How to Secure Grants for Your Startup using the Internet

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Congratulations on the successful launch of your new business. You have taken giant strides to realize your dream of being your boss. However, there is always room for improvement, and one of the things...

Bootstrapping sounds cool but it does not work. Especially if you are pitching in an idea for a startup. You need to find yourself, investors. But here’s the catch. It is not difficult to find investors. You can find a long list of them. However, convincing the investors to fund your idea is the tough part. Very tough, indeed.

Because an investor does not invest in an idea, he invests in a deal. He looks at all the possible benefits that the deal will bring to him. Therefore, you should be able to convince him. Your idea, as well as your personality, needs to be convincing enough to force the investor into funding your idea.

Here are a couple of ways by which you can try to tap investors:

LinkedIn

A very famous platform for connecting employers and the jobless (or not so jobless), LinkedIn also offers other services. Just to let you know that LinkedIn has a user base of around 467 Million, in case you skipped the facts. This includes professionals, executives, founders, and investors. So, what could be a better place to find an investor for your startup? Well, if you play smart, you can end up getting a handsome amount of fund for your startup. But before that, you need to keep in mind the following:

a) Build a strong LinkedIn profile. No one will pay heed to you if you come across as just another person who created a LinkedIn profile because, well, it’s a trend.

b) Build connections with people in your industry before you make the big move. The ‘big move’ being the request you send to investors.

c) Make sure you connect with people including journalists, editors, and mentors.

d) Now you are ready to connect with investors. Searching for terms like ‘Investors’, ‘Venture Capitalist’ or ‘Angel Investor’ will do the job for you. When you do so, opt for sending a message (no longer than 300 words) to the investor using LinkedIn Ads.

Online Investor Networks

Look for online investor networks. Some of the famous ones include Gust, Beam, and AngelList. The reason why you would need to resort to these networks is that it is a difficult job to find contact details of investors to shoot a pitch at them. These networks solve this problem for you. You can opt for the free version of these networks (in case you are low on budget). Or you can choose to pay and subscribe to the premium versions. The choice depends on the availability of funds. All you have to do is create an account and start searching for investors. Once connected, send them a message to pitch your idea.

Facebook Groups

No, they are not only meant to promote bloggers or vloggers. Facebook groups can help you find investors for your new venture as well. But you need to have a keen eye for this. No doubt that Facebook will offer you with unless options. Because people from different industries, race, age, and backgrounds unite on this platform. But you have to make a smart search yourself. There are several ways to go about it.

One way is to start posting directly in the startup groups that you are a part of on Facebook. Even if you are not a part of any, look for some and send them a request to join. Keep your post short and sweet. And see if anyone responds. I know of a person who got into a deal with AT&T because he pitched an idea that went well with AT&T offers at that particular time. So you see, you can end up securing a deal with prominent names as well. If you do not want to opt for the first option, try contacting the owners of these startup groups. A third option is to go by the longer route. Start browsing the names of the group members and see if you can find any investors. If you do, contact them and try to pitch your idea.

Google is the King

The most common way, however, is looking for people on Google. May sound basic, but it helps. You can always find the contact details of a person by searching him on Google (most of the times). Almost all investors or venture capitalists have their websites. You can try contacting them through their websites. Or you can also try finding the curated list of investors that are published by different media publications.

And if nothing works, you can always resort to your friends and family.

Happy investor hunting!

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Tell us in the comments.

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