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YEC Members Offer Advice for Finding, Vetting and Learning From Investors

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 YEC Quarterly, a print magazine for YEC members. YEC Quarterly is no longer producing new issues.

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