What’s the most common mistake startups make when reaching out to potential angel investor or mentor? My co-founder and I have written to a lot of people, including you, but not got any response. We have approached mostly through LinkedIn. That’s why I thought of submitting this question to your website. I hope you will answer.

Answered by Meeta Malhotra

I’m really glad you asked that question Vrinda and I can answer it from my own experience. The most common mistake that startups make when they reach out to me is to ask for time or a meeting without any context or background. I’ll often get a message that says ‘I have founded a company in the xyz space. Please can we meet so I can tell you more about it’. It’s very unlikely that I, or any angel investor I know, will grant that request. Much as I would like to, it’s physically impossible for me to meet every startup who writes in to me.

This kind of thing happens with startups looking for investment and for marketing / branding answers. My advice to both would be the same:

In just a few bullet points, summarise what you do, what the current state of the business is and what you are looking for. You can include a deck for more detailed reading, if you have one.

Have a strong call to action. This way, I or any other reader, can move to the next step. I can tell you if I am interested I knowing more or not. Alternatively, if you have a question, I can try and send you an answer.

Also, I am much more likely to answer queries that come through my website than through LinkedIn Twitter DMs.