Fashion Start-Up · Investments

How do you successfully connect with specific industry investors?

Jesse Morris Founder of Jesse New York

August 12th, 2018

Some background information, I am seeking possible investment in my company. We target men and women interested in fashion and fine clothing so we would love to find an investor with an interest in this industry.Where do those seeking investment locate these individuals? I have been making connections though sites such as linkedin and gust but it seems without a referral its difficult to make connections. I'd love if someone would give me some direction.

Jesse Moore Cofounder and CEO @ Sigmai, Strategic Advisor at Damocles Analytics, Ex-Financial Columnist

August 13th, 2018

Hi Jesse, getting investment is always tough. Are you profitable? What is your burn rate? Do you have sales? These are all pretty important on how you approach.

My advice would be to bootstrap as MUCH as possible to get to seed investment - it will be more difficult as a non-tech company to get into any sort of accelerator. So, find people that can work for reduced salaries and equity, get investments form friends and family and bootstrap to revenue (or even better some small amount of profitability). Don't waste your time fundraising until you have some sort of market traction as it is INCREDIBLY time consuming and without that you will go down many wasted rabbit holes.

Other than that - I can recommend going to meetups within the industry, going to conferences, and generally growing your network. Try to find one or two well-connected advisors in the space.

Best of Luck!

David M

August 13th, 2018

Do you have a business plan?

Jesse Morris Founder of Jesse New York

August 15th, 2018

Thank you for the advice everyone

Ill continue my search diligently and look to attend networking events which may enable me to find valuable investors and advisors interested in my startup.

Alexandre Azevedo Founder of The Traction Stage Blog & Podcast

August 14th, 2018

Follow @Jesse Moore advice! :)

I would just add another thought: even if you find some investor who would put money in your business, without traction you would have to give a too high stake of your startup. No serious investor will accept a low stake, if you haven't prove your business model works (with clear evidence of your customers knocking at your door). Unfortunately, your word won't count much to convince them to put their money on your business.

Good luck and success!


James Miller Looking for a PHP software developer ideally based the North East UK.

Last updated on August 14th, 2018

It sounds like you have achieved the basic milestones, so well done.

My advice would be to find local business accelerators, meet-ups, industry-specific groups, up and coming individuals, private angels with industry experience who can add value such as contacts. Use LinkedIn to find contacts by industry or specific keywords such as "fashion", "director", "non executive", "private investor". Don't be too pushy too early, it's about wooing the right people and getting them on board with your brand. Maybe put a post out on LinkedIn or change your profile to describe who/what you are looking for (I'm using this strategy at present). Create a slide deck outline who you are looking for, what experience/skills required, investment needed etc.

Finding the right investor is not just about getting cash, it's about what they can bring to the table: can they open doors, introduce to contacts, add value to the business in other ways?

Jesse Morris Founder of Jesse New York

August 13th, 2018

Thank You for the response Jesse and David your advice is much appreciated,

I am profitable, this is my second season creating clothing so I have had small sales in the previous season, I have been able to get last seasons clothing into a small boutique in New York City, my current burn rate is around a few hundred dollars a month.

I do also have a business plan, pitch deck, pitch video, and financial projections ready for investors as I would like to scale the business.

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

August 14th, 2018

It is always easier to get a referral, but not required or always possible. Invest $370 for an annual Crunchbase Pro subscription that allows you to filter VCs and Angel groups by past investments. Look at your competitors and see who have invested in them. Be aware, however, that while your business may be profitable now, they will only be interested in businesses that can be huge. The VC community has been overwhelmed with cash and so require opportunities that allow them to put more to work than 5 years ago. If you are not able to use $5 mm, and show them a path to a 10x based on assumptions, then it is not your best path forward.