With the investment criteria defined, the search focus for potential investees (companies of the "right" profile in search of capital and investors) can be narrowed down, which at the end of the day saves time and resources for those opportunities that matter most. Another benefit of a clearly defined set of investment criteria is that it becomes easier for others in your networks to help and provide you with leads, recommendations and introductions to potential investees of the "right fit".
Tapping into your existing networks is one way to expand your search for investees. Another way is through active participation and presence at investor events and forums, expanding your network with other investors, accelerators, incubators, investment syndicates, etc. There is a clear value in communicating and building a network with other investors as they might come across opportunities that might not be of the right fit for them but instead for you. What also helps is to build your own reputation through participation and providing your expertise in the merge between venture capital and industries subject to change or the introduction of new technologies.
A third way is to search for companies listed and potentially already invested in by others, by using Venture Capital and investment focused services such as CB Insights, PitchBook, Crunchbase - but also Angellist and capital raising platforms such as Republic, Fundable, Netcapital, StartEngine, and others. Researching and reaching out to the companies and their Founders using LinkedIn puts you in direct contact with those companies that you find most interesting.
Take into consideration that the search for high-quality potential investees can take time. Also consider the fact that although you might be ready to invest, the timing has also to be right for the potential investee. A silver lining to this is that it allows you to build relationships with and get to know companies and Founders better, ultimately making it easier to understand which are a better fit for you than others. This last factor might come across as trivial, but in fact, it is far from trivial given that equity holdings tend to last a couple of years.
With a selection of potential investees that meet your investment profile, assuming that the timing and fit are right, a high-level due diligence can serve as a secondary screening. This secondary screening allows you to save time and resources for more in-depth validations and valuations for those companies that are of the best fit. An example of factors to look at in the second screening include business and product KPIs, but also legal and structural factors such as the company's cap table and formation.
Defining and establishing your investment criteria, working with your network, making it clear what you search for, and building relationships with other investors, Founders and companies should be a well-worth exercise. Doing this should ultimately allow you to gain a high-quality deal-flow of opportunities that best fit your preferences. As you go along you will see what works, re-iterate to improve, and gradually step-by-step improve your processes and approach.