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LPs & Limited Partner Relations

How to Leverage 2nd & 3rd Degree Connections

Expanding Venture Capital Networks: VC Lab’s Insightful Guide on Utilizing Second and Third-Degree Connections to Broaden LP Reach.


Venture capital’s network dynamics play a pivotal role in fund success. The VC Lab Webinar, “Leveraging Second and Third-Degree Connections to Find LPs,” provides a strategic approach to network expansion in the VC industry, focusing on maximizing connections beyond immediate circles to access potential Limited Partners (LPs).

Understanding the VC Networking Landscape:

  • First-Degree Connections: Direct, immediate contacts often exhausted by venture capitalists.
  • Expanding to Second-Degree Connections: Friends of friends, offering a broader scope of potential LPs.
  • Tapping into Third-Degree Connections: Connections of connections’ contacts, a largely untapped resource with significant potential.

The key to successful venture capital networking lies not just in the breadth of your connections but in the depth and quality of these relationships.

Decile Start’s Role in Networking:

Decile Group’s innovative tool, Decile Start, plays a pivotal role in network expansion within the VC ecosystem. Key features and benefits of Decile Start, as highlighted on the webpage, include:

  • LP Matching: Receive 10 curated LP matches when you sign up, tailored to the specific needs of your firm and your thesis.
  • Effective Use of Tools: Provide mentorship on optimal use of available communication tools that streamlines the outreach process, enabling effective and efficient communication with second and third-degree connections.
  • Intelligent Networking Strategies: Utilizes advanced algorithms and data analytics to identify the most promising connections within extended networks.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Designed for ease of use, ensuring venture capitalists can quickly navigate and leverage the platform’s capabilities.
  • Concierge Service: Circular feedback to provide you with the most actionable and relevant set of LPs in your network to close your fund more effectively.

By integrating these functionalities, Decile Start not only enhances the ability of VCs to reach beyond their immediate network but also equips them with the necessary tools to do so effectively and efficiently.

Strategies for Leveraging Extended Networks:

However, if you aren’t ready for Decile Start, here are the high level steps you need to take to tap into your 2nd and 3rd degree connections:

  1. Identifying Key Connectors: Pinpointing individuals who can bridge the gap to valuable second and third-degree connections.
  2. Engaging with Strategic Intent: Tailoring communication to be relevant and appealing to potential LPs.
  3. Building Credibility: Using mutual connections to establish trust and a strong first impression.

Each step of which is effectuated within your Decile Start relationship so you can move faster.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator: A Strategic Tool in VC Networking:

LinkedIn Sales Navigator emerges as a pivotal tool in expanding venture capital networks. Key strategies and best practices outlined in the webinar include:

  • Creating Targeted Lists and Alerts: Sales Navigator enables the creation of specific lists for potential LPs or connectors. It offers real-time alerts when these contacts engage or post on LinkedIn, providing valuable opportunities for timely and relevant engagement.
  • Engaging with Content: Regular engagement with the content posted by connections on these lists can initiate meaningful interactions. Commenting on and reacting to their posts can be an effective way to start building a relationship.
  • Effective Outreach Strategies:
    • Direct cold outreach, especially for pitching LPs, is often not effective and is not recommended.
    • A subtler approach involves connecting without sending an initial message. This method has shown higher conversion rates.
    • Once the connection is established, accessing their contact information from their LinkedIn profile and sending a personalized email can yield better responses. This approach respects the etiquette of LinkedIn while opening a direct line of communication.

These strategies demonstrate the power of LinkedIn Sales Navigator in not only identifying potential LPs but also in establishing a solid foundation for effective communication and relationship building within the VC ecosystem. 

If you’re needing help with this platform, and using it to the maximum potential, reach out to Decile Group for getting a relationship off the ground with Decile Start.

The Importance of Diversified Networking:

  • Avoiding Overreliance on Immediate Contacts: Encourages venturing beyond the comfort zone of first-degree contacts.
  • Harnessing the Power of Broader Networks: Explores the untapped potential in more distant connections.

Case Studies and Success Stories:

Real-world examples where leveraging second and third-degree connections led to successful LP engagements, demonstrating the practical application of these strategies.

  • TechStart Ventures: By leveraging second-degree connections, TechStart Ventures discovered an untapped network of LPs in the European market, leading to a 20% increase in their fund size.
  • GreenGrowth CP: Utilizing third-degree connections, GreenGrowth CP accessed a niche group of LPs interested in sustainable technologies, resulting in a highly successful funding round that exceeded their targets.

Strategic Networking Techniques:

Venture capitalists must adopt a multifaceted approach to networking, leveraging both technology and personal skills. Key techniques include:

  1. Personalized Outreach: Crafting messages that resonate with potential LPs, showcasing understanding and alignment with their investment interests.
  2. Building Long-Term Relationships: Focusing on creating sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships rather than short-term gains.
  3. Utilizing Advanced Analytics: Employing tools like Decile Start to analyze network potential and strategically target outreach efforts.

Overcoming Networking Challenges:

Venture capitalists often face hurdles in networking, especially when stepping outside their immediate circles. These challenges include:

  • Identifying Relevant Connections: Sifting through extensive networks to find meaningful, investment-worthy contacts.
  • Effective Communication: Ensuring outreach is well-received and elicits positive responses.
  • Time Management: Balancing networking efforts with other responsibilities in fund management.

Integrating Technology and Human Insight:

The combination of technological tools like Decile Start and human intuition forms a powerful approach. This synergy allows for:

  • Efficient Networking: Maximizing the reach while minimizing time and effort.
  • Informed Decision Making: Leveraging data-driven insights along with personal judgment and experience.

In today’s digital age, we must leverage technology not as a crutch but as a catalyst to forge stronger, more meaningful connections

Implementing Effective Networking Strategies:

For venture capitalists, implementing these strategies involves:

  • Regular Network Assessment: Continuously evaluating and updating networking strategies to remain effective.
  • Active Participation in Industry Events: Engaging in conferences and seminars to expand networks and stay informed about industry trends.
  • Continued Learning and Adaptation: Keeping abreast of new tools, technologies, and approaches in networking.

Future Trends in VC Networking:

The venture capital industry is continuously evolving, and networking strategies must adapt accordingly. Emerging trends include:

  • Greater Reliance on Technology: As tools like Decile Start become more sophisticated, their role in networking will grow.
  • Globalization of VC Networks: Expanding networks beyond local and national boundaries to tap into international LPs and opportunities.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Recognizing the value of diverse perspectives and experiences in building a robust LP network.


This presentation offers invaluable insights into maximizing venture capital networks through strategic use of second and third-degree connections. By embracing innovative tools like Decile Start and adopting a multipronged networking approach, VCs can significantly expand their LP base. This expanded network is not just a means to an end but a dynamic asset that can drive the growth and success of the venture capital fund.