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5 Strategies for Getting Mark Cuban to Invest in You


Stories of bloodless emails to Mark Cuban are oft-repeated startup legend–Alex Oshmyansky’s being the newest, and arguably maximum formidable, instance of person who paid off handsomely. Big Data corporate FiscalNote were given its seed investment again in 2013 when co-founder Tim Hwang cold-emailed Cuban. The Zebra founder Adam Lyons were given his get started in 2012 when he despatched a equivalent e-mail. Dhruv Ghulati of A.I. company Factmata additionally began with a chilly e-mail, and so did Greg Maselli of food-freshness-pack-maker SAVRpak. The checklist is going on.

Cuban does not bathe cash and ­recommendation on startups simply because he loves founders, regardless that. He’s a shrewd investor and confirmed entrepreneur who respects the hustle and values excellent, laborious information–and an educated debate. Like any investor, he will get fascinated about large opportunities–financial ones, naturally, in addition to those who may go away the arena a greater position.

Of path, likelihood is that narrow that any unmarried entrepreneur now not handiest will get Cuban’s consideration but additionally rankings an investment–but the next methods must lend a hand take hold of the eye of alternative large backers, too.

1. Get to the purpose

Don’t waste phrases on flattery and warmup. With an NBA staff to guide, a truth TV display to make, a portfolio of masses of businesses, and an lively function in a progressive pharma, Cuban is somewhat at the busy facet. Say why you might be going in contact and what you would like from him. And make it transparent why it is price 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 when you do your homework, you’ll determine what topics are trending for him. Early within the pandemic, for instance, he was once studying e book after e book about A.I. and educating himself to design deep-learning models–because, as he instructed 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 might be severe

Although he appreciates brevity, Cuban may be a voracious reader and responds to detailed news. If you might have engaged him, then stay 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 staff requested that she ship him weekly emails about her corporate’s development right through the due-diligence a part of the deal. That’s same old follow for Cuban. Most founders forestall or decelerate the ones messages after the deal closes, yet Goldfarb stored sending them each and every Friday–­4 or 5 paragraphs, together with updates on large gross sales wins, new product projects, large hires, and looming demanding situations. “I think it created a little buzz in his ear, so he really knew how we were ­doing,” she says.

In reaction, Goldfarb will get weekly comments from one in all 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 corporate’s new menu of vegan subs for ghost kitchens is a right away results of one in all Cuban’s responses.

4. Appeal to his sense of equity

Institutionalized inequities, nonsensical legacy methods, intermediary bloat. These are the issues that get Cuban fired as much as make alternate. “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 now not that Cuban values gradual returns extra, yet that he merely has the approach now to pursue them. It’s the opportunity of alternate that issues to him, now not the velocity of a ­go back. Fatemi of Fireside provides that Cuban has a tendency to assault inefficiencies by means of doing away with entrenched methods that force up price or prohibit access–PBMs, as an example.

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

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

She recollects an early presentation during which she known as Fireside a “platform as a service.” Cuban stopped her and instructed her no person would know what that supposed. He then zeroed in on what the platform ­offered–participatory entertainment–and urged 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 factor of Inc. Magazine



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