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Using LinkedIn to Find a Business Partner

Suppose you have your business plan, management team, market analysis, prototype or working model, and you’ve built up a customer set. You’ve done some LinkedIn research and are ready to start shopping around and looking for an investment. You’ve perfected your 30-second elevator pitch so you can quickly and accurately describe your business to anyone who’s interested, and you can quote the facts and figures you need for any presentation.

It’s time to seek out a funding partner. Although this is not the exhaustive list of what you can do, here are some tips that can help you find that partner using LinkedIn:

  • Do research on your leads. Look up potential investors on LinkedIn and read their profiles. See what interests they have, what group affiliations they maintain, and what information they share or gather using LinkedIn Groups or Companies. Follow through on any websites, blogs, or profiles they link to from their profiles. See what you have in common or which benefit of your company might interest them the most.

  • Work your network and get them working. Do advanced searches to see how your network can connect you with the right person. Maybe someone in your network knows a venture capitalist or an angel investor. Someone in one of your groups may have the right connection in one of her groups. Let your network know what you’re looking for and ask for help, advice, or a push.

  • Get introduced or reach out yourself. If a potential investor is a second- or third-degree network member, use LinkedIn introductions to ask your contacts to introduce you. If you have no direct connections, consider using InMail to make your own introduction.

  • Do your homework before any meeting. Use LinkedIn to prepare for your meeting with a potential investor. Study her profile and check the LinkedIn Company pages for information about her company. If she's in your extended network, ask your connections (people who know her) for advice and information. See what companies she has invested in and research those companies as well.

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