build trust before asking for introductions
trust means having a relationship
Welcome to the new people on the list. As a reminder, I am Dragos from Project Arrow, where we mentor founders about how to build from 0 to 1 and get their startups investable in the process.
Get feedback on your startup pitch
Are you a super early-stage startup looking to get some directional feedback on your company?
We’re doing an informal event exactly for that - you get feedback, advice and a chance to rehearse your pitch in a real life context. You will get a minute or two for sharing what your startup is up to (think elevator pitch) and get feedback from me - expect something along the lines “is it clear what you do?”; “you need those numbers when you pitch”; “do you know about those other startups in your space?”; “those investors may be interested in your industry”.
You can also participate by watching others, it's a great learning experience to hear what consistent themes come up.
Sign up here - please note that while we’re trying to accommodate everybody, the number of spots is limited.
Build trust before cold asking for intros
Let’s talk about cold asking for warm introductions - that is asking people you don’t know for introductions to the people they know.
Investors introductions via friends of friends could work very well, especially with the people already in your network and familiar with your work - I highly recommend doing it.
But what happens if you ask somebody you don’t have a relationship with for an intro to the investors from their network? A cold ask for a warm intro could be very tricky - since you don’t have any formal or informal connection, you don’t have their trust. An introduction means vouching for that guy, how can you vouch for somebody if you don’t know them? What if it makes you look bad? The less you know that person, the higher the risk of an intro going bad.
You see, people view their network as a major source of value. They will happily open up their network and recommend you if it makes them look good. But would you take a chance intro-ing somebody you don’t know and validate them at the risk of making a bad impression? Doubtful.
What you can do instead - invest in building a relationship that would get you into their networks. Build rapport, familiarity and the premises of trust by creating a win win situation, and understand that social capital means connecting the dots between people and their incentives. Otherwise, asking out of the blue a person you don’t know for access to their social capital will likely lead to firing a bridge instead of building it.
PS1. Have you started a startup or launched something recently? Are you looking for founding employees & co-founders? Maybe you're just new to the startup world and looking to make connections across the European ecosystem? Tell our growing list of people by replying to this email and I'll add it to our next newsletter. Don't be shy!
PS2. some previous materials for the 300+ new subscribers that just joined our community: