Investors are an essential part of a startup. Without funding, it can be very hard to scale faster than any other company out there.
Over the past three months, I've been pitching my startup to countless investors. I've learned a few hard lessons along the way. First, not every investor is created equal. Second, just because someone's an investor doesn't mean he or she is right for your company. Third, your pitch deck title can make or break getting an investor's attention. Fourth, securing investment is possible in today's market.
Luckily for you, I've created a list of some of the investors I have found to be key in Silicon Valley. These are some of the top and most well-known investors not only in Silicon Valley but the world. I present them in alphabetical order (by first name).
Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Lee is an investor in a wide range of industries, including e-commerce, SaaS enterprises, payments, mobile, and analytics. Investments are usually from $100,000 to $1 million, and her portfolio includes Rent the Runway, DocSend, and Librato. Lee is also an investor with Broadway Angels.
Allison Thoreson Bhusri, angel investor
Bhusri has more than 20 years of experience, including stints with eBay's Business Incubation Group and JP Morgan Partners, and has invested in a companies such as MasteryConnect, BetterUp, Owlet, and Hint Water. Most investments are in the $25,000 to $50,000 range. Bhusri is also an investor with Broadway Angels.
Anarghya Vardhana, senior associate at Maveron
Prior to joining Maveron, Vardhana was an investor at Rothenberg Ventures. Her investments focus mainly on seed and stage rounds in industries involving artificial intelligence, edtech, and e-commerce.
Andrea Barrica, venture partner at 500 Startups
Co-founder of inDinero, Barrica invests in startups in industries that involve SaaS, B2B, and SMB-focused software. Her typical investments are around $50,000 to $100,000.
Andrea Zurek, founding partner of XG Ventures
Zurek has invested in more than 50 companies, including Facebook and Apptimize. Her investments usually run between $25,000 and $100,000 for companies focused on social media, mobile, gaming, SaaS, analytics, and cloud computing.
Annie Kadavy, investor at Charles River Ventures
A prolific tech investor, Kadavy was included in the Forbes Midas Brink List in 2015. She has supported Patreon, ClassPass, DoorDash, and Cratejoy.
Ann Miura Ko, co-founding managing partner of Floodgate
Ko usually makes investments of around $500,000 to $1 million, for startups focusing on enterprise software and mobile. Her previous investments include Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Refinery29.
April Underwood, founding partner of #Angels
Underwood was previously director of product at Twitter and is currently the VP of product at Slack. She has invested in Glassbreakers, Hale Health, and Cue Health.
Beth Ellyn McClendon, angel investor
McClendon has invested in more than 25 startups, including AngelList, Lightbox, and Leap Motion. Typical investments run $100,000 to $200,000, and are mainly for companies involved in the tech industry.
Beth Seidenberg, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Working primarily with startups involved with life sciences, specifically digital health and biotech, Seidenberg, during her time at KPCB, has incubated five companies and been the founding CEO of two.
Caterina Fake, founding partner of Founder Collective, chairman of Etsy
Fake founded Flickr and Hunch and is currently an investor and the chairman of Etsy. She focuses on tech startups and has invested in Typekit, Chloe Isabel, Zipongo, and Wavii-which was acquired by Google.
Cecilia Stallsmith, venture capitalist at Bessemer Venture Partners
Before joining BVP, Stallsmith was a member of the platform team at Box. Today, she invests $100,000 to $75 million per deal in companies involved with software, developer platforms, and consumer internet-particularly consumer video.
Chloe Sladden, founding partner of #Angels
Sladden, formerly the vice president of North American media at Twitter, currently invests in mobile, health, digital media, analytics, and cleantech. Her portfolio includes Blockchain Capitol, Moxxly, and Cleanly.
Christina Brodbeck, founding team member of YouTube, managing partner at Rivet Venture
An angel investor who focuses on women-led startups, Brodbeck's investments have included Cue, Zesty, inDinero, Matterport, and HeyZap.
Christine Herron, investor at Intel Capital
Herron typically invests between $5,000 and $15 million in consumer tech businesses, like FundersClub, Yummly, and Goldbely. She is a board adviser at StartX, as well as a venture adviser at 500 Startups.
Christine Tsai, founding partner at 500 Startups
Tsai is a prolific investor in a wide range of tech companies, like Credit Karma, Lettuce, Miso Media, Unwind Me, FamilyLeaf, and Proven. Her investments range from $50,000 to $250,000 per deal.
Claudia Fan Munce, managing director at IBM Venture Capital Group
Considered a "linchpin" in the finance and tech industries located in the Bay Area, Munce was named one of the 20 most powerful players in Silicon Valley in the March 2015 issue of Worth magazine. She's a board member of the National Venture Capital Association and chairwoman of Global Corporate Venturing.
Cyan Banister, angel investor
Banister invested in Uber, Zappos, and Rapportive. Her typical investments are from $50,000 to $1 million and are mainly for companies involved with bitcoins, SaaS, and consumer internet.
Edith Yeung, partner at 500 Startups
Yeung invests from $25,000 to $250,000 in startups focused on mobile and cloud computing. Investments have included Pack, MightyText, Ftopia, and Bounce.io.
Ellen Levy, managing director of Silicon Valley Connect
Levy is widely considered the most connected woman in Silicon Valley, thanks to her investing in a variety of tech companies that specialize in application platforms to education. She's also held leadership positions at Apple and LinkedIn.
Emily Melton, partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Melton works with early-stage companies in the mobile, cleantech, health care, and enterprise software industries and has previously invested in Livongo, Redfin, Shift, and Wellframe. She's also an investor with Broadway Angels and was an adviser to Pulse Networks (acquired by LinkedIn), HealthTap, and PoshMark.
Heidi Roizen, operating partner at DFJ
Considered a legend in Silicon Valley, Roizen founded the software company T/Maker, was VP of worldwide developer relations at Apple, and co-leads the Entrepreneurial Leaders Fellowship program at Stanford University. She's invested in Great Plains, Softbook, Xtime, Sharethis and Zoox.
Helen Zelman Boniske, founding partner at Lemnos Labs
Boniske invests around $100,000 per deal in primarily hardware, including robotics, consumer electronics, transportation, sensors, and 3-D printing. She has previously invested in 6SensorLab, Local Motion, Momentum Machines, and Airware.
Jana Messerschmidt, founding partner of #Angels
The vice president of global business development and platform at Twitter, Messerschmidt has invested in startups in the social media, mobile, and developer API industries.
Jennifer Carolan, founder of Reach Capital
Carolan typically invests $50,000 in companies involved with education. Previous investments have included Engrade, Motion Math, NoRedink, and CodeHS. She is also an investor with Broadway Angels.
Jennifer Gill Roberts, founder of Grit Labs
Roberts invests from $50,000 to $250,000 per deal in startups focusing on the internet of things through her incubator Grit Lab. She's also a mentor at StartX, Stanford Cardinal Club, and Stanford's School of Engineering, along with founding Maven Venture Partners, Rallyon, and Watermark.
Jennifer Scott Fonstad, founder of Broadway Angels, co-founder of Aspect Ventures
Fonstad has invested in NetZero, Athenahealth, and Achex, and was the managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. She usually makes investments between $250,000 and $1 million.
Jenny Fielding, angel investor
As the managing director at Techstars, Fielding invests in wearables, mobile, internet of things, and consumer tech. She was previously the head of digital ventures at BBC Worldwide and COO of Wodan Capital.
Jenny Lefcourt, partner at Freestyle, founder of WeddingChannel and Bella Pictures
Lefcourt makes investments of $500,000 to $1 million per deal in marketplaces, mobile, and enterprise. Her portfolio includes Shuddle, Main Street Hub, MomentFeed, and P. Relan YouWeb Incubator.
Jessica Livingston, founder and partner of Y Combinator
As a founder of Y Combinator, which has been called "the world's most powerful startup incubator," Livingston is one of the most influential people in the startups and investing world.
Jessica Verrilli, founding partner of #Angels
Formerly the director of corporate development and strategy at Twitter and more recently a partner at Google Ventures, Verrilli has invested in ZenPayroll, Getable, and Philz Coffee.
Jillian Manus, managing partner at Structure Capital
During her career, Manus has invested in Product Bio, StyleBee, the League, and Yiftee. She sat on the board for Box.org, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Tisch School of the Arts.
Julia Popowitz, angel investor
Popowitz was the second attorney in Facebook's legal department but has since become an investor. She's made investments in Uber, Stripe, SurveyMonkey, ZenPayroll, and Ali Baba. She is also an investor and adviser for ARF Investments and Broadway Angels.
Kate Mitchell, partner and founder of Scale Venture Partners
Mitchell has backed companies like Box and HubSpot. She's a board member for New Century Hospice, PeopleMatter, the National Venture Capital Association, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
Katherine Barr, general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures
Barr has invested in Ticketfly, Visible Measures, and Retention Science. She is an adviser for 500 Startups, and sits on the boards of WorkFusion, BuildDirect, and Ruby Ribbon.
