Angel Investors F...
Follow
Find
11.6K views | +0 today
Angel Investors Funding
How to reach Angel Investors the right way! Take a look here, watch the video or read the info: http://bit.ly/1jF6Yah
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Early Stage Investing For Entrepreneurs And Individual Investors Just Got A Whole Lot More Attractive

Early Stage Investing For Entrepreneurs And Individual Investors Just Got A Whole Lot More Attractive | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

On Friday, December 18, Congress passed the PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes), a sweeping $1 trillion bill which, as part of an 887-page omnibus, would prove challenging for even the most astute of human beings to absorb, let alone many of those in Washington.

Nevertheless, page 813, Section 126, makes reference to a feature that’s now become a permanent part of the tax code — and it’s great news for entrepreneurs and other individuals financing startups and companies in the earliest stages of growth, as well as general partners and individual investors in venture capital funds. This is all part of Congress’ interest in encouraging long-term investing.

The impact this change will have on entrepreneurs, the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, is significant. This new code will enable a company’s founders and employees holding stock, including that obtained upon exercise of options, to save up to millions of dollars in taxes upon a company achieving a successful liquidation event. Read more: click image or title.



Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This tax rule is significant for #entrepreneurs and #earlystage #investors. Good to be aware of it and don't forget when preparing taxes.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

India hunting for angel investors to fund its thriving startup environment

India hunting for angel investors to fund its thriving startup environment | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

Adequate funding is the primary requisite for any new startup with a brilliant idea.

India has become the mushrooming ground for several new entrepreneurs with ground-breaking ideas along with the determination to see their ideas blossom into successful startups.

The West has been encouraging entrepreneurial ventures steadily. However, in India, inspite of the talent, funding and risk taking ability have been two major factors that have been slowing down the rapid augmentation of new startups.

The scenario has transformed a lot in the recent past. With many venture capital firms and even individuals willing to invest in the startup environment in India, the climate has surely changed. But still, number of angel investors is not enough yet according to the prevalent economic needs of the country. Read more: click image or title.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km
"I have so much gratitude in my soul right now. Growthink has helped me to come a long way since I've found the company and started making my business plan.
I'm counting my blessings every day."
Best Regards,
Trevor Houlihan

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#India is catching up in the #startup world. With plenty of #talent the funding is following more. Policies are positive from government and major #investors.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from High Above the Clouds
Scoop.it!

What I learned from building a pan-African network of angels - Ventureburn

What I learned from building a pan-African network of angels - Ventureburn | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
What I learned from building a pan-African network of angels

Innovative early stage ventures that have the potential to yield high social impact, but require less than US$1-million in capital, are the most difficult segment of the small business pipeline to reach. Often times they have a minimal track record and lack the collateral needed to secure capital from a local bank.

Moreover, local banks and traditional financiers too often do not appreciate the dynamics of the entrepreneur’s specific business and therefore cannot add necessary value beyond capital. It is exactly through direct equity participation that entrepreneurs learn from angel investors, often experienced entrepreneurs themselves with domain specific expertise.

In July and August of 2015, ABAN (the African Business Angel Network) organised a series of Angel Investor Boot Camps and Master classes in Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town. Theme for the series was Unlocking capital for early stage innovation.

The insights and lessons learned gained from these sessions was used as input for designing the program for the second Annual ABAN Angel Investor Summit, an event that took place on 23 September in Lagos, Nigeria preceding the fourth Annual DEMO Africa conference.

The four events brought together close to 250 African and international angel investor. ABAN partner VC4Africa was commissioned to survey the participants with the aim to identify issues African angel investors are facing today and to use this input as an important reference where the organisation can focus its efforts moving forward. Below are the summarised Key Learnings. Read more: click image or title.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Hello Dave,
You are a treasure to the Business community.
I have completed my business plan on the second day with your template.  And I had tried and failed for a year before."
Dawson


Via High Above the Clouds
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

So much happening in #Africa now.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

What are the differences between an Angel and Series A round of funding? - MyVenture.in

What are the differences between an Angel and Series A round of funding? - MyVenture.in | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

A major chunk of investments in startups is done either by Venture capitalist firms or by Angel investors. Therefore, it becomes essential for entrepreneurs to understand the difference between them. To read more click on image or title.



$1 to $10 Million Dollars of Venture Capital Available

Learn how you can raise $1 million to $10 million dollars quickly, easily and inexpensively  bit.ly/1Lr9RrI
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It is essential to know the difference between angel investors and venture capital. Angel investors are individuals working with their own money, venture capital works with investment funds. However, there are other ways to raise capital now thanks to the Job Act. Check out what this VC company is doing, very hopeful and empowering for startups who have always struggled with the issue of raising funds. Take a look at what CCA has created, you can either work with them directly or learn how to do the whole process yourself. http://bit.ly/1Lr9RrI


more...
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

For Start-Ups, How Many Angels Is Too Many? - NY Times

For Start-Ups, How Many Angels Is Too Many? - NY Times | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
The Silicon Valley investment frenzy has spurred so-called angel investors into earlier financing rounds, but there are downsides for both entrepreneur and investor.

Shortly after presenting her start-up to potential investors at a conference, Nancy Hua was bombarded by eager suitors. A little more than 48 hours later, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur had amassed about $2 million from wealthy individuals known as angel investors.

The total number of angels that Ms. Hua raised money from: 21. And she could have gotten more if she had not cut them off.

“Thirty seconds into my pitch, three people emailed me saying they wanted to invest in my company,” Ms. Hua, 29, said of the experience raising money for her start-up, Apptimize, for which she announced the funding last year. “We had dozens of people whose money we turned down.” Read more, click image or title.




Need funding?

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Funding needs to be approached cautiously. Getting sudden attention from many investors could turn the wrong way if not managed well. Read this interesting NY Times article.

more...
Javier Albuja's curator insight, July 7, 2015 7:22 PM

El frenesí de inversión de Silicon Valley ha estimulado los llamados inversionistas ángeles en rondas de financiación anteriores, pero hay inconvenientes tanto para el empresario e inversor....

Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Angel investor says he'll only invest in startups with women leaders

Angel investor says he'll only invest in startups with women leaders | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
One angel investor wants an investment portfolio full of women.

One angel investor wants an investment portfolio full of women.

Jonathan Sposato, a Seattle-based entrepreneur and the CEO of photo editing software PicMonkey, made a bold announcement last week at the Seattle Angel Conference that he’d only fund companies with one or more female founders.

Women often have a more difficult time securing funding—numbers from CrunchBase show that companies with female founders only make up about 19% of seed and angel investments, and that number dwindles down as companies progress to each funding stage.

