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

Blog Archives

What’s a typical day like for a full-time angel investor?

There is no such thing as a full-time angel investor (or if there is, I’ve never met one.)

If you mean someone investing mostly other people’s money through a seed fund, they are venture capitalists, and their days are spent like other VCs, meeting with prospective investments, mentoring portfolio companies, raising money from limited partners, negotiating deals, and so forth.


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As a VC or angel investor, how has your approach to investing changed over time?

The biggest change is the one that ALL serious angel investors eventually arrive at: no matter how smart or experienced you are, there are simply too many exogenous factors affecting outcomes for you to be able to pick only winners.

Can Fortune 500 executives also be angel investors?

Sure! There are quite a few senior executives of large companies who are angel investors. Unless there are specific competitive or ethical issues with a particular investment, there is nothing different from their employer’s viewpoint about investing in a private company rather than a public one.

How does one go about becoming a Venture Capitalist?

As Ryan Lackey noted, having a lot of money is essentially irrelevant in this context of how to become a venture capitalist, because that is not the way venture capital works.

What does it feel like to invest in a failed startup as an angel investor?

It’s not great…but it IS part of the business.

If you are an angel investor, the only way to do it is to take things very seriously. If you take angel investing seriously, you should aim to develop a portfolio of at least 30-40 investments over 5-10 years of active investing. If you invest in 40 startups, 20 of them (absolute minimum!)

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What are the average terms for Angel Investors’ seed fundings?

There is no average, because every company and situation is different. But as a general rule of thumb, the investors in each round of financing will get somewhere between 15% and 35% of the equity in the company, and the total amount raised in each round should be enough to get the company to a significant increase in value.

What are the biggest global events for Venture Capitalists and Business Angels where they can learn about their own business?

There are surprisingly few such conferences, for the very good reason that there are actually relatively few such people (venture capitalists and ‘professional’ angel investors) to attend them! But that said, here are the biggest (i.e., “only” 🙂 events of their type):

Business Angels Angel Capital Association (US) Annual Summit This is the big one, which rotates among different cities

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What are some things that truly committed angel investors do for startups?

The ideal angel investor would spend a great deal of his/her time working on behalf of the company in support of the CEO, in every way other than being a full-time employee.

In addition to doing the kinds of things that anyone (employee, friend, parent, founder, etc.) could do (referring customers, tweeting out news, suggesting ideas, checking out competitive sites, pointing out

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Which angel investing journals are the most useful, either online or in print?

There are actually no angel investing ‘journals’ per se, because there simply are not enough active, professional angel investors to make a market :-).  There are, however, quite a few blog posts on the subject, although most are written for an entrepreneurial audience, rather than angels themselves. And there is one really excellent weekly podcast to keep you up to

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What are some ways you can keep track of startups you are evaluating/diligencing/investing in?

This is obviously a softball question that I’ve been Asked to Answer, as I’m the Founder/CEO of Gust. The answer, of course, is Gust—because that’s exactly the purpose behind the platform!

Gust is the infrastructure that underlies much of the professional world of early stage finance. It is used by hundreds of thousands of companies in 195 countries to organize all of

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