I want to clarify for my social followers though – that’s really not what I’m looking for. I’ve started a couple of ventures and I enjoy dealing with the many challenges associated with startups. I’m a problem-solver and a planner. I don’t engage with the startup community just to pad my portfolio. Honestly, in looking at many years of statistics, unless you’re really lucky the returns from angel investing aren’t that much higher than smart investing in public companies. In fact, I’ve met a good number of angels who haven’t yet made a positive return on their investments – or they have, but “barely”, because of one or two exits that offset the many losses.
No, I’m not just looking for ROI – though if I put in money I do hope to get an ROI. I’m looking for startups that are early in their life cycle. Entrepreneurs who understand and appreciate the value of a mentor and experienced fellow entrepreneur who can come along side them and help save time, money, and frustration in dealing with the many common issues that always come up with a startup.
Founders who have good ideas, the start of a decent team, reasonable expectations of their valuation – but that understand they can increase the odds of their success by engaging with, and honestly listening to, someone who has “been there, done that” before.
The startups I’m interested in are probably just a bit before what I’m seeing in the “angel rounds” and perhaps more in the “friends and family” phase. They want to start a venture and need that help I’m describing. Sure, they might need $10k, $20k, or something small and reasonable to get off the ground, but just as importantly they need and want help. And guess what, I enjoy providing that help! So I may not be a family member, but I can certainly be a friend. :)
Oh, and when the time comes to pursue that angel round, I can help there too. I’ve got the contacts and experience to assist through that point – even through to an exit and the due diligence that leads up to the event.
Lastly, because of the level of engagement and help that I want to provide – I’m looking for regional startups. Ventures that I can reach in a reasonable driving time (a couple of hours) so that I can meet with the founder(s), attend meetings, and help out in person.
Need a friend? Message me on Twitter or LinkedIn and let’s connect.