Kathy Chan, partner at Kholsa Ventures
Chan has invested in companies like SpaceX and was formerly with 137 Ventures. She's also an angel investor.
Katie Jacobs Stanton, founding partner of #Angels
Stanton has invested in Lowercase Capital, Change.org, Shape Security, and iAutos, and was the vice president of global media at Twitter until January.
Kim Polese, founder of Marimba
Polese is one of the most influential women in the country and is currently chairwoman of ClearStreet and an investor with Broadway Angels.
Kirsten Green, founder of Forerunner Ventures
Green has invested in innovative consumer-based companies, including Bonobos, Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club, and Birchbox.
Kristina Shen, vice president at Bessemer Venture Partners
Shen was included in Business Insider's "30 and Under" list of "Rising Stars Who Find Hot Startup Deals in Silicon Valley." She invests $100,000 to $75 million in startups involved with cloud computing and mobile.
Lara Druyan, angel investor
Formerly general partner at Almaz Capital, Druyan was named a Woman of Influence in the Silicon Valley by San Jose Business Journal after advising and working with Galvanize Labs, Sandstorm.io, Apprion, and Facebook. She currently works at Royal Bank of Canada as managing director and heads its West Coast innovation lab.
Laura Deming, founder and managing partner of Longevity Fund
Deming invests in health care, cleantech, mobile, consumer internet, and enterprise software. She was a Thiel fellow and currently works with Alexo Therapeutics.
Laurie Yoler, board director and strategic adviser at Zoox
Yoler founded GrowthPoint Technology Partners, is an investor with Broadway Angels, and is an investor for Tesla and Packet Design.
Leslie Blodgett, CEO of Bare Escentuals
Blodgett is responsible for taking Bare Escentuals from small store in the Bay Area to cosmetic juggernaut. She's now an investor with Broadway Angels.
Lindy Fishburne, executive director of Breakout Labs
Fishburne has invested in companies like Modern Meadow, 3Scan, Longevity Biotech, and Siva Therapeutics. She's vice president for investments at the Thiel Foundation.
Lisa Lambert, managing partner at the Westly Group
Lambert was a vice president at Intel Capital. Previously a product marketing manager with Intel's Desktop Products Group, she has sat on the board of directors for Silkroad Technology, Brit Co, Mark One, and X 1.
Maha Ibrahim, general partner at Canaan Partners
Ibrahim has invested in diverse companies, including SenSage, eBillMe, Kabam, and 3Crowd Technologies. She's also an investor with Broadway Angels.
Mar Hershenson, founding Manaing partner at Pejman Mar Ventures.
Hershenson invests primarily in consumer internet companies-like Qwiki, Heap, Senior Tower, Washio, True & Co, Wevorce, Lumoid, and DoorDash.
Marissa Mayer, president and CEO at Yahoo
Most known for being one of Google's first employees and currently the president and CEO of Yahoo, Mayer is also on the Bay Area's biggest angel investor list, and has invested in Square and Minted.
Mary Jane Elmore, angel investor
A general partner at Institutional Venture Partners since 1982, Elmore is a fellow at the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute and an angel investor at Broadway Angels. She's invested in Deal Decor and Foodydirect.
Megan Quinn, general partner of Spark Capital Growth
Quinn was a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, "where she led a number of the firm's early stage and growth consumer investments." She also leads product teams at Google and Square. She has invested in Uber, Remind, Slack, and Codecademy.
Miriam Rivera, co-founder of ULU Ventures
As the co-founder of ULU, Rivera is focused on early-stage IT investments and has invested in Palantir, GCommerce, Huddler, Jubon, and Matchbin. She was previously an assistant secretary to the board of Google and a member of Stanford Angels.
Mojan Movassate, venture partner at 500 Startups
Movassate invests in mobile startups that have an international focus.
Patricia Nakache, general partner at Trinity Ventures
Nakache has invested in Eat Club, PayScale, Kixeye, Lucky Group, Care.com, Owler, Turo, Ruby Ribbon, and ThredUp. She is also an investor at Broadway Angels.
Poornima Vijayashanker, venture partner at 500 Startups
Vijayashanker was a founding engineer at Mint.com. She invests in health and wellness and financial services. She founded the blog Femgineer.
Renata Quintini, managing director at Felicis Ventures
Before joining Felicis, Quintini was an investor at the Stanford Management Company and has led investments in Bonobos, Bluecore, ClassDojo, Dollar Shave Club, Floored, Planet Labs, and Survios.
