How To Ask For A Venture Capitalist Intro

OFFI’ve been getting a large number of bad requests for introductions to venture capitalists lately. Here are some examples:

“Do you know anyone who might be interested in investing in my company?”

“I am in New York City next week. What investors should I talked to?”

The problem with these asks is that they make me think too much, they show that you did not do the work and they aren’t actionable. I say no to all of these requests.

Very often these asks come from companies that I don’t know well. This actually compounds the problem. For me to start introducing a company that I don’t know well is really difficult. It’s taxing and unfair for my personal relationships with investors.?

Another problem is these bad asks are also missing the why: why this particular introduction makes sense and why is this potentially a fit for investor. In my post about forwardable introductions, I discussed setting the context and making it easy to do the intro.?

So what is a good VC ask? Simply put, it is specific. Here are some examples:

“We are building a network-based business. Do you think Fred Wilson might want to take a look?”

“We looked at Jim Robinson’s portfolio at RRE, and we think that he can be potentially interested in our business.”

“We are building a business that has data at its core and would love to connect with IA ventures.”

These are better asks, and a lot more actionable. I don’t need to think. It is simple yes or no.