But the good news is the number of female founders are on the upswing. According to that CrunchBase data, the percentage of startups with at least one female founder rose from 9.5% in 2009 to 18% in 2014.

“Female entrepreneurs do have a harder time getting traction—whether that’s raising money, getting their concepts across, or even recruiting,” Sposato said in an interview with Mashable. “You can’t just take those issues and not do something about it. If you feel passionate about something, you have to be the catalyst.”

Sposato says part of the problem comes from investors’ tendency to pattern match, or support startups that resemble other successful companies they funded that got off the ground. And those successful companies are more often led by men.

“We need to pivot our brains to think differently about how we define what gets to a successful outcome,” he said.

Sposato has been vocal about his support of enhancing women in tech in the past, speaking at the Seattle Women’s Startup Weekend in 2012. And PicMonkey succeeded, in large part, because of its female users, who make up about 80% of its audience.

Read more: click on image or title.





Need funding?

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Angel investors like Sposato make statements to support women. Hopefully he will go ahead and follow through on this statement. I don't see any reasoning in the article as to why that would be a good idea. Women founders approach business differently. They are more focused on value and building relationships with their client base. Women need to point out such advantages in their funding attempts.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from High Above the Clouds
Scoop.it!

10 Things Angel Investing Taught Me About How To Raise Money For A Startup

10 Things Angel Investing Taught Me About How To Raise Money For A Startup | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
Prerna Gupta (co-founder of Khush) is on the other side of the investor pitches now -- and she has 10 pieces of advice you need to read.

After selling my startup, the first big “purchase” I made was an investment in another startup.

I loved the idea of angel investing; I wanted to give back to the community that supported me when my startup was little more than a crazy idea. I wanted to be involved with promising startups outside of my own space. And, of course, I wanted to make more money.

I’m still just a baby angel, with a lot left to learn. But what’s surprised me most about my foray into angel investing is how much it has taught me about being a better fundraiser.

Here are 10 things I’ve learned about fundraising after becoming an angel investor myself:  To read more, click on title or image.




Need funding?

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via High Above the Clouds
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A different perspective: that of the angel investor herself. Interestingly, she was funded herself and turned angel investor afterwards, so you get both angles here. She comes up with a few different angles. If you're ready for funding, read this first.

more...
Jean-Louis Muller's curator insight, May 4, 2015 3:37 AM

Quelques conseils de base, à lire et à relire pour ceux qui souhaitent lever des fonds. C'est simple, concis, compréhensible ... bref comme une bonne présentation de votre projet !

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Think Tank M&A
Scoop.it!

The Emergence Of Small Town Angel Investing - Forbes

The Emergence Of Small Town Angel Investing - Forbes | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

Many have the impression that most angel investing happens in Silicon Valley, Boston and New York. I’m here to tell you that angel investing is thriving in many other places across the country.  Case in point: angels in so called “flyover states” without a tradition of venture capital or cities with populations of 100,000.  These locations are creative angel epicenters that are doing special things to be successful.

Over the years, I’ve met many highly successful angels and entrepreneurs from places that may surprise you – Whitefish, MT, College Station, TX and Greenville, SC, among others.  These angels are having a great run, with financial returns to covet and the rewarding feeling of helping to create companies that are meaningful in their communities and states.

Read more: click title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink helped me with two business plans. I liked working with Anna Vitale because she was a professional yet personable and that gave me a sense of trust. Keep up the good work.”


Phil Marcu


Via Think Tank M&A
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Angel investors are everywhere. They are accredited investors who are looking for good returns. They have lots to offer as well: experience, connections, good advice. Pick carefully, present well.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from High Above the Clouds
Scoop.it!

Start-ups welcome a new wave of female angel investors - Virgin.com

Start-ups welcome a new wave of female angel investors - Virgin.com | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

New research reveals that angel investors are increasing in number, with many of the individuals behind the rise being both female and younger than the current crop… You are reading an article fromtheWomen in business series, to read more about about this you can visit the series homepage.

If you’re a start-up operating in 2015, you will have more opportunity to receive angel investment than ever before. What’s more, there’s an increasing likelihood that your angel will be young and female, details a new report released by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and the UK Business Angels Association.

Women now represent one in seven angel investors, double the rate observed in 2008. Angels are also getting younger - three quarters of angels are aged under 55, with 44% under 45 and 16% under 35 years. In London and the South East the shift is more pronounced, with 46% of angels aged under 45 compared with 37% across the rest of the UK. The news will be warmly welcomed by many in the business community, with the longstanding problem of female entrepreneurs struggling to find investment looking to be tackled in a number of inventive ways as of late. Recognising that some women in business feel alienated by the macho culture and have certain doors closed to them, funding platforms such as Mums Mean Business have looked to provide an answer. To read more, click on title or image.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels


Via High Above the Clouds
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Nice evolution in the Angel Investing world.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

10 tips to find the right angel investor for your startup

10 tips to find the right angel investor for your startup | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
If you're past the bootstrapping stage for your startup but don't want to fully dive into the venture capital pool, finding an angel investor is a good option to raise money and get some guidance. Here's what to look for in an angel.

Angel investors are people who are there to help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. However, for startups getting an angel on board is a difficult process that requires a lot of hustle. Here are some fundraising tips to help you out with that:

1. Choose investors you want to work with: Getting an investor on board is a long­term commitment. Ask yourself if you would enjoy talking with that person on regular basis. If not, move on. The best investors are people you admire or respect for their business background or industry experience. Getting a wrong person on board can harm your company in the long term.

2. Avoid time wasters: For some reason there are many people who pretend to be angels. It's not unusual to meet "angels" who turn out to be consultants or people hoping to broker a deal for a fee or commission. In other cases you will meet real angels who just can't make a decision. Learn to identify posers and set limits on getting a commitment (e.g. if you don't get a commitment after 3 emails, move on.)

3. Choose ex­entrepreneurs or people who understand your industry: Best investors are people who have been there and done it themselves. As an entrepreneur you will get into many challenging situations and your investor should be there to help you. It's hard to understand what it's like to deal with challenges of a startup if you haven't done it before. Therefore, look for people who have that experience.

4. Get introduced: The best way to meet an investor is to get introduced by someone they know and respect. Leverage your network and look for intros on every occasion. It may be a networking event, a business meeting or even an intro from another angel who likes your idea but chooses to pass on the opportunity for some practical reason ­ they may know someone who is in better position to invest.

5. Cold emails work: If you don't have an extensive network cold emails are the second best way to approach angels. The best emails are short, to the point and contain some link, screenshot or a wireframe of a prototype.

