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“Let Me Know How I Can Be Helpful?” doesn’t have to be a silly VC-ism

By Micah Rosenbloom, Managing Partner

“Let me know how I can be helpful,” has become a punchline, spawning satirical twitter accounts and even jewelry. “LMKHICBH” might sound like an inscrutable sendoff, but it’s a powerful invitation. Here are eight ways you can take up a VC if they offer up those eight words.

🕹 Download your app/review your deck

VCs see lots of decks and most of us play with lots of products. If you need a well-informed opinion on whether a new app concept stands out from the crowd, or if your deck is fit to pitch, VCs can share an invaluable perspective.

☕️ Grab a coffee

I joke that my value add is buying coffee. A cup of cold-brew might not seem like much, but that caffeine can also be a vessel for career guidance, feedback on an idea you’ve been percolating, etc. We’re human routers powered by coffee!

👋 Intro you to portfolio co’s

A warm relationship with a VC can be a tremendous boon for someone looking to make their next career move or trying to get connected to a decision-maker for a sale.

VCs pride themselves on their contacts and are usually more than willing to connect you to a portfolio company. Our portfolio has a negative unemployment rate — we’re always looking for candidates to refer.

🔛Connect you to top-tier service providers

It seems like a small thing, but a timely connection to an ace patent attorney, a well-connected banker, or another pro can mean the difference between success and failure. VCs know who to call, and who to avoid.

These next asks are more time-intensive and will likely only be available to entrepreneurs the VC has funded.

💬 Interview executive candidates

One of the underrated services that a VC can provide is talking to potential hires. Investors spend most of their time interviewing people and can provide an informed opinion on how a candidate stands relative to the market.

🗒️ In-depth product/strategy feedback

There’s a good chance that the novel problem confounding you and your cofounder is something they’ve dealt with a dozen times. They might not have the right answer, but can likely help you think about the problem in helpful ways.

🤝 Fundraising support

A good VC should be your sherpa when you go out and raise the next series of funding. This is a time you should be reaching out to investors, especially those not caught up in the day-to-day, to help refine your pitch and identify whom to target.

🏦 Financial advice

Good VCs are financially sophisticated. Often, founders don’t have a total understanding of what tools are available to them and will take on extra dilution when a debt instrument might be more appropriate. A 30-minute call can prevent 30% dilution!

Obviously, this advice presupposes that you have investors who are knowledgeable, reputable, and weren’t merely the highest-bidders at Demo Day. Choose wisely.

In summary, VCs can provide:

💻 Product feedback
🗺️ Career connections
👉 Recruiting support
🔄 Introductions
🧭 Strategic guidance
💹 Sophisticated financial advice

And all you have to say is “This is how you can be helpful.”

“Let me know how I can be helpful” isn’t something VCs say to be flip, or out of reflex. I think the reason it’s become a mockery is its vagueness. Hopefully, this thread helps demonstrate how it can be a powerful invitation instead.

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Our mission is to be the most aligned VC for founders at seed. #ProudInvestor in @Uber @TheTradeDeskinc @Buzzfeed @Cruise @Diaandco @PillPack @SeatGeek & more.

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