How to pitch startup investors in the US? How do you reach, pitch, and get funded by investors in the US?
The global startup ecosystem has developed immensely in the past few years. There are emerging startup hubs and support systems and incubators and more investors around the world.
Yet, for many, the holy grail of getting funded is still funding from US-based investment firms. So, whether you are getting started in Brazil, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, or somewhere else, how can you bridge the gap and pitch startup investors in the United States?
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Why Raising From Investors In The USA Is Still So Sought After
While other countries have come a long way in a short period of time, the startup ecosystem in the US is still far more established and developed.
Foreign startups see the success stories and what is possible, but often come up lacking at home. There are three main reasons that it really makes sense for many to tap into the American venture capital pool.
1. Bigger Money
Some US startups have raised larger Series A rounds than the largest funds that exist in most other countries. One you get to a certain stage of business you have to be raising big rounds, and once you start hitting nine figures you may have few options at home.
2. Aggressive Money
US investors tend to have a more aggressive strategy towards investing in and scaling startups, where many other destinations are still very, very conservative. Those who are trying to go big fast and scale first need US investors on their cap table.
3. Connected Money
For many startups, the biggest market is in the US. Just as it is helpful to have local investors when US companies are expanding overseas, it is beneficial to have investors stateside if you plan to grow your business in the US.
They have connections and can open many doors for the front and back end of the business. So, you need to understand how to pitch startup investors in the US?
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
How To Raise Funding From US Startup Investors
Go To School In The US
The path many international entrepreneurs have taken is to attend college or business school in the US. Working on your MBA and business at the same time can be a good mix.
Even if you head back home to build out your business this is a chance to build out a powerful network of connections, including investors. Some of your professors and lecturers may even be startup investors.
Apply To Startup Accelerators
Another common path for those that have successfully raised in the US is to apply to participate in a startup accelerator program. These programs typically involve moving to the states for several weeks or months.
You may receive some initial Seed funding, followed by the chance to raise even more from a network of investors when the program culminates on demo day.
There are many different startup competitions to compete in to get noticed by US investors, gain some traction and land some initial funding. You may find local extensions of these competitions and events in your home country as well.
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There are hackathons, business plan competitions, grants, and other award programs. They are run by tech companies, business schools, and various government agencies.
Even if these events don’t directly lead to bigger funding rounds from your target investors, they are great to have on your resume and pitch deck.
Using Local Offices Of US-Based Funds As Your Entry Point
US-headquartered funds and institutions are increasingly expanding their footprint abroad. For example, Sequoia Capital has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Singapore, London, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Bangalore. Pitch them, network with their partners and get on their radar. To access such potential fundraising, you absolutely want to learn how to pitch startup investors in the US.
Get listed on and promote your startup on public crowdfunding platforms. You can show up right next to US-based companies, and get promoted to them by these platforms.
You can email anywhere, from anywhere. Don’t let your location stop you from pitching investors anywhere in the world.
You can research and make your own lists of your ideal US-based investors and reach out with your pitch deck and try to land those pitch meetings. It can take work and a lot of emails, but it is an easy starting point.
Social Media Prospecting
Social media offers a variety of great ways to find, research, connect with, and pitch investors all around the planet. Twitter and LinkedIn are clearly two of the most popular for investors and other entrepreneurs in this space.
Start connecting, publish frequently to get noticed, conduct outreach with direct messages, and start having real conversations with them.
Leverage US Based Fundraising Consultants & Advisors
Many of the above ways to pitch startup investors in the US can require a significant amount of work, time, and even financial investment. You may strike quick wins. Though there are plenty of challenges.
One way to dramatically shorten the learning curve and time involved is to use the help of US-based fundraising consultants and advisors. Especially those that get the gaps in the company and business culture between regions and different locales.
These experts cannot just make the right warm introductions for you and help you hone your materials, but also know how to overcome those common hiccups when it comes to cross border startup fundraising. Rope in their assistance when you’re trying to learn how to pitch startup investors in the US.
How do you start pitching startup investors in the US? Whatever stage of business you are at, and whatever the driving needs to reach these coveted sources of capital, here are a variety of ways that you can begin reaching out and pitching your opportunity to them starting today.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.
Hopefully this post provided you with some perspective as you are looking into how to pitch startup investors in the US.
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FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS VIDEO:
Hello, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to pitch startup investors in the U.S. Before we get started, make sure that you hit that Subscribe button, and this way, you will never miss out on any of the videos that we roll out every week.
Investors in the U.S. are like the Holy Grail. It’s the best investors, the most amount of money, and you name it. Obviously, it is a different culture than you would approach an investor in Europe, or in Latin America, or in Asia. It’s a whole different mindset. That’s why in today’s video, we’re going to be breaking it down for you with a step-by-step on how to be able to approach these investors and to really close the deal. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Raising from investors in the U.S. At the end of the day, it’s bigger money. What I mean by bigger money is that the funds are bigger, especially if you go for institutional investors like private equity firms or venture capital firms. To give you an example, in Spain, where I’m originally from, where I was born and raised, you’ve got to understand that the largest fund is like $100 million or even $150 million.
That means that if I were to be a founder there, once I’m past a Series B financing round, then no funds there can continue to support my growth. Essentially, I would have to go to the U.S. to raise money from the bigger funds that can continue to support that growth and that have a billion+ under management in assets.