6. Prepare your pitch: Before you get into meetings, prepare your full pitch. Best pitches are simple and easy to understand. Top investors don't care about ideas, they care about team and their ability to execute. Other important factors to include in your pitch are: size and growth of the market you're in, significance of customer problem you're going to solve (is it big and monetizable?) and demonstration of a sensible go­to market strategy.

7. Get references: Once you land a meeting and start to move forward, be sure to learn about the whole portfolio of the given investor. Ask for referrals and contact founders of startups that failed or are not publicly listed in investor's online profile.

8. Top angels co­invest with other angels: Don't expect to land a full deal with one person. Top angles like to diversify risk and co­invest with other experienced angels. Keep your pipeline full, talk to multiple people and ask for referrals. When you get commitments for certain % of the amount you're raising, be sure to mention it ­ social proof is a very convincing factor.

9. Leave your NDA at home: No serious investor will sign a non­disclosure / non­compete agreement. Firstly, these documents are barely enforceable anyway and secondly investors talk to many startups with different kinds of ideas. Just because they turn you down, it doesn't mean they won't invest in another team that comes with similar value proposition.

10. Convertible note: In recent years increasing number of deals are structured as convertible notes. Convertible note solves one of the main issues associated with closing a deal ­ valuation. This kind of deal allows you to save time and move valuation to another round of financing. Make sure you're aware of this option and learn about it before you get into talks with investors.

Raising money is hard and time­consuming process. The best funding however is your revenue, whatever you do make sure you're you stay focused on building a company and gaining traction. After all the most attractive deals to angels are the ones that don't need money at all.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Angel investors are regular people wanting to invest in exciting companies with a good ROI. They may come with more than that though. Great article on how to find your match.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

What Angel Investors Are Actually Buying From Your Startup | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

What Angel Investors Are Actually Buying From Your Startup | Fast Company | Business + Innovation | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

How many times have you heard startups are hard and companies fail? You know the drill. Think about it: If angel investors were actually buying your company, they would be much more interested in its outcome. But they aren’t.

Sure, angel investors are taking a small option to buy future shares at a discount price--particularly since the vast majority of funding rounds nowadays are made through a convertible note--but in their eyes that’s just a byproduct; a consequence.

From an angel investor standpoint, you’re now competing with hundreds--if not thousands--of other startups. Every single one of them are valued between $3 million and $6 million--and in more rare cases, up to $8 million. Every. Single. One.

Let that sink in for a second. It’s like when you go to the supermarket, and you are surrounded by 20 different brands of cornflakes all priced the same. How do you decide which one to buy? The angel investor is viewing you and your startup as that brand of cornflakes on the shelf. So how do they make a decision? They take the following four things into account:

  1. Product
  2. Team
  3. Market
  4. Traction

Angel investors ask themselves the following questions while talking to you about your startup:

  • Do I like the team?
  • Am I comfortable with the market?
  • Does your startup have meaningful traction compared with the other cornflakes beside them?

If you want to maximize your chances of finalizing a positive outcome--or in other words, having them write you a big fat check--you better have a good answer to all those questions. Any angel investor doing their homework can reach any startup through AngelList, and can also collect third-party data on you and your competitor via tools like Mattermark.

Startup Success Is Unpredictable

So this is how they make their purchase decision, but what are they actually buying from you? Not your company . . . but rather access to privileged information. Think about it for a second--that’s why investors don’t care if you fail, but get pissed off if you don’t share what’s happening. It’s fine to screw up, but it’s not okay to hide it. Does this ring a bell? Here’s why.

Regardless of what the average investor may tell you, the reality is no one can predict who or what will become successful. Companies pivot. Markets shift. Founders split up. In short: shit happens.

When the most exciting companies start fundraising, they usually become oversubscribed very fast.

Look at three startups everybody knows: Uber, Airbnb, and Color. Uber started with an AngelList round at $5 million, and now is the hottest company on the planet. Color started off as the hottest company on the planet and vanished, regardless of a monster round. Meanwhile, Airbnb originally offered cereal and air mattresses before nailing down the model that made them worth more than the Hyatt--without owning a single room or hotel.

Another element to understand is timing. When the most exciting companies start fundraising, they usually become oversubscribed very fast. Some other companies fundraise for a long time and collect interest until they find a lead on which everybody wants to pile on, but at that point it’s the company that decides who’s in and who’s out. The actual window for investors to act upon is pretty small, and when it does open they’re forced to make a decision very quickly. If they don’t know you beforehand, then it’s very unlikely they will have the time to collect all the data they’d like.

Don't Hide Screwups; Be Upfront

Even if investors have known you and your startup for a while, they still have an issue--it’s very hard to see how a company is performing from the outside. A majority of founders don’t disclose monthly key metrics and their performance in time--if not from a very high-level standpoint. It’s like peering through the keyhole. Sure, they get a glimpse of what’s going on, but they cannot picture the whole story. And that’s a huge issue, because having access to information before others means being able to put more money at lower valuations. That's a win.

What’s the best way to get early access to data so you can determine the difference between an Uber and a Color? Being an actual investor. Here's the downside: lots of early bets will fail. But the upside? They’ll get privileged access to information, and they’ll be able to know--instead of guessing--who is really outperforming the other companies they have information on, benchmarking you against the other ones. Why is this important? Well . . . because of math, and because the real action is what happens next.

Put yourself in the shoes of an angel investor who has 20 investments. If you invested at a $5 million average valuation and 15 of them will eventually fail, four of them will exit for an average of $20 million, and one of them will instead make a $250 million exit. That’s a ballpark figure of around a 4X exit in four cases, and a 50X in one case. It’s a 64X return on a 20X investment; not bad at all if you can get it, and should not be taken for granted.

Even if investors have known your startup for a while, it’s hard to see how a company is performing from the outside.

But here's where things get interesting. If you double down at the following round of a best performing company that has a $25 million valuation, then that's an additional 10X return on a single--and a much less risky--investment.

That means you’ll have the opportunity to get a 74X return total on a 21X investment, or a 94X return on a 23X investment . . . which is way more exciting. It’s called pro-rata rights if you’re doing a priced round with preferred shares, but any good founder will give the same opportunity to his early investors anyway, regardless of the financial vehicle used.

That’s why angel investors don’t care if you’re screwing things up and failing, as long as you’re upfront enough to share that information with them, enabling them to benchmark the other companies with you. Not only that--they’ll also be more than happy to help.

--Armando Biondi is cofounder and COO of AdEspresso, a SaaS solution for Facebook ads optimization. He lived in Italy until relocating to San Francisco in 2012. He previously cofounded Pick1 and four other non-tech companies. He’s also an angel investor in Mattermark and 10 more companies, is proudly part of the 500 Startups network, and is also a former radio speaker.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Investor psychology. This is very revealing. Read to know what they want.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

10 Things Angel Investing Taught Me About How To Raise Money For A Startup

Prerna Gupta (co-founder of Khush) is on the other side of the investor pitches now -- and she has 10 pieces of advice you need to read.

