My name is Justin. I am a startup founder spending one month in Silicon Valley fundraising. I am proud to call NC home.
Heading Back to the Land of the Pines
- Silicon Valley is not a magic pill. It has an incredible startup ecosystem, but you have to hustle to network & build relationships to get meetings with potential investors. Here are the best sites to find events and get your hustle on Startup Digest—Silicon Valley and Meetup— Silicon Valley/San Francisco
- Most SV investors will consider investing outside of SV if they like the team/product, so try and build that bridge as early as possible if it makes sense for your startup. I’d say 60% of the pitches I heard at weekly pitch events were still in the idea phase. If you have traction, your pitch will stand out. If you can’t find a warm intro, try a cold email. It’s worth a shot, and you can usually find an investor’s email address on their personal website if they do not publish it on LinkedIn or their fund’s website.
- Stay as far away from “the tenderloin” in San Francisco as possible…super sketch.
- If you want affordable accommodations for $40/night (including all meals), stay here and thank me later. 🙂
- Jeans, a button up, and sports coat made me feel right at home at networking events & business meetings. Suits can be frowned upon, but just know your audience. Or you can just go more…casual.
- Driving in San Francisco is not fun. I rented a car for the month from FireFly for $16 a day but avoided driving in SF as much as possible because parking is $30/day. All in all, it was great having a car for events in San Jose, San Mateo, Palo Alto and to visit awesome places on the weekends like Half Moon Bay, Point Reyes, and Yosemite.
Before making a trip out west, check out NC IDEA’s Resource Guide for a list of programs, accelerators, investors and coworking spaces that can help you stand out here in NC before you decide to venture out.