It's for both! Gust is the platform that underlies the whole entrepreneurial finance ecosystem. By uniquely supporting both entrepreneurs and investors, Gust delivers extraordinary value to both parties, as well as a wide range of other organizations that support startups. That's why Gust is the official collaboration platform of both the major investment organizations (including the Angel Capital Association and the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds) AND the major entrepreneur organizations (including EO - The Entrepreneurs Organization and the Young Entrepreneur Council).
No. For investors and entrepreneurs who need to connect and collaborate, Gust provides the infrastructure for identifying opportunities and managing the investment relationship from pitch to exit. Gust does not curate or select specific ventures to be shared with specific investors. Each entrepreneur can select - from our comprehensive directory - the investors that would be suitable for their venture, and choose to share their Gust site with them.
Gust is the next generation of the industry standard deal flow management platform that has been developed and refined by Angelsoft for more than seven years. Over 750 business angel groups, investment networks and venture capital funds already rely on it, and they have all been upgraded to Gust prior to the platform's public launch. This has given them the opportunity to experiment with Gust's new features and interface, and provide detailed advance feedback. The new Gust tools for entrepreneurs seamlessly integrate into the existing investor-side tools that have already become the industry standard.
It turned into Gust! After spending more than seven years successfully bringing together a large majority of the world's organized early stage investors under the Angelsoft brand, the company has rebranded itself as Gust and created a new, integrated user experience on the Angelsoft foundation. Gust still has all users and customers of Angelsoft, but now much, more.
Gust is the ultimate collaboration tool in early stage financing. It enables every company to create and maintain a single web site consisting of a public and a private section, which jointly display all the information investors need to know when considering making an early stage investment. At the same time, entrepreneurs are in control of what information is displayed, how it appears, and who has access to confidential information. With a single click, a company's Gust investor relations site can be shared with any individual or institutional investor.
Regardless of how imminent your funding needs are, if you plan on growing your company with outside capital you will need to collaborate with investors at some point in your journey. Gust helps you organize the relevant information about your venture and present it in a professional way, creating a common language between your company and the world of professional investors. When you're ready for funding, you can use your Gust site to apply to any angel investment group or venture capital fund. Virtually all will accept it, and many require it. The same site can also be used to work with individual investors whether or not they belong to an investment group.
Once you have secured funding, Gust offers an organized platform to maintain ongoing communications with your investors and to update them on all relevant news about your venture. From pitch to exit, Gust supports entrepreneurs and investors in all their needs pertaining to early stage financing.
While investors often differ regarding their interests, they do generally share a common set of criteria for evaluating prospective investments. They all want to see a concise, high-level overview of your business plan, outlining the customer problem you're addressing, your product/solution, your competition and the market potential. They also want to look at your user/customer base, and appreciate customer references they can contact. Many investors consider the management team as the most important factor when making an investment, and therefore expect detailed information about the people who will ultimately execute the strategy. This includes resumes, references and social media links. It should also include a brief, carefully-prepared video allowing investors to 'look into the eyes of the entrepreneur.' Finally, all investors expect to see information about the company's financial history and future projections, which reveal key assumptions that can be crucial in determining the potential success of a venture.
Since the purpose of an investor relations site is to bring together a wealth of material about your business in one easily accessible area, the time it will take you to complete your site is a direct function of how much material you have already prepared. Actually entering information, uploading documents and designing your site can be done in less than 30 minutes.
At the very fastest, it is conceivable that a company could get from pitch to close in 30 days but that rarely happens. Much more typically, it should take you about three months from pitch to close; pulling together a round, working through the whole angel/VC process and getting the cash you're looking for. Otherwise, you may well find yourself in the six- to nine-month range, as you'll need to kiss quite a few frogs to find your investor prince(s), and during that time you'll need to both work on your product and work on the fundraising. If after 12 months of serious looking there are no investors with whom you are at least in discussions, it probably indicates that your venture will need to be bootstrapped, self-financed, or funded by friends and family.
At all points in the fundraising process, your Gust site will enable you to keep everything coordinated and under control, and provide the tools and investor information that will give your startup the best chance at raising capital.
Over 35,000 investors worldwide use Gust. This group includes the majority of the organized angel investment groups in the United States and 65 other countries, as well as over 150 venture capital funds. For these groups, Gust is their official deal flow platform, meaning, it's the official way through which they receive and filter prospective investors. Once they identify ventures that may be relevant for consideration, they also use Gust to manage the venture through its stages by leveraging Gust's communication, collaboration, and deal syndication features on the investor side.
Gust utilizes some of the most advanced technologies available for Internet security. When you access our site, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology protects your information using both server authentication and data encryption, ensuring that your data is safe, secure, and available only to registered users in your organization. Your data will be inaccessible to non-authorized users. Gust provides each user in your organization with a unique username and password that must be entered each time they log in (unless the user has activated the 'remember me' feature). Gust issues a session 'cookie' only to record encrypted authentication information for the duration of a specific session. The session 'cookie' does not include either the username or password of the user. Gust does not use 'cookies' to store other confidential user and session information, but instead implements more advanced security methods based on dynamic data and encoded session IDs. In addition, Gust.com is hosted in a secure server environment that uses a firewall and other advanced technology to prevent interference or access from outside intruders.
Everyone will be able to see your public profile page. Gust made sure to build it according to standards that would make it optimal for search engines, so that your venture can get the visibility it needs in the startup and investor community. Investors on and off our platform who might be searching for businesses like yours can potentially find your public profile page. You are in complete control of the information you present on this page.
Only the people to whom you specifically grant access. This can be done in two ways:you remain in control of all times and can decide whether or not to grant access to each party.
You can share your Gust site with any prospective investor that you know, if you have his or her email address. However, while Gust provides you with the most comprehensive directory of angel investment groups and VC funds in this space, we don't provide you a directory and contact information of individual investors. You can, however, directly access the groups within which they invest.
Gust does not sell or use your personal information in any way. Gust uses your personal information to assist communication thru the platform, but does not make any personally identifiable information public without your permission. You have the option of creating a Gust profile, and making that available to fellow investors, and optionally to potential investment opportunities.
Entrepreneurs can share their investor relations' site with you individually only if they have your personal email address from another source, since this information is not provided by Gust. They can share their site with your organized angel group or venture fund using the built-in tools of Gust.
You can gain access to Gust if an entrepreneur shares their company site with you. We will soon be releasing additional tools specifically for individual angel investors.
Gust is used by a variety of organizations including business angel groups, venture capital funds, angel networks, angel funds, seed funds, incubators, accelerators, business plan competitions, law firms, corporate development funds, and economic development agencies.
You can contact our team by visiting gust.zendesk.com
Gust's basic group and corporate tools are available at no cost to organizations that are members of federations or associations with whom we have established a partnership. These include the Angel Capital Association, National Association of Seed and Venture Funds, and most of the world's business angel network federations. Other organizations may contact Gust's business development team for detailed information.
Gust is used in 65 countries, which you can peruse on gust.com/search. Gust is the official platform in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Latin America, New Zealand, Portugal, Turkey, and the United States.
There are many angel groups across the world, and most provide application forms on Gust.com. You may find the application forms at www.gust.com/investor/search. Once here, you will be able to search for groups in your local area, check out their profile, and request access. Off-line, you may also find angel groups in your area by going to local entrepreneur events where many angels will be. At these locations, you can meet other members and learn more about those groups.