5 Strategies for Getting Mark Cuban to Invest in You

Stories of chilly emails to Mark Cuban are oft-repeated startup legend–Alex Oshmyansky’s being the newest, and arguably most formidable, instance of 1 that paid off handsomely. Big Data firm FiscalNote obtained its seed funding again in 2013 when co-founder Tim Hwang cold-emailed Cuban. The Zebra founder Adam Lyons obtained his begin in 2012 when he despatched an identical e mail. Dhruv Ghulati of A.I. agency Factmata additionally began with a chilly e mail, and so did Greg Maselli of food-freshness-pack-maker SAVRpak. The listing goes on.

Cuban would not bathe cash and ­recommendation on startups simply because he loves founders, although. He’s a shrewd investor and confirmed entrepreneur who respects the hustle and values good, laborious information–and an knowledgeable debate. Like any investor, he will get enthusiastic about massive opportunities–financial ones, naturally, in addition to those who might go away the world a greater place.

Of course, likelihood is slim that any single entrepreneur not solely will get Cuban’s consideration but additionally scores an investment–but the next methods ought to assist seize the eye of different massive backers, too.

1. Get to the purpose

Don’t waste phrases on flattery and warmup. With an NBA workforce to guide, a actuality TV present to make, a portfolio of lots of of corporations, and an energetic function in a revolutionary pharma, Cuban is a bit of on the busy facet. Say why you are getting in contact and what you want from him. And make it clear why it is value his time. “Be direct and to the point,” says Oshmyansky. And do not attempt to sugarcoat issues. “He has an amazing BS detector, and there’s no point trying to hide obvious truths.”

2. Figure out his passions

Cuban talks publicly so much, so if you happen to do your homework, you possibly can determine what topics are trending for him. Early within the pandemic, for instance, he was studying guide after guide about A.I. and instructing himself to design deep-learning models–because, as he informed Inc., “I’ve been through the PC revolution, the networking revolution, mobile-computing, cloud-computing–and A.I. blows them all away. Whoever dominates A.I. will dominate the world over the next 25 years.”

3. Show him you are critical

Although he appreciates brevity, Cuban can be a voracious reader and responds to detailed info. If you have engaged him, then hold him informed–but do not bore him. When Jenny Goldfarb, founding father of Unreal Deli, a maker of plant-based lunchmeats, scored her funding from Cuban, his workforce requested that she ship him weekly emails about her firm’s progress through the due-diligence a part of the deal. That’s commonplace apply for Cuban. Most founders cease or decelerate these messages after the deal closes, however Goldfarb stored sending them each Friday–­4 or 5 paragraphs, together with updates on massive gross sales wins, new product initiatives, massive hires, and looming challenges. “I think it created a little buzz in his ear, so he really knew how we were ­doing,” she says.

In response, Goldfarb will get weekly suggestions from certainly one of her entrepreneurial heroes. “Typically, it’s a handful of words, maybe a full sentence, but it’s very exacting. He’s not messing around.” Her firm’s new menu of vegan subs for ghost kitchens is a direct results of certainly one of Cuban’s responses.

4. Appeal to his sense of equity

Institutionalized inequities, nonsensical legacy techniques, intermediary bloat. These are the issues that get Cuban fired as much as make change. “In general, the ideas that Mark tends to get most enthusiastic about are those that directly improve lives,” says Oshmyansky. What’s extra, “he is willing to invest capital for the long term without looking to maximize absolute ROI in the raw financial sense. That is hard to find.”

It’s not that Cuban values sluggish returns extra, however that he merely has the means now to pursue them. It’s the potential for change that issues to him, not the pace of a ­return. Fatemi of Fireside provides that Cuban tends to assault inefficiencies by eradicating entrenched techniques that drive up price or restrict access–PBMs, for example.

5. And for heaven’s sake, drop the jargon

Cuban would not encompass himself with company equipment. There’s no large PR agency deflecting requests for his time–just him, responding in plain language, with unambiguous intent. When Fatemi, Google’s youngest worker earlier than she grew to become an entrepreneur, relapses into tech-business jargon, Cuban is the primary to name her out. “Stop being so Silicon Valley,” he’ll say.

She remembers an early presentation during which she known as Fireside a “platform as a service.” Cuban stopped her and informed her no one would know what that meant. He then zeroed in on what the platform ­offered–participatory entertainment–and instructed she reframe the presentation round that, emphasizing the use fairly than the enterprise context. It’s that very same intuition, Fatemi says, that makes Cuban “probably the best salesperson I know. He uses straightforward language that’s transparent and everyone can understand.” That’s additionally what he responds to.

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From the May/June 2022 concern of Inc. Magazine

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