I am trying to find a retired executive who has industry expertise and who can help me grow the company and invest in it. Where do I begin to find people like this? I don't find they are make themselves visible on the web....I am trying to put the word out to people I know..what else can I do? I thought about talking to accountants etc. What do you think? Also does it make logical sense if the invesotr is local to the business?
I would suggest to go local and also trade orginizations. So education institutions near you frequently have business alumi or SBA groups that have orginizations that help with this. Many here in the states go to confrences related to their industry (frequently development) and between meetings talk with each other and begin to discover each other.
However remember your talking about taking up time of people where time is money (and other people are also trying to take their time up) and so you want to have your ducks in a row first. From the wording of your question it seems to me subjectively that you have a few more i's to dot and ts to cross prior to asking for outside investor help. So have your elevator pitch down, if your business is growing at a certain rate now and its respectable or more then respectable then prepare some presentation material that shows this so going to confrences and such you can get the most out of it. If it is just starting or at the idea stage then your at the wrong phase of business development. Focus on your plan then.
If you need more hands on help and you have an existing business often going to business schools with your situation where a class, especially MBA can help get you started. Their material won't be final polish but it certainly can give you a lift in presenting and where to go for investors for the industry your company is in.
It seems that you want the best of both worlds - a committed investor and a experienced industry insider. Typically, it's one or the other - I have a experience, just need the finds - or I have money, looking for an experienced partner. I may be off here, so I apologize - but experienced serial exec's who have the means typically will run their own boat - so you may be looking for something that is unlikely.
For the other type of partners, Meetup has a bunch of these "co-founder meets" where you can find a prospective partner. Also, there are a few sites (lavapeople.com comes to mind) where you can network with prospective netrepreneurs.
You are describing the people at SCORE. This is a group of retired execs who volunteer to help small businesses start up and grow. It's loosely affiliated with the Small Business Administration.
We've had great support from a SCORE adviser as part of our start up team for the past year.
This is an EXCELLENT resource - it's free, focused, and effective.