Cold Emailing Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors

Although most people recommend getting an introduction to a VC or an angel investor, it is sometimes necessary to send a cold email. Here are some thoughts on how one could frame those emails.

This is what I think the basic structure of the email should be:

  • Why you are reaching out
  • How your startup is of interest to the individual.
  • A little of your background, establishing some credibility.

Example 1

A great example of an email from a founder to an investor is:

Hi Pankaj,

I am physician entrepreneur and I run a health tech startup, <STARTUP NAME>, focused on the digital health space with a focus on diabetes. I sold my previous startup in 2015 and started this company in 2016.

I believe you will find our startup interesting because it has measurable traction, we’re going after a massive market and we’re a team that’s been working together for more than a decade.

We are in the process of raising a series A round and are looking for strategic angels that can help with international growth, business strategy, and ecosystem building. Attached is a teaser deck for your review. I would be delighted to setup some time with you to go through the business in greater detail.

In this example, the founder starts with a quick introduction and continues by adding a little about his credibility, being a physician, and selling his previous startup.

He then explains why this deal might be of interest to me. He might have done a little research or watched previous episodes of Invest Stream to know that I want to see traction in the companies I invest in, as well as, a large market size. He also knows that I care about the team and how well they work together.

He closes with why they would like me to consider investing and attaches a PDF. There’s been some debates on Twitter about the use of PDFs vs. using services like DocSend. I prefer PDFs so I can scribble notes on them and save them for posterity 🙂

Example 2

Hi Pankaj,

My name is Dr. <FOUNDER’S NAME>, co-founder of <STARTUP NAME>, an intelligent telehealth platform.

<STARTUP NAME> is an AI telehealth platform helping doctors to complete clinical documentation accurately and efficiently instead of manual, sloppy, unreadable notes. With <STARTUP NAME> providers have increased productivity and the amount of time they can spend with patients by almost 60 hours a year and are, thus, increasing their revenue by more than 100k annually.

Knowing your investment in <PREVIOUS INVESTMENT>, I think you might be interested in knowing more about <STARTUP NAME>, and what we do with AI to help physicians to be more efficient with their time.

Some of our numbers:

  • 50% MoM
  • +5K consultations
  • +50 physicians subscribed to our platform
  • +10 medical specialties

We are raising our Seed Round, and we would really like to show you more of what we are doing and get your feedback.

Let me know if I can send you my deck, or we can jump on a call next week.

I hope to hear back from you soon,

In this example, the founder introduces himself (also adding credibility that he’s a physician) and gives me quick intro to the company and the problem that it’s solving.

He also shares some of their traction information and shows that he’s researched me before dropping me a cold email (referencing a company I’ve invested in previously).

He then shares what stage they are at and why he would like to talk. I would have preferred if he sent me the deck or a teaser deck but it’s not the end of the world. 

What other examples do you have of a cold email you’ve sent out that’s worked well for you?

Business Entrepreneurship India Startups

Startup Saturday Delhi – December 13th, 2008

Delhi’s first installment of Startup Saturday is scheduled for the 13th of December 2008. The event will be held from 2pm till 6pm at the American Center, New Delhi.

We’re very excited to be working with the gracious team at the American Center to help add a little something to the burgeoning entrepreneurial community in the Delhi/NCR region.

The American Center is located on KG Marg, right next to Connaught Place.

Please sign up if you’d like to demo at Startup Saturday Delh. Please sign up here, f you’d like to present on a specific topic related to starting and running a startup.

Registration and additional details will be coming soon.Registration for Startup Saturday is now open

Please check back here for updates.

We look forward to seeing you at Startup Saturday, Delhi.

Business Entrepreneurship India Startups

Startup Saturday Delhi – Request for Demos

To help the Indian Startup Ecosystem in some small way, we’re going to be involved in setting up the Delhi chapter of Startup Saturday which is a part of HeadStart. We’d like to use this forum to help startups in the Delhi/NCR region showcase their products to a community of peers, media, and investors.

If you or your company is interested in demoing, please complete the form below.

