How to Connect with Funders

Entrepreneurs can struggle to find out how to contact funders when they figure out who they would like to approach. Here are a few tips from investors and entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs can struggle to find out how to contact funders when they figure out who they would like to approach. Here are a few tips from investors and entrepreneurs.

Personal introductions are best 

Do your research and find out how you may be able to get introduced to an investor. Because the start-up scene is still emerging in Africa, there are probably only a few degrees of separation between you and the investor.

Seek out portfolio companies 

Find out who the investor has already backed and reach out to those start-ups. Most will be happy to share their experiences, and put you in touch if your idea is well-developed.

Enter accelerator/incubator/mentoring programmes 

Connecting to investors is one of the key reasons start-ups apply to these programmes, and they can be good for facilitating introductions. Make sure the programme is related to your startup’s sector, so the investors will be relevant.

Networking events 

These can be invite-only (in which case you can reach out to the organiser), or open to the public. Even if you do not find the right investor there, the people you meet can bring you one step closer.

Cold outreaches are a last resort 

If you did your research and cannot find a connection, send a brief but informative email with your pitch deck attached. Emphasise your track record in your email (products sold, users signed up, etc.).