The best way to score an investor meeting: VCJ

Chances are good that if you’re meeting with Ross Fubini, it’s over a cup of Joe at a local coffee shop in San Francisco or on the Bay Area peninsula.

The venture partner at Canaan Partners, who wakes up every day at 5:30 a.m, receives more than 60 inbound pitches and other requests to meet up every week, and thus he drinks coffees all day and night when chatting with people. Sometimes he’s drinking as many as 20 cups a coffee a day, he said.

In fact, the chances are pretty good that if you’re an entrepreneur or an LP or perhaps a journalist covering the venture industry, cafés and tea houses are one of the five top spots where you’ll find VCs in California, according to insights compiled by Mountain View, Calif.-based Tempo AI, a venture-backed provider of a smart calendar and productivity app.

To showcase their calendar app and the data it compiles, Tempo recently looked at how VCs manage their calendars and what entrepreneurs and others can do to maximize their chances of booking a successful VC meeting. The data analyzed the calendars of venture capitalists, anonymously, and public data from more than 60 funds to show:

  • The best days of the week to suggest a meeting: Thursday, Friday and Monday, in that order. Don’t suggest Wednesday and Thursday to meet, Tempo advises.
  • The best time of day to suggest a meeting: After 3 p.m.
  • The best times to email or cold-call a VC: Email between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. while calling is best from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The best locations to suggest for a meeting: In California, it’s Thai restaurants, sushi bars, sandwich joints, Japanese food and coffee and tea houses. In New York, it’s sushi bars, steak houses, Spanish tapas, seafood and a Portuguese restaurant. Vegetarian restaurants are visited more often on the West Coast.Fubini agrees that emailing a VC in the morning or late at night is the best way to go.


“You want to catch us at the pauses. And for me, it’s after my son goes to bed,” said Fubini, who said he reads all his emails, except the cold ones that come with no “whisper of a reference.”

Boris Wertz, founder and general partner of Version One Ventures, agrees that the only way a meeting is going to happen with a VC is if there was a referral facilitated beforehand.

“VCs are open to meeting new people, but rarely will a meeting happen without an intro,” said Wertz, who is based in Vancouver, B.C., but is often in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he now serves as a board partner for Andreessen Horowitz.

When asked if he ever invested in a company because the entrepreneur found him in a VC hotspot, Wertz pointed out that his investments in Indiegogo, Flurry and Wattpadd, to name a few, all came through as referrals from the investment network or from other angel investors.

“Going to a sushi bar in the hope of meeting a VC doesn’t sound like a good plan,” Wertz said. “But in Silicon Valley, the spontaneous chance of bumping into a VC can happen more frequently here than anywhere else in the world.”

Rebecca Lynn, general partner at Canvas Venture Fund, noted that her inbox is flooded with hundreds of emails. Portfolio companies get her top attention, and although introductions to deals over email rarely work out, she does meet people.

Her favorite way to meet is to get out of the office and take a walk. In fact, she said she learned of LendingClub, which went IPO in December and whose Series B round her firm led, by talking a walk around the duck pond on Sand Hill Road with Shai Goldman of Silicon Valley Bank.

“I love that duck pond,” she said.

This story first appeared in affiliate magazine Venture Capital Journal, which is published by Buyouts Insider. Subscribers can read the full story in VCJ by clicking here. To subscribe to VCJ, click here for the Marketplace.

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