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 their investor relations material; it is used by over a thousand angel investor networks, venture capital funds and startup accelerators to manage their deal flow and collaboration; and it is used by over 50,000 individual accredited angel investors in 75 countries to collaborate with their investor peers and keep track of the startups they are evaluating/ diligencing/ investing in.
As a very active angel investor myself, I frankly can’t imagine how I could keep track of all the pieces without Gust. In fairness, though, there are very few other angels who have the same challenges that I do (80+ companies in my personal portfolio, many hundreds of companies who personally reach out to me every year, over a thousand new opportunities that I see through New York Angels, half a dozen other angel groups in which I participate and 4—6 investments that I personally lead each year (https://gust.com/startups/ny_ang… ).)
But even for a more rational investor who is only dealing with one or two companies at a time, Gust still offers such a wide range of straightforward features and functionality at no cost (as well as automatic, built-in integration with the rest of the early stage entrepreneurial ecosystem) that it is difficult to see why it wouldn’t be something of a no-brainer.
Above is a screen shot I just took of my Gust investor dashboard. Among the various tools you’ll see (from top to bottom), are:
- links to browse through thousands of companies seek funding, and thousands of investment organizations for co-investment;
- quick access tabs for all the angel groups, venture funds and business plan judging panels I belong to;
- a toggle to switch to my Entrepreneur dashboard for my role as CEO of Gust (itself a startup!);
- a list of new companies for my review, incoming from a wide range of sources including alerts from my angel groups, referrals from friends and colleagues, and direct approaches from entrepreneurs;
- a working area for companies I’m currently evaluating or diligencing, organized by phase (observing, considering, committed, closing);
- a summary of my comprehensive profile which helps introduce me to potential investees and fellow investors;
- an area for my applications in progress to join other investment groups or organizations;
- quick links to my existing portfolio companies’ investor relations pages;
- a coordinated calendar of upcoming angel-related events from all the organizations and funds with which I’m involved;
- ..and much more (there’s a lot more stuff ‘below the fold’.)
The powerful thing about Gust is that—because the whole thing is an integrated platform with all of the other participants in the industry—all the links in blue connect to detailed information provided by the company, organization or other entity involved…meaning that all of the data is always correct and up to date.
At the moment, Gust for individual angels is only available to Accredited Investorswho either (a) belong to an official angel group, venture fund or other organization that provides verification of their investor status, or (b) have already invested in (or been invited by) a startup using Gust for its investor relations communications. However, in the not-too-distant future, Gust will add support for “un-affiliated” angel investors, provided that they are able to verify their accreditation status and bonfides.
Disclaimer: the author is the Founder & CEO of Gust, and therefore this answer, while completely accurate, is not disinterested 🙂
*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *
Written by David S. Rose
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First, it’s important to understand that the four platforms you list fall into two very distinct groups.
Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are project-based crowdfunding platforms through which anyone can contribute money, either as a donation or with the promise that they will receive a tangible ‘reward’ of some kind if the project is successful.
Gust and AngelList are equity-based platforms, used by Accredited Investors to facilitate the investment of money for an ownership interest in