Bure Valley Group is an investment introducer platform which links successful investors with exciting, innovative UK startups seeking funding. This content is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial or investment advice.
Each year, between 500,000-700,000 new startups are launched in the UK. Even so, it can be surprisingly difficult for investors to find decent early-stage businesses to invest in. It can be a challenge, also, for startup founders to find the right investors to help their business grow to the next level. In this article, our team at Bure Valley Group shares five ideas to help investors and founders make contact. We hope this is useful to you. To find out more about our EIS and other investment opportunities in our exclusive investor network, visit our portfolio page here. To enquire regarding our latest projects and funding (for investors and founders, respectively), you can reach us via:
+44 160 334 0827
#1 Startups: get marketing
For startups, brand exposure is important not only for drawing new customers but also potential investors. We understand that budgets are typically constrained for early-stage businesses. Yet there are cost-effective ways to get the word out. In the digital sphere, display advertising on Google Ads can offer a low cost-per-click (CPC) to show your graphical ads on different websites that potential investors frequent. Generating buzz in online communities can also be useful, such as Stack Exchange and Dribbble.
#2 Investors: build an online research repertoire
Never before have investors had such ready access to online directories to browse different startups. Product Hunt, for instance, allows investors to search using different criteria and filters (e.g. by industry or product type). You can also set up alerts on many of these websites so that you are notified of new opportunities that may fit your requirements. Startup investing platforms can also be useful sources for potential projects. Of course, there is also the UK Business Angels Association and other private crowdfunders that can turn up opportunities.
#3 Both: join a network
Here at Bure Valley Group, we are just one example of an investor network where startups can pitch their projects for potential funding. For investors, this gives them easy access to a range of pre-vetted startups to investigate. A professional network can help to handle the legal aspects of startup investing and grants more tools and services to investors so they can manage deal flow and track investment activities more effectively. The network also acts as a hub to bring together experience and expertise from across many investors, allowing members to gather other perspectives and diversify more effectively. Founders also benefit from the prestige of having passed the network’s rigorous due diligence process, which can help during pitch presentations. Startups can also benefit from the network’s support (e.g. advising on technology and business tasks) to increase their attractiveness to potential funding partners.
#4 Both: attend startup events
Technology is a fantastic way to forge professional relationships without ever meeting in person. Yet in-person interactions are still important – especially when it comes to angel investing. Given the stakes involved to the involved parties (e.g. investor capital), face-to-face meetings allow for founders and investors to network and gauge one another. Startup events are a great place to do this. These might include pitch competitions, industry conferences and meetups. Be careful not to limit yourself just to local events, however. Expanding your horizons to new towns and cities can open you to opportunities which you may otherwise have missed.
#5 Both: seek out introductions
In the business world, so much opportunity is accessed from who you know. Both founders and investors have many professional connections and you may be able to mine them to meet the right people. You can ask a founder/investor directly for recommendations, of course. However, you could also try using digital platforms like LinkedIn to look at someone’s social connections. From there, you could then ask for specific introductions rather than simply asking for them blindly. You can also try cold contacts as a last resort if you are feeling bold, although you need to think carefully through this approach. Using an email finder to send a message to an investor, for instance, may be ignored or could even backfire on you. Ideally, it is better to have a shared connection and social proof to back up your credibility.
So, what are the next steps? Quite simply, it is to act. Good investment opportunities rarely just land on your lap. As a founder, for example, it may be time to start marketing more proactively using Google Ads, Facebook Ads or other channels.
For an investor, the next best step might be to systematise your online research tools and networking methods. If you are ready to start diversifying outside of your industry expertise, for instance, then joining a professional investor network could give you access to the knowledge and experience you need. Both newcomers and seasoned investors can benefit from this.
Interested in finding out more about the exciting startup projects we have on offer to investors here at Bure Valley Group? Get in touch today to start a conversation with our team and discuss some of the great investment memorandums we have available here:
+44 160 334 0827