That’s why you want bigger money, and the longer that you wait, it’s going to be tougher because typically, outside of the U.S., investors are not so sophisticated when it comes to startups. For that reason, you want to come to the U.S. as fast as you can so that you have those sophisticated investors helping you in pushing things as you proceed and perhaps even presenting you to more investors down the line.
The beautiful thing about having bigger money as part of your business and as investors in your business is that as you continue to grow, they may be in a position to actually lead and cover whatever more funding that is needed for your business. That’s why having U.S. investors is a great thing, and the longer that you wait, the tougher that it will be to really get those investors involved.
U.S. investors are also “connected money.” What I mean by this is that when you think about raising money, you never should think about the money itself because there’s no such thing as a shortage of capital in the world. For this reason, you always want to turn it around and think more than the money itself, more as the network or the people that are behind the money that has been given to you.
Essentially, with that investor, you’ve got to take a look at their network and see who they know that can connect you to perhaps other investors, to access to talent, to M&A opportunities, meaning other companies that may be acquiring your own business, or perhaps to other future rounds of financing. So, that’s why it’s not about the money. It’s about the networks behind the money and how you can leverage those networks in order to achieve your milestones that you have on your 18 to 24-month roadmap faster and more effectively than your competitors.
Again, you need to think about this as a bus, and you need to have the right people seated on the right seats of the bus, whether it’s your own employees or whether it’s investors. For that reason, you want people that are highly sophisticated and extremely well-connected to help you in taking things to the next level. Because as the saying goes: you can go faster when you go alone, but you can go farther when you go together.
In terms of some of the different ways that you can use to actually tap into those U.S. investors, a good way is to attend graduate school in the U.S. Maybe you come to the U.S., and you do a Master’s Degree in whatever domain that you’re doing, whether it’s business or engineering. It’s a good way to find a co-founder for your business or to find talent for your business, but at the same time to gain access to those investors because many of those schools have networks; they have former students; they have competitions that they put together, and they try to create that community environment within those universities. It’s a great way to tap into those investors to attend school in the U.S.
Startup accelerators are a great way to also tap into those U.S. investors. Definitely, my top ones are Y Combinator and Techstars. Those are amazing programs that have fantastic networks. Also, what they do at the end of those startup accelerator programs is the Demo Day.
The Demo Day is that after two or three months working actively on your company under the umbrella of the accelerator, they put together those days where they bring like 1,000 investors to take a look at those companies that are presenting from that batch of the startup accelerator. It’s a great opportunity for you to have an audience of investors and to pitch your business, and have access to those U.S. investors.
Now, be very careful with startup accelerators because the Tier 1 are great, but the Tier 2 and the Tier 3 promise you the moon, and when you go to Demo Day, it’s full of service providers that are just pitching you to buy their business. So, again, be very careful with how you are giving equity away of from business.
Startup Competitions are also another way to get in front of investors. You should find those competitions online. See what people are saying; see reviews; see what companies have graduated out of those competitions. Some competitions that come to mind could be TechCrunch Disrupt, which is the competition that they actually do for the media outlet.
There have been great companies that have come out of these startup competitions, such as Getaround, which now is worth almost $2 billion, and other startups that actually really made it count. Even, for example, Betterment, which is worth billions, too, they actually launched at Startup Disrupt for TechCrunch. Take a look at some of those competitions because there are going to be a lot of investors there that you can tap into as well.
You can also use local offices of venture capital funds. For example, if you’re in Europe, in London, or Spain, or other areas, you’re going to find some of the top U.S. funds that actually have branches there. For example, in Asia, the same thing, or if you go to places like India, you’re going to see some of the top venture capital firms that have opened an office there.
It’s a good opportunity for you to build relationships with them locally, and maybe that will be your segue into the money in the U.S. of those investors that you want to tap into. So, again, perhaps those local branches are a good opportunity for you to really start establishing and developing those relationships.
Platforms online could be a great tool, as well, to find those investors. That could be crowdfunding platforms. That could be platforms where it’s more like the community environment, like AngelList, where you can see the signaling, and you can see who is investing in what. Those platforms online can really develop or give you the opportunity to develop those relationships that, in the end, could be sold in a potential investment.
You can also use social media as well as blogs and things of that nature. For example, on blogs, you can leave a comment on whatever entry that they’re putting in. Most of the super-sophisticated and top investors in the U.S. have their own blog where they talk about trends, interesting markets, and things like that. So, maybe you want to leave a comment on some of their entries and start to engage that way.
Another way is to use apps like Clubhouse, where you can go into one of the events that are going on, where one of those investors is actually speaking. You can go there and ask questions, engage with them, and really be noticed because that’s ultimately what you want.
Then, another thing that you could do is to leverage advisors, whether it’s advisors, consultants, for example, what we do at Panthera Advisors where we help from A to Z. We help companies in the Seed Stage and Series A or any other individual that perhaps may have a good network in the U.S. that can help you with what you’re looking to achieve.
Hopefully, you like this video. Hit a Like. Leave a comment and let me know what you’re up to what country you are in. Then, also, don’t forget to Subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we’re rolling out every week. If you’re raising money, don’t forget and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help out. Thank you so much for watching.