» Tips for Finding Accredited Investors
Raising money through a private placement is an excellent source for obtaining capital. In order to get started, most companies need help finding accredited investors. This is different from going public, where companies can market their offerings and anyone with a savings account can buy shares. Private offerings through Reg D are generally only available to accredited investors, which are a select group of high income earners or high net worth individuals.
The SEC defines accredited investors as someone that has made $200,000 a year for the past two years and is likely to continue, or makes $300,000 combined with their spouse. Investors can also qualify by using the net worth standard. They must have a net worth of $1 million or more excluding their personal residence. This is an elite group of income earners and investors, making it difficult to target them unless you know how.
Here are some tips for finding accredited investors:
- Buy an accredited investors lead list. You can purchase a list of investors that meet the income or asset qualifications and sort it geographically or using other filters you wish to have applied. Purchase a list from www.accreditedinvestorleads.com for an accurate, up to date lead list that you can start calling from.
- Attend angel investment group meetings. Most areas have angel investment groups. These are groups of accredited investors that come together to listen to presentations from businesses and entrepreneurs, evaluate deals, and discuss investing. Many of them are niche based and prefer to invest in a specific industry while others like Keiretsu Forum hear from a broad range of businesses. Before presenting, it is wise to visit as a guest so that you can get a feel for the set up and type of investors that are in the room. Once ready to present, these forums typically charge a presentation fee and require you to make a presentation and pitch in front of the group at a regularly scheduled meeting. This can be effective, depending on who is in the room and whether they are interested in your deal type. As a general rule of thumb, angel investors prefer to invest in local companies.
- Network. Reach into your professional network of lawyers, CPA’s, and bankers to see if they know investors that are actively looking for deals. Since they are intimately involved in their clients transactions and finances, they will often know how people are allocating their funds and may be willing to set up a meeting for you. This is a very personal so it may take time to establish the relationships with both your referral network and their clients.
- Marketing. If you use Regulation D Rule 506c, you can advertise your offering. The general solicitation rule has been lifted for this offering type which enables you to use your website, social media, local newspapers, etc. The key is that you must disclose that only accredited investors are allowed to participate.
The fastest and easiest way for finding accredited investors leads is to purchase a lead list. It reduces the amount of time you have to spend networking and shaking hands to get you right to the decision makers. All you need to do is create an amazing sales pitch and pick up the phone.