Posted: Fri 25th Aug 2023
For small businesses, there are a whole host of benefits to attending a funding event. Arguably the most important is the opportunity it provides to network and make connections with people and organisations who might want to invest in your company.
Funding events typically bring together a diverse pool of investors, including angel investors, venture capitalists (VCs) and other institutional investors. Going along to one of these events means getting direct access to individuals who have the investment capital to support your venture.
Meeting potential investors face-to-face lets you make a lasting impression and establish relationships that can prove invaluable in securing valuable funding for your small business.
Make you and your business more visible
As well as being able to connect with possible investors, attending a funding event simply increases your exposure in the investment community.
Because these events tend to attract a wide range of investors – including experienced and successful investors who boast impressive track records – you're able to showcase your business model and highlight your growth potential. As a result, you expand your reach and gain visibility within the investment and business finance ecosystem.
Establishing relationships and securing funding are two vital elements of any small business's path towards growth. By attending funding events, you tap into a vast network of potential investors and strategic partners, increasing your chances of finding the right match and securing the money you need for future growth.
These events serve as a platform for you to pitch your business plan, share financial projections and discuss your business's chances of success, all while receiving valuable feedback and guidance from industry experts.
Preparing to attend a funding event: Top tips
Whether you're a start-up seeking seed funding or an established business looking for growth capital, funding events are critical moments that can shape your company's future trajectory. Investors play a crucial role in these events, providing the necessary financial resources and expertise to help fuel the growth of businesses like yours.
Before you decide to attend a funding event, bear the following in mind:
Target audience: Who's the event for?
Turning up at an event only to find that it isn't for businesses like yours would obviously be a waste of time. Consequently, before you go, spend a little time researching the event's target audience.
Consider what types of investors would be interested in your business, their investment criteria (see below), and the industries or sectors they typically focus on. Then check whether those kinds of people will be there for you to meet.
By researching the attendees, you can prepare relevant and insightful questions to ask investors that will demonstrate your knowledge and show that you're committed to finding the right investment professional for your business.
You'll also be better placed to identify potential partners or strategic investors who can provide not only funding but also valuable guidance and industry connections.
Investors' criteria: What are they looking for?
Understanding the investment criteria of people who could invest in your business is crucial when seeking funding. Once you know an investor's preferences and how they typically make investment decisions, you can better align your pitch to what they seek, and increase your chances of securing investment.
Here are some key factors to consider:
Preferred funding stage: Research when an investor prefers to invest in a business. Some specialise in early-stage start-ups, while others focus on companies who have reached the stage of wanting to grow and expand.
Matching the type of funding you need to the investor's preference makes it more likely you'll be successful in getting someone to invest.
Preferred business model: Understand whether the investor has specific needs or preferences in terms of the business models they value.
Some investors may prefer businesses that operate as software-as-a-service (SaaS) enterprises or e-commerce ventures, for example. Others may be open to a number of different business models. Knowing this will help you identify investors who fit your own business model.
Preferences relating to co-investment: Determine whether the investor prefers to co-invest with other investors or lead the investment round. Knowing this helps you gauge the investor's level of involvement and potential influence on your company's decision-making process.
Specific terms and conditions: Research if an investment provider has particular terms or conditions around valuations, sitting on a board of directors, or involvement in decision-making.
Asking about these details is important, as it makes sure the investor matches your vision for the company and avoids any surprises down the road.
Pitching: What do investors like to hear?
Not all funding events have a prescribed format for business owners to pitch investors, but sometimes the opportunity is there. If so, you must make the absolute most of it!
If you're attending an event and have the chance to pitch to people who are in a position to fund your business, it's important to understand what kind of pitch investors like to hear, and what they expect to see in a pitch deck.
By addressing the list of questions that investors typically seek answers to, you can craft a compelling and informative pitch that increases your chances of securing funding. Here are some resources on putting together a killer pitch:
About Access to Finance
Enterprise Nation Ireland has teamed up with a range of finance partners to show you which funding options are available and help you gain access to them.
Take part in interactive workshops, e-learning modules and free in-person consultations to move your business to the next level. Visit the Access to Finance Hub now