Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Blog Archives

The reality of returns on angel investment

Editor’s note: This was originally a question and answer on Quora, but the community response was so significant we decided to syndicate it on our Gust blog.

Q: If I want to invest $5,000 as a new angel investor into a new company or companies as part of an angel syndicate, what chances do I have of making a profit in 5 years?

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Using your business plan

Business plans come in several flavors and you will need each of them to successfully raise money. I’ll briefly describe the forms of your business plan, but more importantly, explain how to avoid common mistakes in using your plans.

Elevator Pitch – A two-minute verbal description of your business. Illustrate the problem you are solving and how your solution will delight customers.

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Blogger About Angel Investment: “Confused, Scared, and More Than a Little Ashamed”

Now there’s a great title for a blog post. Writing about angel investment, on his Portland-based Silicon Forest entrepreneurship etc. blog, Rick Turozcy titled his post: I’m confused, scared, and more than a little ashamed. Don’t even try to tell me that doesn’t make you curious. Rick’s a smart guy, very well known in Portland (OR), and his blog matters. So

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The Great Crowdfunding Train Wreck of 2013

The verb “to disrupt” in all its forms is rightly popular in the startup world.  To many entrepreneurs, few things are as personally satisfying (or as lucrative) as disrupting an entrenched, complacent, monopolistic, inefficient or stagnant market in ways that often empower consumers and producers alike.  Consumer Internet and mobile technology businesses continue to be rife with opportunities for disruption.

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Schooling MBAs (part I)

Yesterday I was a judge at the Northeast Regional Finals of the Venture Capital Investment Competition, featuring teams of MBAs from some pretty fancy schools. The big idea is that the MBAs form imaginary VC firms, look at real startups, and get judged on how they handle due diligence, investment structures, etc.  So it’s the MBA “investors,” not the startups,

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Investment Strategy for Angels

After participating in a seminar I delivered a couple of years ago, an experienced angel investor commented to me he would never write another check for $250,000 to a single startup.  Instead his new strategy would begin writing checks for $25,000 to $50,000 for many companies.

Rob Wiltank’s study  a few years ago validated what many angels have suspected for

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A Quick Reminder of the Roots of Angel Investment

I just picked up on a great reminder of how “it all” got started: Gordon Moore and eight others formed Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957, and how that led to the model for outside investment:

Little to anyone’s knowledge at the time, how it was formed would set the model for almost every Silicon Valley company that would follow it; unleashing

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Motivations of an Angel Investor

The typical angel investor is wealthy and about 60 years old—at a stage in their lives when golf, tennis, cruises, and grandchildren are foremost in their minds. They could easily turn their investment decisions over to a wealth manager. Why would they choose to invest both time and money in startup companies? Why? Because they want to! Ask any angel and you will

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The #1 Angel Investing Mistake

The list of angel investing mistakes is an awfully long one, equally as long as the list for liquid investments, plus a bunch more.  On the too-aggressive side: believing the hockey stick, ignoring the management holes, and overestimating product acceptance.  On the too-conservative side: my favorite startup myth, thinking that .

You Have Competition – Ellen Weber” href=”http://videos.gust.com/video/You-have-competition;search%3Atag%3A%22know-thy-market%22″>because competitors exist,

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Do You Know When To Bootstrap and When Not?

A couple of days ago a friend asked me whether I’m in favor of startups getting angel investment. He pointed out this post on this blog, which is me writing about five good reasons not to seek investment. My answer is that – like so much else in this field – it depends on the specific situation. A business that

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