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.
- 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.