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

Blog Archives

Is there an incubator for aspiring Angel Investors or VCs?

No, but there are several sets of courses on angel investing that can provide a good base from which to start. The most comprehensive and best known is the Power of Angel Investing seminar series developed by the Angel Resource Institute (formerly known as the Angel Capital Education Foundation, and prior to that part of the Angel Capital Association). It

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What are the best New York City events to attend to meet VC’s and Angel investors?

This is a somewhat tricky question. Although there are many, many excellent events each week in New York that it would make sense for a startup entrepreneur to attend (see Gary’s Guide, Startup Digest, or This Week in NY Innovation), the truth is:

VCs and serious investors don’t go to most of them, and the odds are slim that even

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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.

If

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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.

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 measures do VC’s take to mitigate conflicts of interest between investments?

The best way for a VC to mitigate conflicts between portfolio companies is to avoid investing in direct competitors in the first place! While this can be a bit difficult for seed funds with very large portfolios and limited direct day-to-day involvement, most larger funds are careful to avoid directly competitive investments. The reason for this is simple: why have

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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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Is it possible for an idea to be funded by a VC?

While anything is technically possible, the reality is that venture capital firms do not fund “ideas”. There are many wonderful ideas, and even many people having the same idea in the market at any given time. So what VCs fund is execution. Indeed, VCs only invest in one out of every 400 fully-formed companies that approach them for funding…let alone someone with a

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What are five tough questions that every founder should be prepared to answer in a pitch to VC’s?

How will you make money (and no, advertising is not the answer)? Who, specifically, is your first customer? Second? Third? What is your contingency plan for when this seed round is exhausted, and you are unable to raise any more? What is your API/platform/partnership strategy? How are you going to sell the company, and to whom, within six years?

 

What is the maximum amount of money a pre-revenue mobile Internet startup can expect to raise from the VCs?

To start with, a pre-revenue mobile company cannot expect to raise anything from “the VCs”. Venture capital funds invest in only one out of every 400 companies seeking funding, so the odds of your particular startup getting funded are astronomically against you.

Next, venture capital funds invest primarily in later stage companies that have already shown significant indications of success (known in the industry as “traction”.) 

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