5 Simple Strategies for Finding Your Own Angel Investors
Angel Investors…Even the words make them sound like saviors who can swoop down and save you and your company from obscurity – beings who can lift you up by their wings and financial resources and make your business dreams come true.
But do you need to get down on your knees with palms pressed together to get yours?
In truth – luck (and prayer) might be a critical element – but being prepared and knowing what you’re doing are (like always) the most critical elements.
So, getting into it…where can you find your angel investor?
Here are…in no particular order…
5 Simple Strategies for Finding Your Own Angel Investors:
Simple Strategy 5 – Uncle Bob And Aunt Martha:
Believe it or not, crazy uncle Bob or Aunt Martha could be your angel in disguise – just because they’ve known you since you were a drooling on yourself, and just because they insisted on giving you socks for your birthday and remind you of breaking their window with your baseball at every family get-together, that does not mean that they have not got access to funds should they decide that you and your business are a worthwhile investment. Family and friends are surprisingly a popular means of raising angel funding.
Angel Investor Tip #1: Despite the blood bond, take your ‘pitch’ to them seriously – invest in the same amount of time and work to prepare for the ‘meeting’ as if you were meeting an Angel from the best Angel network. Take them through your business plan in a professional manner, take their questions seriously and if they decide to move forward, formalize the agreement contractually. And send them monthly written updates just like you would any angel investor.
Simple Strategy 4 – Your Local Community:
Most angel investors invest within a reasonable driving distance of where they live. Angels often invest because they like to be involved in the businesses – either because its in an industry they now well because of their own experience or because they believe they can add some value to the business above and beyond the funding. This tendency means that most angels are likely to come from your community and are also likely to be successful people in your industry or one related to it.
Angel Investor Strategy # 2 is to join your local business Chamber of Commerce – they often have events – networking is going to become your middle name as you look for an angel investor.
Angel Investor Tip #3: Don’t go obviously looking for an angel investor – it will turn people off – instead go to the social events looking for a mentor – in fact, if you get on well with the folks at the events, ask proactively for any people are are ‘good mentors’ for local business people – this will lead you more quickly to an angel and a mentor than just going out looking for cold, hard cash.
Simple Strategy 3 – Social Media and your Social Network
Your personal network is going to be a critical resource when looking for an angel investor. Sign up to linked in and Facebook and begin connecting your heart out with as many of your friends, old work colleagues, people from your affiliations (sports clubs, church, old schools, colleges and more). Talk enthusiastically and passionately about your new or your growing business – passion and enthusiasm is contagious and people want to be a part of something with momentum and excitement –
Angel Investor Tip #4: Just like Uncle Bob mentioned above – don’t fall into the trap of thinking Angels all have grey hair and have passed the finishing line of their career – many angels in today’s business world are still using Proactiv having retired from a Google’sque type company at the grand old age of thirty. That guy you used to call ‘Nerd’ at High School could be the Angel you’ve been looking for…you better hope you were reasonably pleasant or it could be ‘payback time!’
[Talking of payback – take my 30 second survey and tell me what help you need…]
Simple Strategy 2 – Other Entrepreneurs:
There’s a saying that misery loves company and you’ll probably find that after committing to the entrepreneurial journey – you’ll somehow attract other entrepreneurs like a Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where you all get together and share stories of the latest god like obstacles that have been thrown in your way and tried to drive you off your path and back to ‘a real job’. There are many great things about other entrepreneurs, and one in particular is that fact that they can share their contacts with you. All entrepreneurs look for investors most of the time – so if they find angels which don’t work out, it could be chemistry, business fit or 101 other reasons – but who’s to say that you and that angel might not hit it off.
Angel Investor Tip #5:Share you angel leads with your entrepreneur buddies and have them do the same. Better yet – providing they didn’t completely crash and burn – have them refer you, it turns a cold contact into a warm one.
Simple Strategy 1 – Angel Networks
There are Angel networks in many major cities and metropolitan areas throughout the globe. Like it or not, the days of the individual angel investor is not necessarily passing but there is certainly a growing breed of angel investors who are joining together into networks and acting more like Venture Capitalists than ever before.
Angel Investor Tip #6: Be Prepared! Seriously – knowing what they want to see, how they want to see it and having everything ready and gleaming is critical. Don’t think you can wing it because as Angel Networks grow and develop, so too do the hurdles and the quality filtering they implement. If you need help with this process – contact me, if I’m not super busy, I may be able to help.
Here is a link for a directory of Angel Networks, and after you have taken a look – I highly recommend you take a look at the Kaufman Foundation site which is overflowing with additional resources and investor network links.
and the Kauffman Foundation
So – there are hundreds of other simple recommendation but I wanted to give you the 5 simple strategies I’d adopt this afternoon if I was looking for angel investor funding.
If you’ve found this useful – add a comment or a question. Another idea is to subscribe to my RSS feed so you can get more help as you go through your funding process. It really can be a minefield but I’d like to help you if I have the bandwidth.
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