Angel Topics

For Entrepreneurs

1. Angel Funding Advice – Tips on how, with whom, how to find them, how much to raise, at what value

2. How to Price an Angel Round – How angels think, how entrepreneurs think, how to bridge the gap

3. Should You Take Seed Money from a VC – Understanding why the “signaling problem” is overplayed and how some VCs can actually be a great thing early on

4. Understanding a VCs Seed Policy is Critical – Before you consider taking VCs as a seed – consider what their seed strategy is

5. Is Convertible Debt Preferable to Equity? – A primer on how to think about debt vs. equity in angel funding

6. How to Use ‘Social Proof’ in Fund Raising – It shouldn’t matter – but it does.  Which angels commit to you early can determine your funding trajectory.

7. A Founder Speaks – A video from This Week in VC with Farb Nivi discussing how he nailed his first few angels and led to mega VC rounds

For Angel Investors (or entrepreneurs deciding with whom to work)

These days everybody fancies themselves an angel investor.  I would argue that most angel investors lose money over the long run and that only the best make great returns.  I wrote a series of 5 articles talking about how angel investing is like poker and the best players know that to win you have to play at the right table.  Here are the five skills you need to excel as an angel:

1. Access to the Best Deal Flow – Most people think they see the “A” deals and many people are too enamored by the “social proof” of who else is investing.  If you’re going to lay out your hard-earned cash, make sure you know if you have the real A deals.

2. Domain Knowledge – Following the “it” crowd into deals that you don’t understand is a recipe for disaster.  Don’t be lulled into brand-name deals. Decide for yourself.  This article discusses why.

3. Relationships with VCs – In boom times in the tech sector angels do well.  That is true of 2010 where tech companies like Google & Facebook are sweeping up companies for management talent.  In normal times funding matters.  Read this post to understand this critical skill for angels.

4. Deep Pockets – I often tell people that “angel investing is a mug’s game” unless you have deep pockets.  You become susceptible to three problems: getting crushed, lack of deal diversity and inability to “lean on” your best investments.  This article discusses why deeps pockets are more important than most angels recognize.

5. Access to Buyers – This is the most underrated of skills but still very important.  The lifecycle of being an active investor includes: sourcing, funding, coaching & ultimately exiting investments.  The best angels are active – not stock pickers.  Helping at the point of exit (for companies that are super successful or ones just trying to avoid bankruptcy) is a critical skill.