After selling my startup, the first big “purchase” I made was an investment in another startup.

I loved the idea of angel investing; I wanted to give back to the community that supported me when my startup was little more than a crazy idea. I wanted to be involved with promising startups outside of my own space. And, of course, I wanted to make more money.

I’m still just a baby angel, with a lot left to learn. But what’s surprised me most about my foray into angel investing is how much it has taught me about being a better fundraiser.

Here are 10 things I’ve learned about fundraising after becoming an angel investor myself:

1. Tell a good story.

Storytelling is the most effective way to convince someone of something. A powerful narrative captures our attention, tugs at our heartstrings and makes us vulnerable.

Investors have to sit through a lot of boring meetings. Make it easy for them to pay attention.

2. Be crystal clear about what you’re selling.

It’s always surprising to me how many entrepreneurs are unable to clearly explain what they’re selling. If after reading through your pitch, watching your video, perusing your AngelList profile, and speaking with you for half an hour, I’m still unable to explain to my husband in two sentences what you do, I’m not going to invest.

If you can’t explain what you do in two sentences, how will I?

It doesn’t matter how complicated your technology is, or how obscure the problem is that you’re trying to solve. You must find a way to distill it into something an intelligent layperson can understand.

If you’re unable to do that, my assumption is you can’t explain your product to your customers either.

3. Make your presentation pretty.

Design matters. For the same reason good design matters for your product, it matters for your presentation. Investors are just as impressionable as your average consumer. Pretty slides send a signal that you know how to build a good product. (This may matter less in hardcore technology or enterprise startups, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.)

Good design alone won’t get me to write a check, but it will impress the hell out of me. I’m a sucker for pretty pictures, just like everyone else. Use that to your advantage.
4. Anticipate their questions.

As you’re developing your pitch, try to anticipate the questions that will arise on each slide. For major questions, address them head-on. For smaller questions, be prepared with a good comeback, supported by data.

5. Be crystal clear about your goals.

I want to feel confident that you’re going to put my money to good use. I don’t need to see detailed financials (in fact, I probably don’t want to), but I do want to have a sense of what my money will help you achieve.

The best presentations specifically lay out exactly what they plan to accomplish with the current round of funding. Be explicit with your goals, and it will instill confidence in the investor that you have a clear vision and will spend the money wisely (even though all good investors know that plans change).

6. Hook them in 10.

Angel investing is by and large a gut-driven activity. For every investment I’ve done, I made the decision to invest more or less instantaneously. I still listened to the pitch, asked a lot of questions, and (somewhat) rationally evaluated all the information before committing to invest. But, if I’m honest with myself, I can see that the decision was always made with my gut, and it was usually made before I had any details.

Recognize that investors make snap judgments, and do your best to hook them at the outset.

7. Project confidence.

This one is obvious, but it’s so important that I felt I had to include it. Confidence is everything. It’s a fine line, of course. Don’t be arrogant. Be respectful and personable and kind. But you have to believe in yourself and your startup. And you have to make me believe that you do. Investors sniff out doubt like hound dogs.

8. Find investors who just “get it.”

I’ve passed on a lot of investments that fit all the obvious criteria: they were playing in a market ripe for disruption, had a great team, savvy founder, innovative product, lots of other reputable investors, etc. But I still passed.

Why? Even though everything looked great on paper, I just personally wasn’t excited about what they were doing. It wasn’t something I wished I had thought of.

I know that many of the opportunities that I’ve passed on will go on to be very successful. And I’m fine with that. Because for me, angel investing is not primarily about making money — it’s about participating in startups that I find exciting.

I believe this is the primary motivation for most entrepreneurs-turned-angels.

Don’t waste your time pitching to angels who are not likely to just get it. Not because they’re idiots, but because, for a million and one reasons, it’s just not their thing.
9. Be honest.

This is probably one of the hardest things to do consistently, but it matters, a lot. I will never, ever write a check to someone I think has lied to me, even if it was just a little white lie.

I’m as guilty as the next entrepreneur for pretending to know a number when I don’t. It’s hard to be honest when you’re under pressure. But I have so much more respect for a founder that just ‘fesses up when her dirty laundry is uncovered (or better yet, reveals it herself) than one who tries to cover it up with an obvious lie.

It sets a bad tone for your relationship with your investors, and it also betrays your self-doubt. If you’re truly confident in your ability to succeed, you have no reason to lie.

10. Be gracious when someone says “no.”

I know how frustrating it can be to hear “no.” You’ll probably hear “no” more often than you’ll hear “yes” throughout your fundraising process. As tempting as it is to be a jerk to an investor that rejects you, you have a lot more to gain by being gracious. Because this is almost certainly not the last round of funding you’re going to raise, or the last startup you’re going to do.

Investors don’t like to say “no” any more than you like hearing it. It’s hard to let down an eager entrepreneur, especially if you’ve been in their position before. It’s the one thing about angel investing I truly hate. It sucks.

When a founder responds graciously, my esteem for that founder rises tenfold. It even makes me question my decision to pass. And it certainly makes me want to keep tabs on the startup for the next round.

Prerna Gupta is an author, futurist, investor and most recently, CPO/CMO at Smule, where she remains an advisor to the Board of Directors.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km




Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another excellent story to learn what investors want. This one has been on both sides of the table. Very interesting.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

12 Things to Know About Raising Money From Angel Investors

12 Things to Know About Raising Money From Angel Investors | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

When you need funding, angel investors can seem like a godsend. However, raising money from angels isn’t as easy, or as simple, as it might seem.

To learn more, I asked 12 successful founders from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

I’m thinking of raising money from angels. What is one thing I should know?

Their best answers are below:

1. You‘ll Face a Lot of Rejection

There are hundreds of reasons an angel will reject your pitch, and so many things need to happen simultaneously for somebody to say “yes.”

Don’t tie your happiness on that day to the positive or negative responses you get from potential investors, because even with the best idea in the world you’re going to be bummed after 95 percent of your meetings. All it takes is one “yes” to get the ball rolling. – Travis Steffen, MentorMojo

2. You Should Understand What They Want

Angel investors are typically looking for two things: They are excited about the team and believe that they are the ones who can do it, and they believe in the space and the larger vision for the product. Make sure you find angels who follow accepted angel investing methods.

There are many stories of companies giving away way too much equity/control for very little cash. – Arjun Arora, ReTargeter

3. You Should Be Prepared for Due Diligence Early

Poshly’s investors include prominent angel syndicates. We found that after successfully pitching, angels like to do thorough due diligence.

