Dear Entrepreneur,

Building relationships is crucial when raising startup capital, so start early. Networking and relationship-building matter when you’re trying to raise your first or next round. It’s important to start and keep relationships going, even when you’re not trying to raise money yet, or you’re too early to raise your first round.

You need to understand that the venture-capital community is really small, so please, don’t burn bridges. Any burned bridge may eventually come back to bite you, especially when you’re looking to raise the next round.

Follow up with investors, at least three times, and no, you won’t be scaring them away. Please, don’t follow up three times within three days. That’s too much in very little time. Follow up three times over three months, especially when you have achieved something new and impressive to share with them.

And don’t contact every investor you hear of. Understand their investment criteria first. What sector are they most interested in? What’s the maximum investment cheque they cut? Can they provide the minimum capital you want? Be sure you take money from the right investor because investment contracts are like marriages; getting in bed with the wrong investor can ruin everything you’ve ever worked for.

With love,