Mike Preuss's posts

Co-founder and CEO of Visible.vc. Chicago born and IU Grad.

5 Strategies for Cold Emailing Potential Investors

Looking for potential investors for your next round of funding? Check out Visible Connect, our 100% free and open investor database: connect.visible.vc Getting connected with potential investors for your fundraise is laborious. Quite often it feels like you are playing a massive game of inside baseball and thought leaders tell you that the only way in is to have a warm introduction. The reality is that investors are open to cold pitches and well known companies like Box were funded through a cold email. We equate a fundraising process to that of a B2B Enterprise sale. Any great B2B sales team leverages cold emailing as a channel to set meetings. The same principles that apply to B2B cold emailing also apply for your fundraise. Remember… an investors job is to…

By Mike Preuss - September 14, 2020

Visible Connect: Introducing Our Investor Database

TL;DR — We are excited to announce Visible Connect, our investor database. Visible Connect uses first hand data and directly integrates to our Fundraising CRM. You can give Visible Connect a try here.  Fundraising is a challenging, time consuming process for startups. One of those challenges is finding the right investors. Founders spend countless hours trying to understand:  Is this investor active? What deals have they done recently? Will they lead? Take a board seat?  What geographies do they invest in? What stages? What verticals?  What size checks do they typically write? Have they raised a new fund recently?  Do they have certain traction metrics or growth rates they like to see?  The current patchwork of data sources & resources lack the founder first mentality, can be cost prohibitive and lack…

By Mike Preuss - August 17, 2020

Mike’s Note #15 — Raising?

Are you raising (or about to raise) a round between $500k and $2M? Or know an incredible founder who is? An internal skunkworks team here at Visible is embarking on an exciting experiment to more directly help founders raise funding. We are going to select 5 amazing startups to closely partner with to make the lonely, stressful process of fundraising way better – at no cost and for zero equity. Get support with: Pitch Deck Construction & Design Investor Target List & Introductions Process & Strategy Financial Modeling Diligence Support & Data Room Setup And much more! Tap into our growing network of active investors, topic experts, and operators. We’ll be there to coach you on best practices and lend emotional support throughout your fundraising journey. If you’re interested in…

By Mike Preuss - May 18, 2020

Mike’s Note #13 — It is easier to change your preferred airline than it is your cap table

Seth Godin wrote “beware of experience asymmetry.” Reading his post, I thought about the time I got my first mortgage. I remember thinking, Am I getting a good rate? How much house should I buy versus how much house can I buy? It was stressful. I felt vulnerable. The internet and publicly available data helped me call around and shop rates. (I still would have paid handsome money for a local guide.) Seth calls out venture capital in his post. This is an important place to get a local guide. In my opinion, the best local guide is another venture firm. This may sound counterintuitive, let me explain. If you’re looking to make a deal, having more than one venture firm in the mix will help you get a truer…

By Mike Preuss - April 26, 2020

Mike’s Note #12 — Investor NPS

How likely are you to refer your current lead investor(s) to fellow founders? Let us know through this NPS form. Answers are 100% anonymous. We keep hearing from founders wanting a “Glassdoor for investors.” There is a lot to unpack there. e.g. How do you: Keep founders safe through anonymity but validate the information is accurate? Remove bias if a founder is an upset that an investor says no? (Which they do 99% of time) Until then, I am curious to see what the response rate is. If you are comfortable just select 1-10. Last Week’s Notes – A Matchmaking Experiment Thanks to all who participated. If there was a solid match, the double opt-in intros went out this week!

By Mike Preuss - April 17, 2020

Mike’s Note #11 — A Matchmaking Experience

I’ve found the best advice typically comes from someone with relevant experience. When asked for advice I try operating this way, sharing a story or experience rather than my mere opinion. This weekly note consists of 2,500+ founders and operators. Many of you have deep, rich experiences and/or many are also looking for guidance in these unprecedented times. We are going to attempt to play matchmaker and facilitate introductions with our community. Here is how this will work. Fill out this form with areas you can provide experience and areas where you need guidance. We (Visible) will facilitate the introductions. To respect everyone’s time these intros will be double opt in. *This is a complete experiment. The likelihood is this will fail but we want to test. We will still help…

By Mike Preuss - April 10, 2020

Mike’s Note #10 — Natural Growth Rate

Publishing this on the weekend…It would be a lie if I said I was A/B testing engagement. I ended up in an all day workshop Friday with some university students — it is always refreshing seeing what the next generation is working on. I digress… I recently came across a great blog post by OpenView called “The New SaaS Metric You Should Be Tracking“. In short, the argument is that current SaaS metrics are dated and as go-to-market models shift to product led growth we should evaluate these businesses with a new set of metrics. The core thesis is that PLG companies don’t have the same immediate growth rates as SaaS companies of yesteryear since they take time to compound. In the post, they introduce a metric called “Natural Rate…

By Mike Preuss - April 5, 2020

Mike’s Note #9 — Acting in Bad Faith

Have you ever dealt with someone acting in bad faith? How did you handle it? This week I believe a partner of Visible’s is acting in bad faith. Nothing illegal but what I would consider bad business. I’ve sent them an email outlining my concerns and have yet to hear back. I could… Put them on blast online. This might feel good for a minute but will likely not solve the problem. I could also be seen as acting in bad faith. Go the legal route. That sounds expensive and likely will not solve my problem. Ignore it. I’d love to hear any of your experiences and outcomes that you feel comfortable sharing. I will definitely follow up when I feel more comfortable doing so as well. Last Weeks Note…

By Mike Preuss - March 27, 2020

Mike’s Note #8 — Our Open Sourced Investor Database

We are sharing before we are ready on this one. So much has changed over the past week we wanted to audible to make sure we are helping startups as much as we can. The Visible team is fast tracking our open sourced investor database project. While this will be productized in the near future, we are hosting it on Airtable which you can find here. We currently have data on over 6,500 early stage investors, accelerators and venture funds across the world. Our mission is to give startups a better chance of success and that starts with access to capital. If you want to pay it forward and have a data source to contribute, just reply back. You can find more about the project here. A huge thanks to…

By Mike Preuss - March 20, 2020

Mike’s Note #7 — Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

When I started drafting the note earlier this week I was going to ask you about Covid-19 and how it will impact your business in the short, medium and long term. Well… a lot has changed in 72 hours and you would think we are going through GDPR again with how many emails I’ve received from vendors that I haven’t heard from in years. I don’t want to make light of the situation, it is serious, but figured you might be tired of the constant reminder. (*some extra notes at the end) Instead, I want to share the story of Richard Montañez. If you haven’t read his story yet — please do. It made the rounds a couple years ago but want to re-share as it is one of my…

By Mike Preuss - March 13, 2020