I have a business with the potential to reach a global market and feel that I will need expertise more than investment to take it to the next level. Where ideally do you start initial conversations?
There is a famous saying in Silicon Valley "if you ask for moeny you will get advice, ask for advice and you will get money".
With this said, I'm a strong believer that is more important to get the right investor than to get a good valuation or a lot of $$. Money is the same everywhere, green. So what you should focus is in:
-Did this investor (or firm) actually knows about my market
-Have they invested in companies in the same industry/sector
-Have they invested in competitors? In future clients? In future partners?
-Do they have expertise in the technology in using? Do they know people that do? (PhD, others ex entrepreneurs ~ possible mentors)
All this questions would help you filter BEFORE you start looking and even approaching investors, which will save you time and frustration. Once you have done this filter/research, there are several tips to move forward.
I wrote one trick here: https://medium.com/@JDcarlu/1-trick-to-get-a-vc-bd36f9dbff5b
My friend and CEO, wrote a great post here: https://medium.com/@pyjamastartups/11-hacks-to-get-meetings-with-investors-in-silicon-valley-14b4851ab3e8
My advice applies to everywhere, Hernan's is more focus to Silicon Valley. This should help you start. Good luck !!
Investors like to build relationships over-time... you hook them in with something interesting you're doing and then gradually keep sharing your progress and achievements even before "officially" fundraising.
AngelList is a great source (for Europe and the US) in getting to know which are the key investors with expertise in your sector and actually make investments (which is key). Find the companies they are investing in and contact the founders of those businesses asking if they have a good experience with them and might be interested in making an introduction for you.
A lot of early-stage and angel investors get good deal-flow and often now limit their correspondence fro warm introductions from people they know - so you need to start with that. Following and interacting with the investors via Twitter, Quora, and their blogs - with insightful points - will also earn you a few brownie points.
For Europe, this is the best crowd-sourced list of investors there is: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10S7_jBpRoWuNMnOYpkjFJArt76dPhFw0tIR7E_ndgnk/edit#gid=0
If it was me right now... I'd research 5 of the best angel investors I could that seem to be active and focussed on the type of business I was in, then reach out them via email and/or twitter. A very brief email noting why I was contacting them (they've invested in similar businesses) and a few quick lines what my venture is - with a one page summary PDF attached (nothing else). I'd also assess my network to see if anyone knew them directly and could put in a good word for me.
Hope this helps a little bit in getting started,
I would start with searching for local, active angels in your area on Angel List (https://angel.co/) Then search for investor / entrepreneur meet ups in your area (In MN we have MinneDemo, Beta.mn and Twin Cities Start-up Weekend). After attending a few networking events I would then hang out or attend workshops at your local co-working spaces. Our co-working spaces have partnerships with local venture/angel investors that will host workshops or events. And finally, follow all your local investors / angels on Twitter, many have posted open office hours/meet ups through their feeds. Good Luck
In the age of cloud and digital technology there's hardly any business that isn't global. And, that's something which makes contemporary entrepreneurs much more confident than they ever were in past. Ironically, value hasn't become as flat as the market place. Rather, the availability of information from across the nook and corner of the globe has made customers more aware and demanding. That's where you need to march forward with a bit of caution. Taking one small step at a time could be much helpful than pegging your growth to investment.
I like it when you said you feel that you would need much more than investment to reach the next level. But, what took me by surprise is the question as mentioned in header, wherein you intend to look for investor. Seeking investment should be the last step, only when you've undertaken necessary planning and strategic activities, tried bootstrapping, have lucid vision, and a transparent roadmap to growth. And, these are the areas where one should ideally start.
Put enough energy and brain to make the perceived value of your product/service look much more than cost, position it uniquely to create that pull factor, and then you can put next level of energy to build momentum with investors.
Is there anything specific you're looking at? I am just a clarity away!!