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How to be an angel investor
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How to be an angel investor


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Published in Business , Economy & Finance
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  • 'Swings you don't make don't count against you' is a wise statement for thinking about investments in general.

    The whole 'don't expect to make money' thing makes angel investing sound like a rich person's hobby (which I guess it is ... I'd never thought about it quite that pessimistically but I guess this is just more realism).

    Great presentation, and thanks for providing audio!
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  • 1. ✌ How to be an angel
  • 2. Naval Ravikant - Serial entrepreneur (Epinions, Vast…) - Investor (Twitter, SocialMedia, Mimosa, ~30 others) - Advisor (XFire, Mercantila…) - Venture Hacks
  • 3. What do you need to be an Angel? - Access to capital - Proprietary dealflow - Good judgement
  • 4. Dealflow Bad - Social friends are usually the worst source - Don't forward deals you wouldn't do - Non-standard models lead to adverse selection; don’t be an incubator, a chairman Good - Other angels, quid pro quo - Brand your advisory services
  • 5. Pitches - No business plans, exec summaries, NDAs - A high-concept pitch, elevator pitch, and demo is all you need - Maybe a 10-slide deck - 20 minute pitch; listen, don't talk
  • 6. Evaluating Startups: Team - Invest in teams of 2-3 founders; five is unstable, one is too hard - Best combination is one founder who can sell and one founder who can build - No to teams with all business guys or lawyers, or outsourced development - Team matters more in enterprise deals, traction matters more in consumer deals - Intelligence, energy, and integrity
  • 7. Evaluating Startups: Customers et al - Ignore all companies that have not made early and meaningful contact with their customer - On the Web, this means the product has been released - Look at 20 companies before you make your first investment; 100:1 is a good ratio - Find a thought-partner and give him/her an effective veto
  • 8. Saying No - Say no fast, over email before you meet - Say no at the meeting; when in doubt, say no - Don't use more than 2-3 hours of the entrepreneur's time or 2 weeks of yours - Only invest in people you’re excited about - Swings you don’t make don’t count against you - Try to add value at every meeting
  • 9. Saying Yes: Terms - Biggest risk is downstream financing, try to invest with VCs - Give them rights to invest in the next round so they don’t drive up the valuation in this one - Capped convertible debt or priced equity - Investing with groups of angel leads to better decisions and keeps entrepreneurs honest - No board seats - Seed investors buy 5%-20% of the company
  • 10. Economics - Don't do this to make money because you probably won't - Even if you have a fund (goodbye carried- interest) - You're a patron of innovation - Assume your investments are lost on the day you make them - Balance your portfolio with ultra-safe investments
  • 11. ✌