How to communicate with T.A.N.

For startups

Raising money is hard and communication is an incredibly important factor. Even if you have a great startup and team, if you don’t communicate effectively and efficiently, there is a good chance to miss out on good investors/advisors.

Communication is the most important thing when you want to raise money from angel investors. By communicating very well in writing and conversation you can: get through the screening process by attracting the interest of the decision makers, earn the opportunity to pitch to potential investors and achieve your goal of attracting smart money to help you to achieve success.

Below are the steps that we recommend you to follow in order to have the best result possible when communicating with T.A.N.

Apply on site

Too many founders think “I bet I have more chances of a funding discussion if I approach the T.A.N. board directly on LinkedIn” or “I’ll just send one of them an email with all of our info”.

If you approach us on Linkedin, you will be redirected to apply on the site. Same thing if you send us an email, and there is the chance for it to get lost in Junk or Spam. 

Either way, none of the above actions will get you closer to your objective. At the beginning we only need the info that you will enter into the Startups application form. In addition, using the site ensures that we’ll contact you and potentially have a follow-up discussion.

What to send to us when you apply?

A well made pitch deck is all that we need from you at the start. We don’t need youtube videos, financial excel spreadsheets nor mockups of how your solution works. 

At this stage a good pitch deck helps us to understand what your startup is about. Answering questions like: what problem do you solve, how do you solve it, how big is the market for solving it, who are your teammates and what are their roles, do you have a prototype/MVP/proof of concept/pilot, do you have clients and where, exactly, is your project at in it’s development stage. 

Don’t use a technical language to try to impress, use straightforward language, concepts and ideas.

The PITCH DECK

There is no perfect way of how a pitch deck should be structured. The best pitch decks are the ones where investors understand almost everything about the startup, just by reading the slides. 

Make it as professional as you can; spelling, grammar and visual presentation are  all important. This is your calling card and people’s first impression of you and your project. It’s the document that investors will share among themselves. Few will remember all of the details of your presentation; the deck will remind them. If an investor thinks your startup will be interesting for another investor, then they can share your pitch deck.

Below are some key points to include when creating your deck:

  • Problem

  • state the problem you are solving and the pain it causes

  • make the audience understand the problems and pain of your clients

  •  
  • Solution

  • how will you solve their problems and eliminate their pains?
  • be direct and to the point

  •  
  • Customer

  • you must clearly know who are your your target customers

  • explain how you will validate your solution with them

  •  
  • Competition

  • pick 3-4 competitors and tell us what are your advantages

  •  
  • Business Model

  • explain clearly how are you going to make money

  • explain how you will reach customers

  • explain how you will sell to them

  • include pricing models

  •  
  • Market

  • TAM, SAM, SOM

  • be specific about these amounts and do not exaggerate

  • include the source of your info

  •  
  • Traction

  • do you already have clients and revenue? 

  • do you have any established partnerships or sales channels?

  • have you done any pilots or proof of concepts (paid or unpaid)?

  •  
  • Milestones

  • show important milestones in your evolution until now

  • what are your plans for next milestones the immediate and near future

  •  
  • Go to market strategy

  • clearly explain how you plan to enter your chosen market

  • clearly explain how you will find, sell to and retain clients

  • do you know your CCA (cost of client acquisition)?

  • do you know the LTV (lifetime value) of your clients?

  •  
  • Team

  • show your faces and list your expertises

  • tell us why each member of your team is the best person for this opportunity

  • explain each person’s role and responsibility

  • remember that angels investors will invest in the team’s expertise, experience, knowledge, passion, dedication and commitment

  • show your advisors, if you have them ( you should have at least 1 or 2)

  • if you need advisors in specific areas then ask for them

  •  
  • Raise

  • how much money are you asking for? 

  • what valuation are you raising funds?

  • how much equity do you offer in exchange for investment? 

  • have a clear Use of Funds schedule for the amount you are raising

  •  
  • Demo

  • be prepared to show exactly how your solution works

  • if you still have time during a pitch then do a short demo

  • if there is no time then we suggest that you invite investors to another meeting to show them your demo and get more time with them

  •  
  • Thank you page

  • always  thank people for their time and interest

  • include here your contact info

  •  
  • + 2 extra slides with info you know investors need more clarity 

  • be certain that there is a specific topic you think needs more detailed explanations

  • only with important info you KNOW investors NEED

  • If you expect some questions regarding a certain topic, prepare a slide with answers to that topic

The Process with T.A.N.

After you apply, don’t expect to be contacted immediately. During the week or so after you apply we’ll contact you with our feedback. If we have some interest to learn more we’ll schedule a 20-30 minute discussion during which you will present your startup idea/project to one or more of us.

Investors are attracted by startups that have some revenue, but that is not mandatory. It is important to learn about the team and how you have evolved to date, as well as about your product/service, the problem it solves and the size of the market, etc. At this stage, keep the conversation as straightforward as possible using real data, proving that your startup really solves a problem in a large market and that it will be worthwhile funding you.

Do not worry if you are not accepted to present to investors. We’ll follow-up with you in the next 3-6 months to see how you are evolving. You are welcome to send us email updates on your progress. Often a startup needs some form(s) of validation from the market before it is ready for funding.

If you are accepted to present, then the next step is the establishment of a date for a meetup with T.A.N. investors. Usually a meetup includes3 startups pitching to 20-30 investors. Be authentic and show your passion for your project! Reminder; don’t try to offer a reply to a question, if you don’t know the answer. It is ok not to know everything and to reply that you will investigate and come back with an answer. Investors will remember your authenticity and professionalism, if you follow-up. For angel investors they want to invest in people that they can trust. It’s all about the people.

After the meetup the investors receive a form where they express their interests regarding your startup. Many of them will have questions for you and we will request a new meeting to discuss those questions in order to better understand your opportunity. This is a good chance to have 30-60 minutes with interested investors and present a demo of your solution.

Even if nobody is interested in investing, don’t take it personally. Maybe some of the investors don’t have interest in an area where they don’t have expertise even if the business has thousands of revenue/month. In addition, even if they don't have an interest now, they might be interested in the future as you grow and evolve. We will be growing our network as you grow your business, which means new investors might see your startup in a different light than current investors.

Good things to keep in mind:

If you don’t get invited to pitch at a meetup, don’t despair. Sometimes a “no” is a blessing, other times it is a “not yet”. Possibly participating as an observer at a T.A.N. meetup will help you to understand the process and the investor mindset.

Didn’t get invited to pitch at T.A.N.? Keep us updated, stay in touch. Whenever you achieve an important milestone, send us an email.

Make the pitch deck the best that it can be. It’s the document that investors will share among themselves. Few will remember all of the details of your presentation. If an investor thinks your startup will be interesting for another investor, then firstly they will share your pitch deck, not your contact.

Contacts

Get in touch

Cluj-Napoca, Romania