Preparing financial statements, financial projections, referrals and competitive assessments early will help you to make the due diligence process as seamless as possible, helping you to close the deal quickly with investors. – Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

4. You Can and Should Ask for Their References

You should be doing as much due diligence on your angels as they are on you. All cash is not equal, and it’s important to ask for references and talk to other entrepreneurs who took money from that particular individual.

In particular, focus on finding and speaking with people whose companies failed or did not meet expectations — and ask how supportive (or not) the angel was. – Matt Mickiewicz, Hired

5. Angel Networks Aren’t That Scary

Angel networks align dozens of prospective investors to hear pitches from entrepreneurs. These can be tough – you’re pitching an audience!

We had success in our two Angel group pitches. We simply assumed that 80 percent of the room wasn’t interested, and focused on the 20 percent that was diligently listening. Wow that subset, and you’ll have a bigger pool of potential investors. – Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

6. You Need to Know Your Numbers

Know how much you‘re raising and at what valuation. Know why you need that specific amount and when you forecast the break-even point to occur.

Understand your revenue model inside and out and be able to poke holes in it yourself. It will make you more believable and trustworthy then if an investor did it during your pitch. – Logan Lenz, Endagon

7. You Should Seek Counsel, Not Dollars

When you take money from angels, it’s more important to consider whom you are taking money from than how much money you are raising. Most angel investors are previous business owners or entrepreneurs, too.

Select angels based on whose feedback you value most. Having passionate angels that are willing to give you counsel and make connections for you are what helps to drive your business forward. – Arian Radmand, CoachUp

8. Your Communication Is Key

Your investors are clients. Treat your fundraising efforts as a sales cycle. Each investor needs nurturing and follow-up, just like your sales leads. Diligent communication before, during and after are essential to build investor confidence.

We write monthly email updates to current and prospective investors about our progress, explaining where we’re getting traction and what we’ve got planned. – Abby Ross, ThinkCERCA

9. You Should Share Your Mission

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Share the “why” part of your mission as much as the facts and figures. It goes beyond the pain point your solving. Share with them why you want to solve that pain point and what success really means to you.

Of course, validate everything with a sound plan and the facts to back it up. – Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies, Inc.

10. You Should Focus on Their Industry Experience

Concentrate on connecting with angels that are very aware of the industry, sector or vertical your company or startup is focused in. They will be more likely invest in companies that fit the city or region you’re in or industry they have previously been successful in or have deep knowledge and experience in. – Jason Grill, JGrill Media | Sock 101 

11. You Need to Be Able to Connect Personally

They have money and experience – great! But does that mean that angel will be a good business partner? A lot of business comes down to interpersonal relations, and many entrepreneurs forget that signing a terms sheet is just the beginning of a relationship.

If it’s the right angel, you’re going to spend lots of time together, so make sure they pass the beer test. Can you really talk biz over a beer? – Matt Hunckler, Verge

12. Your Honesty Is Important

Be honest with the potential investor and honest with yourself. Don’t hide anything from those looking to give you money, thinking you’ll just improve or fix it later. This is grounds for at minimum a constant pit in your stomach and at maximum the loss of your business through litigation.

Also, be honest with what your company’s value is. Too many entrepreneurs over-value their companies. – Andrew Howlett, Rain



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good advice from angel investors.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Startups
Scoop.it!

EBAN - The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players

EBAN - The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
EBAN is the pan-European representative for the early stage investor community. EBAN is a group of pioneer angel networks in Europe with the collaboration of the European Commission and EURADA. EBAN fuels Europe?s growth through the creation of wealth and jobs.

StartupYard is a pre-seed accelerator for Central and Eastern European technology startups with global ambitions. From the perspective of our startups, we are a proving ground and a platform for them to access investors, advisors, and mentors from our extensive network, both locally and internationally. Our intensive 3 month program involves one-on-one mentoring with scores of mentors, numerous professional workshops and extensive pitch training. Our goal is to bring a startup from the stage of an idea or a proof of concept with a great team, to a solid, high growth business, ready for larger investments. So far, we have accepted 44 companies, which we have helped to raise 4.8 Million Euros. 5 of those companies have been acquired already. Read more: click image or title.




Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com


Via StartupYard
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This European #accelerator offers connections for pre- #seedfunding.


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Building a Pan-African Network of Angel Investors | TechCabal

Building a Pan-African Network of Angel Investors | TechCabal | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

Innovative early stage ventures that have the potential to yield high social impact, but require less than €1 million in capital, are the most difficult segment of the SME pipeline to reach. Often times they have a minimal track record and lack the collateral needed to secure capital from a local bank. Moreover, local banks and traditional financiers too often do not appreciate the dynamics of the entrepreneur’s specific business and therefore cannot add necessary value beyond capital. It is exactly through direct equity participation that entrepreneurs learn from angel investors, often experienced entrepreneurs themselves with domain specific expertise.

In July and August of 2015, ABAN, the African Business Angel Network organized a series of Angel Investor Boot Camps and Master classes in Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town. Theme for the series was ‘Unlocking capital for early stage innovation’. The insights and lessons learned gained from these sessions was used as input for designing the program for the 2nd Annual ABAN Angel Investor Summit, an event that took place on the 23rd of September in Lagos, Nigeria preceding the 4th Annual DEMO Africa conference.

The four events brought together close to 250 African and international angel investors. ABAN partner VC4Africa was commissioned to survey the participants with the aim to identify issues African angel investors are facing today and to use this input as an important reference where the organization can focus its efforts moving forward. Below are the summarized Key Learnings. Read more: click image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Africa is huge, and there is a lot of #talent and many #startups being created. Check it out.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from High Above the Clouds
Scoop.it!

Tips for the Aspiring Angel Investor - The New York Times

Tips for the Aspiring Angel Investor - The New York Times | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
Experts emphasize that eager investors must perform due diligence, especially in a today’s overheated start-up climate.

It sounds like a surefire way to get good returns on your money: Invest small amounts across a dozen or more young companies; reap outsize rewards on one or two; repeat.

This is the simplified version of angel investing, the euphemistic term given to early stage investments in companies that are long on ideas and short on capital. Before banks will make loans or venture capitalists deem the companies large enough to invest in, angels put up the much-needed seed money to propel companies toward their goal. Or at least that is the hope.

At a time when conventional returns are low, lawyers and financial advisers say clients who wouldn’t have thought of angel investing a few years ago are looking at it now. But too often, investors are not doing their due diligence. The idea of angel investing has become too alluring. Think of those early investors who backed Pinterest or Twitter. Read more: click image or title.