Renee DiResta, principal at O'Reilly Alphatech Ventures
DiResta invests in hardware, internet of things, and logistics and is the author of The Hardware Startup: Building Your Product, Business, and Brand. She's also an angel investor.
Rui Ma, partner at 500 Startups
Ma invests $100,000 to $250,000 for tech startups such as BOXC, ZipZap, Front Row Education, Bia, and Milk & Honey. She splits her time between San Francisco and China.
Sarah Guo, investor at Greylock Partners
Guo has invested in Dropbox, Camio, Skyhigh Networks, and Avi Networks. She works closely with her investments, which include Rhumbix and Docket.
Sarah Tavel, partner at Greylock
Tavel invests mainly in consumer businesses and the consumerization of IT, including Convertro and The Fridge. She was previously the product lead for search, recommendations, machine vision, and pin quality at Pinterest, after co-leading the Series A investment while at Bessemer Venture Partners.
Shanna Tellerman, co-founder and CEO at Modsy
Tellerman has invested in companies like Le Tote, Shelf.com, and Wanderable, was a partner at Google Ventures, and is an adviser for Illuminate Ventures.
Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia
Vosmek has invested in Sandstone Diagnostics, Poshly, EcoTensil, nVision, RenovoRx, FINsix, and Prima-Temp since joining Astia in 2007.
Sharon Wienbar, venture partner at ScaleVP
Wienbar is the CEO of Hackbright Academy and was vice president of marketing for Critical Path and Amplitude Software. She has led ScaleVP's investments in Merchant Circle, Teros, and Glu Mobile.
Shruti Gandhi, managing partner at Array Ventures
Gandhi has previously worked with True Ventures and Samsung Venture and invests between $1 million and $3 million in tech companies focusing on mobile, e-commerce, and big data. She's the founder of Penseev.
Shuly Galili, co-founder of UpWest Labs
Galili invests $25,000 to $300,000 in startups revolving around any kind of tech, including big data, mobile, cybersecurity, and internet of things.
Simone Syed, founder and managing partner at Velorum Capital
Syed invests around $100,000 in a variety of industries, including hardware, biotech space travel, robotics, industrial automation, and communications infrastructure.
Sonja Hoel Perkins, founder of Broadway Angels
Perkins invests in mobile/IT in consumer, enterprise, and infrastructure and has previously invested in Ditto, Flurry, Minted.com, and HealthTap. She was a managing director at Menlo Ventures and is currently the managing director at the Perkins Fund.
Stacey Curry Bishop, partner at Scale Venture Partners
Bishop makes investments in the $2 million to $10 million range, primarily in the SaaS, crowdsourcing, and social media marketing industries. She has invested in HubSpot, Box.org, and Omniture.
Stephanie Palmeri, partner at SoftTech VC
Palmeri invests from $500,000 to $1 million in "next-generation commerce and marketplaces, mobile services and infrastructure, SaaS, consumer health, and edtech startups." Previous investments include Poshmark, Hired, Lantern, and Clever. She's a board member for Chariot, Educents, Envoy, Fatherly, and Spoon University.
Susan Liu, vice president at Scale Venture Partners
Liu usually invests between $5 million and $25 million per startup involved in SaaS and mobile. Her previous investments include Wrike and WalkMe.
Theresia Gouw, founder and general partner of Aspect Ventures
Prior to founding Aspect Ventures, Gouw was a partner at Accel, where she was behind the Series A or seed rounds for startups ranging from Birchbox to HotelTonight to LearnVest. She's also an investor with Broadway Angels.
Tina Sharkey, CEO at SherpaFoundry
Sharkey is the founder of iVillage, a pioneer in new media, mainly HDTC, and has invested in the League, Philz Coffee, Brit Co, and Munchery.
Vijaya Gadde, founding partner of #Angels
Gadde is the general counsel and secretary at Twitter and has extensive experience with IPOs and M&As. She invests heavily in tech startups.
Virginia M. Turezyn, angel investor
Turezyn invests between $25,000 and $50,000 in tech startups, such as Kaazing, Retailigence, Cloud Cliques, and Unseat.me. She's currently the managing director at 38 Degrees Advisors.
Wayee Chu, angel investor
With a focus on education/edutech and SaaS, Chu is an angel investor who invests $25,000 to $50,000. Her portfolio includes Prompt.ly, CodeHS, Knotch, Handle, and Locomotive Labs. She's also an investor with Broadway Angels.
Special thanks to Mackenzie Burnett for helping me curate some of this list. Thanks to my team at Due for helping us raise investment through several investors and companies on this list. Note: Not every one of these investors lives in Silicon Valley, but all have companies there.