Business Delhi India New Delhi

Startup Saturday Delhi – Request for Demos

To help the Indian Startup Ecosystem in some small way, we’re going to be involved in setting up the Delhi chapter of Startup Saturday which is a part of HeadStart. We’d like to use this forum to help startups in the Delhi/NCR region showcase their products to a community of peers, media, and investors.

If you or your company is interested in demoing, please complete the form below.

Business Entrepreneurship India Startups

The Indian Tech Startup Ecosystem

I’ve been in New Delhi for almost a year and a half now. Though it’s been difficult getting things going, I’ve been fortunate to meet some really interesting entrepreneurs, all at various stages of the business life cycle. A few of us have even formed a group where we meet every two weeks to discuss various issues that we’re facing in each of our businesses. Though this is a small, private group, many other groups and events are beginning to take place in cities like New Delhi that can help foster the startup mindset.


Building an ecosystem, for anything, is never easy. Building a tech startup ecosystem in India, is twice as difficult as it might be as compared to a city like NYC.

What goes into building a startup ecosystem?

  1. Drive and Passion
  2. Mentorship and Guidance
  3. Free Sharing of Ideas and Community Guidance

Drive and Passion

The first thing and, in my opinion, the most important thing is the drive and will to take a chance and bring about a major change.

There’s a great deal of energy building in India around the idea of starting a company. Folks right out of college are beginning to consider working for a startup or even having a go at their own startup. Unfortunately, these folks are still the exception to the rule. They are a very very small minority of graduates, but it’s nice to see that students are even considering startups as an option.

These recent graduates provide an energy, drive and risk taking capacity that is missing in those that have been institutionalized (been at cushy jobs longer than they should). However, they lack the experience in building and running a business that’s necessary.

Mentorship and Guidance

The second thing that is critical to an ecosystem is mentorship.

In places like Silicon Valley, there are hundreds, if not thousands of experienced entrepreneurs who are willing and able to provide guidance to the next generation of budding entrepreneurs.

In India, the land of small business, it’s much harder to find effective mentors that have the experience building and running a startup – especially tech startups. In all of India, there are probably a few dozen entrepreneurs that have built, run, and in some cases, sucessfully exited the startups they founded or began their careers at. Fortunately, these 1st generation tech startup junkies have began “giving back” by advising/mentoring, and in some cases, providing seed capital to the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.

Many 1st generation entrepreneurs have formed angel groups, venture capital funds, Y-Combinator style incubators, and most importantly, these 1st gen tech entrepreneurs are active in local events such as BarCamps (though not in all cases approachable). Organizations like TiE are also heavily involved in providing mentors to budding entrepreneurs. However, from what I’ve heard, the results of the mentorship have been mixed. Nonetheless, this component of building an entrpreneurial ecosystem is gaining momentum and it’s growing.

Free Sharing of Ideas and Community Guidance

The third item that I feel is critical to an entrepreneurial ecosystem is the free sharing of knowledge and ideas which helps to bring about community-based mentorship.

I have found people in India to be very open to sharing knowledge and ideas. Events like BarCamps, OSSCamps, OCC (Open Coffee Club), etc. are all examples of people taking the initiative to meet with other like minded individuals to discuss their businesses, talk about technology, legal affairs, share resources, etc. Newcomers and strangers are welcome with typical Indian hospitality. Most of the people I have met through some of these events were quite open and friendly about their businesses. They have also been invaluable advisors and full of resources.

Many times, talking to a mentor about hiring issues could be helpful but other times, the mentor could be out of touch with issues like compensation packages, finding office space, finding the right recruiter, working with the right vendors or knowing what technical skill set would be required for a specific job. In cases like this, sharing your needs with the community can be extremely beneficial. People in the community have, most likely, gone through and dealt with similar issues or dealing with them at the same time you are. They can easily share how they overcame the hurdle in front of them and give you an angle of attack that you may have overlooked or put you in touch with a great resource to help you move forward. Couple this with advice from your mentor and you could have a resource equivalent to an informal board of advisors.

There’s still a long way before India can come anywhere close to Silicon Valley in terms of it’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, changes are happening at a rapid pace. The economic boom of the last four years in India is fueling more ambition and passion than ever before. I believe the next five years will be an exciting time in the Indian technology industry with true innovation beginning to take place here, in India.