There comes a point in any startup where the starting funds can only be stretched so far before you need outside support from investors.
When your startup is an app, this point might come a lot sooner than you think with the process and timeline requiring an expert (and expensive) team and the right due diligence for each stage of the project.
If you’re unsure where to begin when it comes to finding serious investors or what shape your startup has to be in to even get in a room with one, let’s go over your approach here.
Let your app developers and expert team represent your potential
When it comes to what app developers look for, investors might be more impressed with the ‘who’ rather than the ‘what’. This is why you shouldn’t hide your app developers and creative talent in the office, but rather make them and their reputation part of the pitch.
This is particularly useful if you are in the early stages of your app startup and might not have too much to show an investor, so you can show previous work of the developers to demonstrate their talent and also isolate what parts of the successful app build they will be bringing to this app.
Investors become successful by not getting deep in the weeds, but rather stepping aside to let the right people do what they need to do and get the best outcome. Show them that this will be possible with your startup because you have the right team in place.
Plan your pitch from every angle
It goes without saying that you need to plan every detail of your pitch, but as we know from most cases, the devil is always in the detail. Think about how you are going to invite your prospective investors to the pitch meeting – is there a way you can do this that reflects the brand you are and has a little more flourish than a boring calendar invite?
Perhaps you can also send out an itinerary for what will be discussed during the meeting, allowing your investor to predict the flow and come prepared with the right questions which might skip a need for a follow-up meeting and go straight to the offer instead.
You could also put a fun spin on the refreshments, and get some alternate catering options, or even hire a food van today to serve your investors, showing them how your team thinks out of the box. All these touches won’t get an investor over the line of course – but it will leave them with an impression of who you are and what your app is about.
Consider competitions and PR opportunities
Submitting your startup into some prestigious competitions might give your app some clout that will attract a quality calibre of the investor, whether they are present at these forums or read about you.
In an ideal world, you want an investor to have heard of you and your startup before you make contact with them, and this can only really be achieved by a strong PR strategy and budget. You can execute this yourself or engage an agency to carry out this project, with the former being a more affordable option but perhaps not as successful.
If you have an app startup that is more compelling than your average business proposition and quite niched, reach out to the journalists who operate in that space and have a frank conversation with them about your app, why it is different and go directly to them to see if they would like to pick up the story for you.
You will never regret getting to know these key industry players, as journalists always need a story and will feel comfortable coming to your and your team over the duration of your relationship if you put in the effort now.
Talking about money and investment with your team is something you should do often, and you should continue to finesse your investor relations after each meeting – getting better every time. Also, do your research into the types of investors you need too, as some are willing to part with money and let you create, and others want some control over your direction.