A few weeks ago, I had a Skype call with an amazing ChangeMaker entrepreneur who is building a very disruptive venture in the fitness industry.
Over the past years, he invested close to $3 million into his new venture from his own pocket. Now, he is looking for an investment of $15 million from one or two external investors.
After he shared this with me, I asked him what his challenge is with finding these investors. His answer was not something new. It’s what many entrepreneurs share with me.
The challenge is to find the “right” investors, the ones who not only invest their money but their powerful network, sweat and tears, their emotional labor, their superpowers and the ones who share the entrepreneur’s core set of values and vision.
Invitation to a Gumball Type Rally
A week after our initial call, we had another chat over Skype. Within the first few minutes, he shared something extremely exciting that he had just experienced.
In the week that had passed, he got invited to take part in a similar event like the famous Gumball Rally. 50 or so people drive with their super-sport cars through a continent and have a blast.
Of course, a major aspect of the entire event is the relationships that develop over the course of these few days when likeminded people hang out with each other.
Suddenly, the idea of finding one or two investors who want to contribute $15 million to his venture was no longer that far away.
He would most probably meet some likeminded people at the Rally who are either potential investors or who know a few people who are.
But why would you find investors who want to make a difference at a Gumball Rally?
One major reason is that at such a Rally, you probably find lots of people who have achieved everything they wanted to achieve in their lives. Millionaires or even some Billionaires who have ticked off all the items on their bucket lists and with a high chance, they still don’t feel ultimately fulfilled.
It may just be the perfect place to meet those powerful people who are looking for ways of contribution that satisfies their desire for deep fulfillment.
The best part, they have all the means it takes to create huge positive impact in the world and they need you, your passion, your vision for the future and your faith in what you are building to make that positive change a reality.
The Hidden Investor Market
I recently met with a venture capitalist who has a network of 300 angel investors in Europe. He shared a staggering statistic with me.
There are somewhere around 500’000 millionaires in Switzerland and only a fraction, less than 1% of them, are currently angel investors.
I would argue that a significant part of the 99% would be willing to invest if the “right” business opportunity came along.
So if you are looking for an investor or partner, it may make sense to look into those 99% and find the ones who are looking to make a difference through their capital, emotional labor, network and superpowers but have a hard time finding “the right” entrepreneur to invest in.
A few months ago, I worked with a client who was sick and tired of the status quo and with his business situation. He was looking to do something new, something where he could make a difference. He was not actively looking to invest but if “the right” venture came along, he was very open to discuss it with the entrepreneur.
At some point, I connected him with an entrepreneur who is building a positively disruptive venture in the fashion industry.
Both of them share a set of core values, and their vision for the future clearly overlapped. Therefore, it was no surprise that they quickly got along well.
About two to three months into the relationships they decided to cut a deal.
My client invested close to CHF 1 million into the entrepreneur’s venture and is actively involved now in the development of the business with his own sweat and tears.
Meeting Invisible Investors
It definitely does require more work and effort to get in front of investors in the hidden market. However, there are many benefits that come with it.
The competition is much smaller because they are not actively looking for investment opportunities but would invest in “the right” venture when it comes along.
Often, they have climbed the Maslow Pyramid so close to the top that they are looking for the last piece to ultimate fulfillment, contribution.
Many are looking to give back. I have met countless executives and successful business owners who are looking to contribute in a way that is meaningful to them.
A great way to find them and engage with them is through LinkedIn. Look for clues in what people are up to and if it resonates with you.
If somebody is on the board of a foundation that tackles hunger and environmental change as a cause and you are building a venture that enables people to grow their own food at home so that the insanity of truck and airplane transportation can be reduced to a minimum, that may be a great connection for you to make.
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