Building an Investor Pipeline Spreadsheet - keep your funding flowing!
Raising capital is a major time suck for most founders. But it's so much worse when a founder pitches the wrong deal to the wrong investor. These slides provide a simple methodology for building a killer investor pipeline spreadsheet to help the fundraising process move along. It also includes a Google Spreadsheet template to get the process started.
Check out the template:
Yep - I’ve tried tons
of fancy tools and
always come back
to Google Sheets
Nope, don’t use
Depending on your stage, make a few
tabs in the spreadsheet:
Angel / FF
Microsfunds / seed
stage you are at now one
You’ll want to build out the spreadsheet
for the plus
Sometimes which tab
to list an investor in is
unclear as they invest
That’s okay, do your
best. This is a living
document that will
change all the time
Add these columns to each tab:
Lead / no lead
Who can intro?
Fund size: the size
of a fund gives a
sense of what an
investor can actually
* This will help you stay ahead of those tricky
investors who talk a big game but only have a
Theme: what the
investor invests in like
female founders, etc.
Don’t forget the column titled ‘who can
This is the key to the entire thing
not going to erase
Make sure the doc is fully
You are sharing this with your closest
confidants. They are
Before you send
out to a larger
to take a
people make intros
Send this spreadsheet out to
who can help and
think of other investors you may have
Good introducers can be...
Founders in the target investors’ portfolio
Bad introducers are...
not that into you
Potential investors who have a
Please don’t get sucked into this trap. Many investors are
trying to be nice and help - but if they are passing you along to
another investor, they are just . If the investor
has not written a check and they typically invest in your stage /
vertical, it’s a lousy intro.
Cold outreach or people who can’t really
vouch for you
Not everyone agrees with this but I feel strongly about it.
Write your introducers a
when you share the spreadsheet
stating of the doc and the
Dear [first name],
Hope you’re doing well. I’m reaching out to
share my investor pipeline doc with you. The
aim is to keep track of potential sources of
funding. I’d really appreciate it if you could put
me in touch with investors who you feel may
be relevant - happy to provide a customized
intro email if this would be helpful.
Thanks so much
Include forwardable info on the bottom
of your email for easy sharing
custom emailsWrite for each intro;
some introducers will prefer that
Alex Iskold, former Techstars NYC
MD and Managing Partner at 2048
has a helpful post on this here
fill upThe spreadsheet will with names
of people who can make each intro.
Anyone not making an intro will feel
pressured to do so… :)
wait for a
Give the introducer around
for the double opt in
Each introducer will want to
before making any
If you don’t get a
Ask another personStill no luck? for
Make sure that you have a good
selection of who can
help you with intros
5-10 should work well
Be sure to follow-up
with anyone that makes
an introduction for you.
Let them know how the
whether good or bad.
It's helpful for the
introducer to know!
Close The Loop
categorization is off
You did not spend enough time
researching the investors and therefore
You asked for intro even though you’ve
to someone else at that
This is a big no no. Transparency is key.
You sent a
It seems to be on trend for VCs to claim they
don’t prefer a warm intro and are happy to
receive cold intros that are well thought out. I
don’t really buy it. Sure, it happens, but why
take the chance when you can likely get an
intro with some additional effort?
Now you’re off
to the races!
Go build that
Do the research.
Build a pipeline.
Ask for intros.