“Message in a Bottle “ or Writing to Investors

By Caroline Sai, Head of Angels Santé & EBAN Board Member

Just a castaway, an island lost at sea, oh

Another lonely day, with no one here but me,

The lyrics to one of my favourite songs Message in a Bottle from Police translate well what startups feel like when fundraising.

In one of my previous posts, I motivated fundraising entrepreneurs to rejoice when an investor gave an answer (negative or positive) as “there is nothing worse than being completely ignored and being stuck in limbo”

The strange phenomenon where investors need deal flow, entrepreneurs need cash and yet the communication channels are obstructed by …. Guilt, annoyance, anxiety, and rejection?

Our inboxes are like a petulant 3-year-old that you can’t ignore, but you so wish you could.

Though you know that you should limit your access to your inbox to 4 times a day for maximum efficiency, it seems that our emails are forever an extension of our fingers.

Remember this morning when you were waiting for that answer, and you were constantly refreshing your browser?

Did you give a thought to that other guy (or gal) also refreshing his/her browser in an attempt not to face the reality of being completely rejected after that simple attempt to get your attention?

Important reminders to all those that have had the kindness of reading till this paragraph: Psychologist Alice Boyes Tells us that Avoiding coping leads to increased Anxiety.

Did she mean just the one not answering the email? We should probably warn her that anxiety on the receiving end is very high as well.

It increases the sense of rejection, self-doubt or overall confusion: have they seen my email, did it go to the spam box, should I wait to follow up?

It’s almost like knocking at a door, knowing the person is inside and leaving with a sense of unjustified dismissal when silence and a closed door are the only response to your friendly knock.

Even worse, it’s like holding a hand out to introduce yourself, and that person leaves you with your hand hanging in the air. I’ve experienced it, and believe me when I say it stings!

I may be old school, but answering an entrepreneur who has taken the time to do their homework seems like common courtesy, even more so when we’ve looked at their deck or had a call with them. We may feel in a dominant position as investors, but we make a living from investing in the best companies. So, let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot.

We advertise our search for qualified deal flow, and yet we so easily ignore entrepreneurs when the time if off for us or simply when that sparkle of discovery is no longer there.

How long does it actually take to type “thanks but no thanks “?

I’ve timed it: 6.48 seconds exactly.

We know that unmet expectations lead to frustration, and here is a funny video* that illustrates what our non-response may result in. Watch it, enjoy it and let’s remind ourselves that behind typed words is a person with expectations and hope …. Just like us.


*Was it a date The New Yorker https://youtu.be/cZARdRcbh_E

About the Contributor

Caroline Sai is the Head of  Angels Santé (Angels4health) & EBAN Board Member. The EIT Health Investor Network is a European network of healthcare investors dedicated to supporting healthcare startups in their fundraising journey. It is a network managed by Angels Santé and co-financed by EIT Health. To learn more about how to join our program as an investor or a startup, click here