Are you a first time entrepreneur and looking for angel funding for your startup? It can be tricky figuring out where to find the best investors. You may think that numbers and locations are the only thing to look out for, but in reality it is best to find the angel that fits you and then your situation. As always, keep these key principles in mind while looking for, and after you find an angel investor.
Angels are typically only interested in opportunities local to them. They want to “touch and feel” their investments, so email blasts are out of the question. Not only are angels not interested, but it is much more work for you to do follow up with the thousands of people you sent an email to.
Angels want to get to know you. They invest in people more so than they invest in ideas. They want to know that you are a credible and trustworthy person, and need to know you before investing any money.
Even though sometimes you are paying to pitch to angels, their time is still valuable and it is important to respect it. Do not go into a meeting with a sales-like pitch. Angel investors are people too, and want you to understand their motivation as much as they want to understand yours, and will not respond well to those kinds of pitches.
With the internet access available almost everywhere finding an investor, nowadays, is just a Google search away. It is important to get involved with different startup networks, conferences, and competitions. These are some of the best places to meet investors first hand and meet and connect with other entrepreneurs. You are each other’s biggest support system and resource for all things startup. Here is a short list of conferences, competitions, and networks to check out for upcoming events.
1) Funding Post –This website showcases entrepreneur’s to over 7,900 investors. All you need to do is create a company profile. It also has a list of upcoming events all over the United States.
2) Startup Weekend– Search your location to see upcoming events. Startup weekend has events almost every weekend in locations all over the world. It is a place to grow as an entrepreneur by learning new skills, meeting other entrepreneurs, and getting feedback from local thought leaders—just to name a few.
3) Lean Startup Machine– A three-day workshop that teaches entrepreneurs and innovators how to build disruptive products. Similar to Startup Weekend, this is for growing as an entrepreneur.
4) The Startup Conference– It is an annual conference that takes place in Silicon Valley. It has close to 2,000 entrepreneurs and gives you the tools to pitch to investors, find co-founders, and launch your product to the press and more. Its speakers include many top influencers in the startup and funding world.
Another option is to go straight to a network designed specifically for angel investors. Here are some of the largest and most successful:
1) Gust (formerly AngelSoft) – Run by the “Father of Angel Investing in New York”, David Rose. It has a lot of information on angel investing, and is the most widely used source. It is used by both entrepreneurs and local angel organizations. As an entrepreneur, use the investor search to find investors according to location, industry interest, and other conditions. All you do is set up a company profile and it will present all the information investors need to know in a professional way. The site has more than 1,000 member-managed groups and VCs, with 40,000 investors and more than 1,800 startups funded in the last 12 months.
2) Angel List– Founded in 2010 by Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi of Venture Hacks. It is more of a social networking for raising equity. Their community has already grown to more than 500 startups and 2,500 investors.
3) Keiretsu Forum– Founded in 2000, it claims to be the largest angel investor network in the world. It has 1,000 accredited investor members throughout 21 chapters on three continents, and its members have invested more than $400 million in companies in technology, consumer products, healthcare/life sciences, real estate and other segments with high growth potential.
4) New England Investment Network– This is an online forum that connects entrepreneurs in the New England states with angel investors worldwide. It has a very broad reach with 30 branches, covers 80 countries, and has more than 200,000 members worldwide. The only limitation with this platform is that it only gives contact information, meaning you need to find matches on your own.
5) Angel Capital Association– this organization includes more than 160 angel groups and 20 affiliate organizations across North America. They fund approximately 800 new companies each year, and manage an ongoing portfolio of more than 5,000 companies throughout North America.
Want To Learn More?
Download our free Raising Capital from Angel Investors eBook.
This guide will walk you through the process of obtaining seed capital for your startup. This book includes:
- An overview of the angel investor process and who they are
- The milestones angel investors look for when evaluating your business
- Strategies for finding the angels best fit for your startup
- How to nurture the relationship, prepare for the meeting and deliver the pitch
- Rounding out the details and preparing for the future