site for entrepreneurs.
Owler: Get everything from company profiles, news alerts, business data and more.
6 Signs of a Promising Investor
They have relevant experience. “Make sure they’ve done deals in the past and know how an investment works in your particular industry.” – Faraz Khan
They want you to succeed. “Do you feel like they have your back, or are you just a number on a spreadsheet?” – Tammy Leigh Kahn
They’re flexible. “The terms of the deal hopefully won’t change, but they need to be flexible in case certain things happen.” – Faraz Khan
They focus on helping you solve your problems. “When I call my investor, he sits down with me and drills specifically into the issue.” – Erik Severinghaus
They don’t micromanage. “You want someone who’s going to trust you and be an advisor — not someone who’s going to demand information when it’s not the right time. Gauge what they ask. Are they checking in or just asking for numbers?” – Faraz Khan
They’re reliable. “Anything that [my investor] says he’s going to do, I have tremendous faith that he’s going to do it.” – Erik Severinghaus
Must-Ask Questions for Your Investor
“Have you ever made an investment like this before? Was it successful, and if not, why?” – Faraz Khan
“How many more investments do you plan to make this year?” Ideally, they’re at the beginning of their funds so they can be lenient with deadlines. – Tammy Leigh Kahn
“Would I be comfortable getting a beer or having dinner with this person?” — Douglas Hutchings
“What’s your expected worst case scenario? What are you comfortable with?” Faraz Khan
“Are there any other firms I should be talking to?” – David Berry
“Do you have other current investments?” – Faraz Khan
This feature originally appeared in our Winter 2016 issue of YEC Quarterly, our print magazine for YEC members. If you’re a YEC member, feel free to download all previous issues of YEC Quarterly here.