Women 2.0 Angel Investor Round Table

One of my favorite organizations in the area is Women 2.0.  I do my best to support the organization because I believe in their mission of helping women entrepreneurs to start up.  A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Women 2.0 Angel Investor and Entrepreneur Round Table in San Francisco.  There were 4 angel investors ready to share their thoughts and feedback on people’s ideas and business models.  You can find the bios of the angels here.

My notes:

  • show repeat visitors to your website
  • make sure investor understands your business
  • need to be able to answer questions quickly otherwise it appears you don’t know the space
  • can you convince someone on the phone to have a follow-up meeting with you?
  • describe a type of customer, who would pay for this?
  • angels try to find a reason to say no
  • you need money when people will no longer work for free
  • don’t raise money that you don’t need, it takes time to raise and you get stuck with a valuation
  • if you want millions of dollars, you need more operational skills to grow the team
  • top-down market numbers could work if you can make it relevant to your business
  • if someone steals your idea, it’s good, go to someone else and say that you’re the one with the vision
  • if you can explain it to non-techie people, that’s good
  • find companies in your space and go after their investors
  • get someone to give you an intro to an investor, cold calling/emailing doesn’t work
  • what prevents a competitor from going into your space?

Some business ideas that were shared include connecting scientific experts with people looking to contract expertise, improve retaining knowledge and deliver education through the phone, and end-to-end vertical ad network.  One woman flew from NYC just for the event, well it gave her a reason to visit her friends out west too.

My conclusion, angels want to see some family and friends investing and money making now whereas VCs could invest in an idea with huge potential payout.  Whether you have an idea or not, it is always educational to hear what someone has to say about different ideas.

Sophia Perl

Sophia Perl is a product manager for a database tool at IBM. She has over 10 years of software development and management experience. Sophia holds a BS in Computer Science from University of Southern California and an MBA from University of California at Davis. She is the creator of iPhone apps PicPredict and Eventabulous.

4 thoughts on “Women 2.0 Angel Investor Round Table

  1. Wow, you posted this just when I neeed to hear it! Last week I came up with one of my crazy business ideas and ran it by my best friend.

    My idea: Real authentic shaving cream, shaving brush, and the old school shaver with cheep high quality replacement blades.

    The type of customer who would pay for this item would be a Quality over quantity budget shopper male or female, young or old.

    To break it down even further, I thought that going back to the old school way of shaving would also fit in with the new trend of being green. So many disposables and shaving cans are being thrown away which takes YEARS to break down.

    I have tried the cream shave and brush on Kevin who has extremly sensitive skin and often cuts himself. He was so impressed by the fact that he had no nicks or cuts and the closest shave he has ever experienced.

    My mistake, I spoke to a women who prefers to use electronics to pull hair. However, disposable razors rule the market and with todays economy and green market I think it’s a great time to start.

    What do you think?

  2. Alright, here is my assessment. There are 3 things to talk about.
    1) How big is the market that is relevant to your business?
    2) What is your idea? What is the innovation? How are you going to do it different from say Gilette?
    3) Who is on your team to execute the business?

    Just three little things. :)

    Other things to think about. Who is in this space now? How much do they sell for? Who distributes their product? Who are their customers? Do people care to be green when it comes to personal hygiene?

  3. I wish I could take the idea and run with it but all those questions scare me. In the US the disposables have ruled the market since w2. I have a feeling the AIDS epedemic had something to do with the forgotten art of the wet shave. I remember when who could afford it paid for a wet shave at the Barbers. The fact that the old school way is greener doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a better shave. For example, the shaving cans are filled with mainly air and it’s fun to paint your face and supposedly helps with cuts and burns. Obviouly it not lubricating the skin so that the blade just glides, KY jelly would do a beter job! The wet shave was an art past from father to son tha included a shaving brush that would help lather and exfoliate the skin.

    I always hear the elder say “things aren’t made as good as it used to be” which is sad but true IMO.

    But hey, if for some reason my crazy idea seems like a good buisness venture for our family, I’m all over it! We all bring something different to the table. You are the smart and logical one! :)

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