The absolute best way to meet a VC is to be personally introduced to him or her. Think about your network of family, friends, and associates. Perhaps, you have a doctor that knows a VC, or an attorney that knows a VC, or a Board Member that knows a VC. But let’s to be honest, most of us just aren’t that well connected to VCs
(….yet), so here are some other suggestions to meet VCs.
Search Your Local Area
You will have the best chance of getting funded by a VC if they are from your local area, but they must be a match for the industry and type of funding being requested. Do a search to see who the local VC firms are in your area. Research the type of ventures they fund. Ask people you know if they know any VCs. If they do ask, them to introduce you. It is a time consuming process, but like anything else, people do business with those they know and trust.
Go to Industry Events
Nearly all industries have events that you can go to and meet people. VCs who are interested in funding companies in that sector will come to these events as well. For example, one of my collegues is going to the AdTech conference in NYC to learn about the newest online advertising technologies. One of the speakers at the event will be Tim Chang, the Managing Director of Mayfield Fund, a VC firm. By looking at the speaker and attendee list of conference events, you can try and get introductions (even if you are introducing yourself) to those individuals at the event. You can search the website www.meetup.com to see what kind of events
are happening in your area.
Contact Them through Their Blog
Many VCs create their own blogs. For example, VC Brad Feld's blog is located at www.feld.com and VC Fred Wilson's blog is located at www.avc.com. You can do a Google search for VC blogs as well. Remember though, be targeted about whose blog you comment on. Don’t waste time on blogs for VCs who will never fund your type of deal. Once you find the blog of the VC you would like to have fund your company, review their blog posts and comment on them when can add valuable insights to the posts. Show them that you are smart and someone the VC would want to know. After a few comments, the VC will start to recognize you. When they respond to one of your comments directly, you'll have the opportunity to respond and ask them if
they would like to meet in person.
Connect with Them on LinkedIn®
LinkedIn makes it very easy to find VCs, but don’t just send them a message out of the blue asking if they want to read your business plan. Connect with them first; let them get to know you, add value to their lives in some way, like posting comments in discussion groups they belong to. Similar to blogs, they will start to recognize you and see you as a person they want to get to know. Only then should you ask them to look at your funding proposal.