As a new independent angel investor, how will I find new companies to invest in?

The two sites you mentioned are both secondary listing services, for later stage companies. For a new angel investor, by far the best thing to do is to join a local angel investor group that belongs to the Angel Capital Association. There are hundreds of them, with at least one in every state. Major metropolitan areas typically have more than one.

Some groups specialize, investing primarily in life sciences or tech companies or women-led ventures or other areas. Some are wide open, investing in everything from real estate to films. Most are somewhere in between, focusing primarily on early-stage, high-growth companies with scalable business models. These are typically Internet-enabled, or consumer products, or medical devices.

But regardless of the specifics, what they all have in common is bringing together a group of active Accredited Investors interested in supporting young startups. Benefits of joining a group include pooling deal flow, capital, domain expertise, and investing experience. Most groups run regular education sessions for new members, and provide mentoring for less experienced investors by those with many deals under their belt.

The typical US angel group will receive a dozen or more funding applications from startups each month; the most active ones, such as New York Angels will receive over 100. Groups also often “syndicate” investments, working cooperatively to fund larger rounds that are bigger than one group can easily handle alone.

As a very rough idea of what these groups are like, the typical member invests in one or two companies each year, putting in $25,000 to $100,000 in each one.

To find one or more local angel groups near you, use the industry’s official investment group search engine at http://gust.com/find-investors.

And for a more in-depth view of angel investing, check out Angel Investors: If I want to invest $5,000 as a new angel investor, what chances do I have of making a profit in 5 years?.

 

*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *

How Do You Select A Revenue Model For Your Startup?

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

One of the toughest decisions for a startup is how to price their product or service. The alternatives range from giving it away for free, to pricing based on costs, to charging what the market will bear (premium pricing). The implications of the decision you make are huge, defining your brand image, your funding requirements, and your long-term business viability.

The revenue model you select is basically the implementation of your business strategy, and the key to attaining your financial objectives. Obviously, it must be grounded by the characteristics of the market and customers you choose to serve, the pricing model of existing competitors, and a strategy you believe is consistent with your future products and direction. Read more

Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals
August 24th, 2014

How does a VC keep a track of his/her investment?

Professional investors typically have a range of information rights that they negotiate for when making an investment. While not every investor will have every right (or every right with the same frequency), the types of things we’re talking about include:

  • Seat on the Board of Directors
  • Non-voting Board Observer Seat
  • Monthly, quarterly or annual financial statements (audited or unaudited)
  • Monthly, quarterly or annual narrative management reports
  • Annual budgets
  • “Information rights” (the ability to come into the office and ask questions and view documents)

 

*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *

Does a startup need a CEO from the start?

You certainly don’t need a full executive suite if it is only a few co-founders. However, in my experience every organization needs one person on whose desk the buck stops. You can call this the President, or General Manager, or Executive Director, or Chairman, or Man in the Moon…but it has to be one person who is at the very least the tie-breaker, and ultimately will make the hard calls. It is this person on whom future investors will be betting, and this person who will bear the brunt of the sleepless nights.

*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *

Entrepreneurs Need To Keep Their Business Focused

Zappos logo via Flickr by Ben Spark

Zappos logo via Flickr by Ben Spark

One of the most common failures I see in startups is lack of focus. Unfocused entrepreneurs boast that their new technology will generate multiple disruptive products for consumers as well as enterprises around the world. Investors hear this as trying to do too many things with limited resources, meaning the startup will not shine at anything, and will not survive the competition.

For example, a while back I received a startup executive summary, requesting Angel investor funding, that touted technology for a line of new medical devices, also to be offered in a new military radar device. Even a company with unlimited money and people shouldn’t try to step into those two domains for the first time at the same time. Read more

Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals
August 17th, 2014