Discover how to raise capital on your terms, by legally soliciting and selling securities to angel investors in the United States.

Check out…    http://bit.ly/1Lr9RrI


Via High Above the Clouds
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Being an #Angel #investor is not simple and easy. It shouldn't be a roulette. Follow these tips and get better results.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

4 Easy Steps Experienced Entrepreneurs Use to Improve their Startup Funding Efficiency - FundingSage

4 Easy Steps Experienced Entrepreneurs Use to Improve their Startup Funding Efficiency - FundingSage | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
Learn to use industry focus, geographic focus, investment state and investment range to improve your startup funding efficiency.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A great way to approach #AngelInvestors

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

New Rules Allow Early Adopters to Become Early Investors

New Rules Allow Early Adopters to Become Early Investors | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
Were you one of the first to identify Uber as a game changer?  What about being one of the first to use Amazon or Google in the early days? If you had..

Were you one of the first to identify Uber as a game changer?  What about being one of the first to use Amazon or Google in the early days?

If you had invested in Uber (now valued at $40B) in 2011, you would currently be sitting on a 600x return. Unfortunately, unless you were already very wealthy, securities laws would have prevented you from being able to invest in the these companies.

Early adopters have historically been prevented from crossing the threshold from customer to investor. However, a fundamental shift in the relationship between consumers and companies has been set in motion by new SEC regulations set to go into effect on June 19th.

Most early adopters interested in supporting private companies have been limited to rewards-based crowdfunding. This type of crowdfunding has proven to be a poor substitute for true early stage investing. Rewards-based crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter allow individuals to pre-order products or donate towards something that they want to exist in the world. These “backers” do not get shares or equity in the company. Although these backers take on significant risk, they do not get any significant upside.

The story of Oculus VR is apt. Nearly two years after its celebrated rewards-based crowdfunding raise, Oculus was acquired by Facebook for $2B. Oculus’ early Kickstarter backers felt angered and betrayed. Though they had a sense of ownership in the company, they reaped no benefits from the transaction. Meanwhile, the institutional and accredited investors who invested in Oculus after the Kickstarter campaign (and in large part because of the Kickstarter campaign) made a large amount of money in a short period of time. $300 in equity in Oculus at the time of the Kickstarter campaign would have been worth approximately $45,000, a 145x return.

Successful technology startups owe it to their early adopters to let them participate in the company’s financial success.  These are the people who realized the company’s potential before the public and provided the momentum to turn that potential into a reality. Read more: click on image or title.




Need funding?

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Early adopters are part of the success of a startup and should be rewarded for their input and commitment. This article digests the new opportunities.

more...
Richard Platt's curator insight, June 21, 2015 1:01 PM

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • EMV cards are being rolled out with an embedded microchip for added security. The microchip carries out real-time risk assessments on a person’s card purchase activity based on the card user’s profile. The chip also generates dynamic cryptograms when the card is inserted into a payment terminal. Because these cryptograms change with every purchase, it makes it difficult for fraudsters to make counterfeit cards that can be used for in-store transactions.
  • To bolster security throughout the payments chain encryption of payments data is being widely implemented. Encryption degrades valuable data by using an algorithm to translate card numbers into new values. This makes it difficult for fraudsters to harvest the payments data for use in future transactions.
  • Point-to-point encryption is the most tightly defined form of payments encryption. In this scheme, sensitive payment data is encrypted from the point of capture at the payments terminal all the way through to the gateway or acquirer. This makes it much more difficult for fraudsters to harvest usable data from transactions in stores and online. 
  • Tokenization increases the security of transactions made online and in stores. Tokenization schemes assign a random value to payment data, making it effectively impossible for hackers to access the sensitive data from the token itself. Tokens are often “multiuse,” meaning merchants don’t have to force consumers to re-enter their payment details. Apple Pay uses an emerging form of tokenization. 
  • 3D Secure is an imperfect answer to user authentication online. One difficulty in fighting online fraud is that it is hard to tell whether the person using card data is actually the cardholder. 3D Secure adds a level of user authentication by requiring the customer to enter a passcode or biometric data in addition to payment data to complete a transaction online. Merchants who implement 3D Secure risk higher shopping-cart abandonment.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from High Above the Clouds
Scoop.it!

Angel Investors Still Awaiting the Impact from Equity Crowdfunding | Xconomy

Angel Investors Still Awaiting the Impact from Equity Crowdfunding | Xconomy | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

After reading that angels would be the No. 1 losers due to the explosive growth of crowdfunding, angels like me have been keeping a wary eye on equity crowdfunding. Some reports in the press have suggested that crowdfunding could actually replace angels as a capital source.

So far, the warnings have turned into a big yawn. But here are the concerns for angel investors, along with my perspective on the situation today:

Has crowdfunding negatively affected total angel investment in the United States?

The short answer is no. According to Jeff Sohl, director of the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, total angel investment in the US has grown steadily since 2010 when the JOBS Act was passed, from $20 billion annually to an estimated $25 billion in 2014. Yet as crowdfunding grows, total angel investing might be undermined.

How much capital is flowing to entrepreneurs through online platforms in the United States? Read more: click on title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Great info. Loving your business plan template, makes writing a plan almost fun.


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland


Via High Above the Clouds
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Crowdfunding has opened many doors to funding #entrepreneurs, but also to new categories such as #donation based #funding and #peer-to-peer lending. This article delves deeper into what the numbers are and how #angel investors are doing. Excellent research.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from High Above the Clouds
Scoop.it!

Three Successful Exits In One Week -- How One Angel Did It - Forbes

Three Successful Exits In One Week -- How One Angel Did It - Forbes | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

Can you imagine having three successful exits in a week?

It happened to Dušan Stojanovic and this is a story worth dissecting.  He is founder and director of True Global Ventures and was named EBAN’s European Angel of the Year 2013, in part because of those exits in 2012. What can angels learn from Stojanovic’s strategies? One fact is without controversy: he adheres religiously to a strict investing plan.

To Stojanovic, angel investing is a skill-based gamble. It involves lots of luck balanced with roll-up-your sleeves hard work. His methods are proven by the fact that he has a portfolio of 18 companies that includes seven exits since 2005, with the amazing three in one week! All other investments are in companies that have reached a break-even point and none has closed down.

Read more: click on the title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear


Via High Above the Clouds
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

These are the kinds of angel investors you need in your sector.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Buzz e-sante
Scoop.it!

Beyond Fun: The Vital Future Of Wearables

Beyond Fun: The Vital Future Of Wearables | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
Tomorrow's wearables might not turn on your microwave or help you get out of a bad date. But they could save lives.

