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Written By: Janine Kick


I recently found myself reflecting on the hundreds of founders Kerosene has engaged with. In all honesty, I was trying to determine what makes some so incredibly attractive and ultimately successful with investors and others well…not. 

Of course I’m not talking about their businesses being 10x YoY and/or having an exponential growth rate, although that does seem to help! If the average fund sees 1000 companies a year, they’ll meet with 200 and invest in 4. 

What makes a founder stick out to be one of those 4 – that is my question. Is it really all about the company and the founder’s founder-market-fit? Both are unequivocally important, but what is it that tips an investor over the edge when all the other boxes have been checked? I think it comes down to something much, much simpler… 

The most successful founders invest in their relationship with VCs. They build rapport, they’re fun, they’re excited, they’re engaging. But at the end of the day they make a friend. 

I’m not saying there may not be some prep work done – you have to treat every investor meeting like it’s your last (more to come on that topic!) after all – but the most successful founders have a different approach. 

They’ve likely done some social media digging, looked at previous investments, read blog posts and Twitter feeds, spoken with mutual connections – all the things. Yet at the end of the day, they treat investors like humans and often through months and months of relationship building when they “aren’t raising”. Oh and those investor updates you love to hate me for nagging you about? They keep those going before, during, and after the raise. They stay top mind through multiple avenues – personal and professional. 

Ya, I know. You’re busy. But I promise you this, if you’re nurturing your investor relationships, I mean, new friendships long before you need to raise it will make the task that much easier. After all, people do business with people…


Kerosene Ventures – Helping Great Founders Raise Capital