Remember life before high-speed Internet, or when having a smartphone was considered a luxury? Every few years, a new technology comes along, gains enough traction to become its own category, and has the potential to change how we live.

Enter wearables. Some expect wearable devices to repeat the growth pattern of smartphones. The category has increased its global market value by over 1,000% since 2012. More importantly, the amount is predicted to double over the next three years, reaching U.S. $12.6 billion and establishing wearables as the de facto product category for the connected world. But the prevailing wisdom among many purveyors of wearables that their products simply need to be cool—A ring that turns on your microwave! A necklace that triggers fake phone calls!—is plain wrong. The future of wearables is decidedly pragmatic. Wearables will care for the elderly, aid the disenfranchised, and maybe even help save lives. Read more: click image or title.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Great info. Loving your business plan template, makes writing a plan almost fun.


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland


Via Rémy TESTON
more...
Richard Platt's curator insight, February 27, 2015 10:09 PM

A study by the McKinsey Global Research Institute suggests that a wearable approach to preventive care may be more cost-effective than existing solutions. Through continuous monitoring rather than periodic testing, physicians could reduce treatment costs by as much as 10% to 20%, saving billions of dollars in the care of congestive heart failure alone, the study said.

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from High Above the Clouds
Scoop.it!

How Do Business Angels Think About 'Team?' Unique Insights From Super Angel Jonathan Milner

How Do Business Angels Think About 'Team?' Unique Insights From Super Angel Jonathan Milner | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

Jonathan Milner shares great insights to how a Business Angel really thinks about the entrepreneurial team.

Jonathan has built an impressive portfolio; he has invested over £11 million into 31 different companies, seen four successful exits (Horizon Discovery, Frontier Developments, Curidium and Phonetic Arts) which have covered the entire portfolio plus 60% return and Jonathan still has 24 companies still going including Oval Medical Technologies currently listed on SyndicateRoom . While Jonathan has also had three failures he says it is exactly because he has built his investment portfolio to expect both the successes and the inevitable failures that his returns so far have more than covered his entire angel investment portfolio.

Turning to Jonathan’s personal motivation, it is clear he is a passionate business angel. Jonathan says he became a business angel because “it’s fun”  and because he loves “the thrill of being part of a startup that can change the world.” As expected it is clear Jonathan also values ‘the team’ above all else – saying it is “without a doubt” the most important thing when deciding whether to invest. He explains the team is the driving force to success and that a top performing team will “figure out a way of making things work” expecting them to be able to “walk through walls to get it done.” So, has Jonathan’s faith in putting the team first helped lead him to such success? Talking to him further, it certainly looks like it.

We discussed one of Jonathan’s notable success stories, Horizon Discovery, a biotech company that provides tools and services to support research into personal medicine. Horizon Discovery recently shot to IPO fame by successfully listing on AIM in March of this year, securing £68.6 million.

Jonathan makes it clear that Horizon Discovery co-founder, Chris Torrance, was key to his decision to invest in the company. In fact, Jonathan is explicit that he invested because Chris was “very knowledgeable yet humble” and Jonathan had a “strong belief [Chris] could do it”. Jonathan was also impressed by Chris’ wider ambition and personal humility – Chris was willing to step down as CEO – making way for Darrin Disley, of whom Jonathan also greatly approved, to focus on growing the business commercially. As Darrin has successfully lead the company to IPO, these are decisions that, for all, hindsight appears to have validated.

Conversely, a bad team can be a company’s undoing. While Jonathan admits “ life is too short to invest in people you don’t enjoy working with, ” for a business angel the importance of getting the team right goes beyond working enjoyment to tangibly impacting success, too. So much so, when asked what his ‘recipe for disaster’ is, Jonathan replied from experience: that the times he lost money was when he “invested against [his] instincts about the team.” So, not only is a great team the key to success but a bad team could mark a path to ruin.

Jonathan is clearly passionate about young businesses beyond their commercial worth. For instance, when he talks about working with Horizon Discovery, it is clear Jonathan has a real relationship with both the founders and the company itself. He explains that the reason he became a Non-Executive Director for Horizon Discovery was so that he could “stick up for the executive team and founders”. As a business angel the ultimate goal is for the team and company to succeed and from there the financial returns will follow. Jonathan believes this is the converse to the aims of Venture Capitalists, who Jonathan laments are driven instead by money and their own returns, with the company and its founders’ success being irrelevant.

A piece of advice

If pitching isn’t intimidating enough, after reading this account any budding entrepreneur may be even more fearful about how they come across during a pitch, but Jonathan offers some words of comfort. First, he reassures that “any good business angel will see through the nervousness” but advises that a good tactic is to follow up with an angel after a business pitch, taking initiative to try and meet again in a less stressful setting. Jonathan is also certainly looking for team players – avoiding big egos and founders that are either unable or unwilling (for fear of usurpation) to attract top talent – so if you are putting the success of your company first, then you are laying solid foundations.

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos is the CEO of leading equity crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom that gives its members access to the top deals Business Angels and leading VCs invest in.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"I appreciate beyond measure all the information you provide ~ so many inside tips, w/o which I wouldn't have access to. There is so much to consider, and I've passed this particular email along to others for their respective ideas, and the foundation on which they may be built."
 "I like the style of presentation, the breadth of information given, and the myriad ways to apply the information. Great stuff ~ thanks so much!!"
--TL Elliott




Via High Above the Clouds
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

There you have it, again. When investing in a start up you invest in people. Find the right ones.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

10 tips for investing in tech startups // Dreamstake Blog

The European tech startup scene is definitely getting hot.  It’s been a long wait but London’s tech city is now producing world class startups and it’s tempting to jump right in as an investor. You may well be an investment professional working in the city. Maybe some of your friends have already made a killing by backing a startup on the way up. However, be careful, early stage tech investment is highly risky if you haven’t been involved before. Here are a few tips to minimize the risk and increase the return;

  1. Get a basic understanding - Don’t jump in until you have a basic understanding. Most tech startups follow a process that is laid out in The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.  This defines the stages that startups go through before scaling. As an angel investor you will often be investing in a team with a prototype (MVP). The idea will still be unproven. Once it has been tested in the market, VCs come in with larger sums to scale it up.
  2. Invest alongside more experienced investors - This is a great strategy. Look out for startups that have already attracted a smart investor. This can be someone who understands the technology or the market sector.
  3. Diversify – Risk can be diversified by investing across asset classes and by spreading your investment over a portfolio of startups. Investing £500K in one tech startup is highly risky. However, investing £50K each in 10 startups is safer. This is especially true, now that the SEIS tax break will mitigate some of the downside risk.
  4. Watch the trends - The startup world is driven by trends. Timing is everything. Mobile is big and ‘internet of things’ and hardware startups are emerging. It’s important to understand the underlying trends, whilst being careful of the hype.
  5. Beware of vanity metrics - Startups are often fueled by buzz. They need to attract users by making loads of noise over social media. However, many of the metrics they will quote in the pitch deck have little significance. There is little value in a million like on Facebook if this was bought through an expensive ad campaign and doesn’t translate to revenues.
  6. Network - Be where the startups hang out and talk to them. You learn a huge amount from founders.
  7. Mentor – If you have a lot of experience in a sector, such as banking, offer to mentor on a fintech accelerator. This is a great way to stay close to the action and learn the ropes.
  8. Specialise - You may want to gain deep knowledge of a particular type of tech startup. Fashion tech and fintech are both hot areas to invest in, where London has a natural advantage.
  9. Join a platform - Of course we mean www.dreamstake.net!  This is our very own tech startup investment platform. It brings order to the startup scene with a rating algorithm, offers free investment workshops and provides a platform for co-investment.
  10. Enjoy - Most angels get involved for the buzz.  Tech startups are exciting. They disrupt conventional businesses and make a big impact. So remember that it has to be fun. Invest in teams that you like, doing things that excite you. Engage with them and offer support


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Investors know that a lot of risk is involved by investing in startups with seed funding. This set of tips is really great.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

How To Negotiate Successfully With Angel Investors

How To Negotiate Successfully With Angel Investors | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it

1. Understand the Nature of Angel Investment

Angel investing is particularly associated with Silicon Valley, but this practice is used all over the world. Angel investors are often already successful entrepreneurs, but they may be anyone with money to invest in a startup. In return for the funds that the investor provides, the angel gets a pre-specified share of the business, in effect owning a percentage of your company.

 

Most angel investors then sell this stake in the business in the future for a profit. However, if the business fails, they don’t get anything in return. Because of the high-risk nature of an angel investment, some investors prefer to take a highly hands on role within the company. They also will need to see proof of your startup’s growth prospects before beginning negotiation.

 

2. Nurture Existing Leads

Treat relationships with potential investors as you would those with any other business leads. If there are any individuals who have shown interest in your company, follow up with them at least once a month to update them on your progress. This way, they’ll feel that they won’t be jumping into an unknown investment.

 

3. Track Results From Day One

Angel investors are interested in measurable results. To attract attention, keep track of all of your data from the get-go. No matter how small your business may be, spend time recording leads, profit, and website traffic. This provides proof of the progress you’ve made from day one.

 

4. Look Beyond Money When Evaluating Investor Value

Naturally, angel investment is attractive to entrepreneurs in need of startup cash. However, it also provides the opportunity for other benefits. Many investors are experienced entrepreneurs who have already learned valuable lessons through trial and error. If they have a financial stake in your company, they will most certainly wish to impart their wisdom to ensure its success. Look at the experience and networking potential of an investor as well as his or her net worth.

 

5. Have a Two-Way Conversation

You will undoubtedly put a great deal of time into refining your pitch for investors, but don’t forget that you’ll be entering a business relationship that’s ideally mutually beneficial. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the investor during your negotiations. Find out more information about the individual’s investment history, resources, industry experience, and expectations. Follow up with references from past beneficiaries and consider all points carefully.

 

An overbearing or shady investor can often be dealt with in the same way that you would deal with a difficult boss, but there’s more at stake in this case. It may be impossible to separate yourself from a difficult investor in the future, so take care to do your research before you enter into any contract.

 

6. Follow Up

Don’t give up if a worthy investor has passed on your offer at this time. Continue updating your records and refining your pitch. It may be that you’ll find more interested parties in the future, or perhaps you’ll get a second chance with your pitch. Finding and negotiating with angel investors isn’t easy, but when done successfully, it can become a mutually beneficial, (and hopefully very lucrative) relationship for both sides.


 Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It's all about building relationships. You'll work with an investor for a long time, chose well.

more...
Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, April 7, 2015 8:31 AM

It's not just a matter of contacting an investor. It's a process and being professional all the way will make the difference.

Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Strategies To Get Funded From Angel Investors

Strategies To Get Funded From Angel Investors | Angel Investors Funding | Scoop.it
The biggest challenge for a new company is to attract funding. How do you attract angel investors?
 Strategies To Get Funded From Angel Investors

The biggest challenge for a new company is to attract funding. Most banks will not make business loans to a business that doesn’t have a long history of making money. Your friends and family may not want to loan you money without a guarantee of seeing that money back. If you own a startup company, could angel investing be for you? How do you attract angel investors?

1) Find Someone Who Believes in Your Idea

The first step toward a successful pitch is to find investors who believe in your idea. For example, you may want to find someone who is enthusiastic about space research if your company is going to design a space capsule or another product that will help humanity travel to other planets.

2) Make Your Pitch About The Idea

While you want to spend time talking about the product and what it can do, talk about the products fits in with your overall vision. For an angel investor, it is more important that you believe in your idea as well as your product. If you don’t come off as passionate about making the world a better place or adding value to people’s lives, you are less likely to get the funding that you want.

3) Know What Your Angel Investor Wants to Hear

It is extremely important to tailor your pitch to the individual investor. Find out what he or she needs to hear before you get your money. If you pitch each individual with a generic presentation, you risk coming off as disrespectful or not ready to run a sophisticated company.

4) Show That the Company Is Worth Investing In

A good way to show that your idea is a good one is to show examples of past or current demand. Using crowdfunding sites to find early investors and customers is a great way to prove that your idea is worth investing in. If you have a prototype of a product that has won an award in the past, that could be used to justify the validity of your product and your company. You should also take time to talk up those on your board or on your management team. Having the right people on board further proves the potential for your product to be successful.

5) Don’t Lose Sight of the Core Product

Pitching to angel investors can be time consuming. However, you never want to lose sight of the fact that your company won’t survive without a great product. Make sure that you spend as much time developing and refining your product as you do looking for money. In time, a great product will lead to a bevy of investors who want to do business with you.

Attracting angel investors can take a lot of time and effort. To make the most of those efforts, you need to know how to talk to an angel investor to convince that investor to make an investment. While it may be intimidating at first to make a pitch, you will quickly learn what to say and what investors want to hear before giving your business a large sum of money.

John Alejandro is a blogger for i3Labs. He enjoys offering advice to investors and startups on investing and different ways to get funding.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



More information on how to get funded by Angel Investors? Check out Growthinks Angelguide: https://growthink.isrefer.com/go/angelguide/gt4045/


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Angel Investors are people like you and me. They are wealthy individuals investing their own money in your business. They are looking for a good return on investment, but also the satisfaction of helping out an entrepreneur. 

more...
No comment yet.