Published: 5/30/2007 11:05:32 AM, comments: 0
Angel investing is hot. I recently went to the Angel Capital
Association (ACA) Summit in Chicago. The general purpose of the ACA is to foster
angel investing throughout the U.S.
Angel group leaders and members from across the nation attended a 3 day
conference in downtown Chicago. Topics ranged from angel group
management to the latest deal terms.
If you're an angel investor, I highly recommend getting involved with a
group. It you're an entrepreneur, presenting to your local angel group
is a great way to get feedback on your company or idea from qualified investors. You
might even win their investment.
Published: 5/24/2007 7:35:20 AM, comments: 0
I thought it would be helpful to subscribers of VentureDeal for me to include blog entries from time to time on the subject of how to get the most out of the VentureDeal database.
entry is about using the Search function. Within VentureDeal, there
are four different searches that can be performed: Transactions,
Venture Investors, Technology Companies and Service Firms.
on your choice of search type, the system then presents a number of
criteria options to choose from. It defaults to the "Basic" option,
but in many cases you may select "Advanced Options" to add more
criteria to really focus your search.
The main point is that the
more criteria you choose, the tighter your search results will be,
since each criterion restricts the search parameters. If you aren't
seeing the results you expected, try reducing the number of criteria
you selected, for a broader search result.
Published: 5/21/2007 11:07:36 AM, comments: 0
An important part of angel investing is doing due diligence. It isn't
exactly fun or exciting, but is absolutely necessary. One of the
benefits of being in an organized angel group is the ability to divide
up the due diligence efforts among the interested members.
usually results in better information because each member has more time
to devote to his or her specific area. Additionally, a smart group
will assign the more technical angels to delve into the product or
service details, and the less technical members to focus on the
business issues. Having more "eyes" on the company also results in
more perspectives and healthy debate on its future prospects.
Working in a group is
never perfect, but working together to determine whether an investment
makes sense is usually the best course.
Published: 5/16/2007 7:26:54 AM, comments: 0
One mistake that start ups make is that they are inconsistent with
their marketing messaging, even after a creating a formally agreed upon
Start ups are constantly being pulled in numerous
directions. The world is their oyster and they usually want to get
customers any way they can. The temptation to change the message to
suit previously unidentified customer types is strong. Even if they
get the messaging right, it can still lead to confusion in the
marketplace, since it is impossible to "silo" messaging entirely. It
always spills over.
The result is that potential partners,
customers and other market participants cannot identify with the new
language, which may not be "their" language. So it doesn't stick.
very difficult to build market momentum this way, or to "own" a market
segment. In my opinion, it is far better to focus on dominating a
single market than to get sidetracked by a diluted message.
Published: 5/14/2007 9:49:05 AM, comments: 0
One marketing mistake that start ups make is refusing to create a
formally agreed upon market- and customer-focused positioning strategy.
is tempting to want to wing it, to assume that you're going to
improvise or "adjust" as you go along. It may be true, but getting a
full positioning strategy (e.g., market and product category,
segmentation, segment problem, competitive differentiation) is
The reason is that you are going to
measure results against it. How can you measure results against
something that doesn't exist? Measuring results will then tell you how
well you are doing against your assumptions and where you need to make
You will inevitably need to make changes, which you
will then modify your already written positioning strategy in the
direction you need, and the process of measuring results against the
new positioning strategy will begin again.
Published: 5/9/2007 7:22:15 AM, comments: 0
I recently came across an interesting resource for angel investors and
entrepreneurs, whether novice or experienced: The Angel Journal
by veteran journalist Kemila Velan, The Angel Journal is a semi-monthly
email and companion website that provides a wealth of information that
is helpful to angel investors looking for investing tips as well as
entrepreneurs looking for funding search insights.
publication provides well-written articles by experienced, nationally-
recognized angels, themed issues such as the current month's focus on
Social Investing and some of the latest angel venture funding transactions
across North America.
Check it out...The Angel Journal
Published: 5/7/2007 9:55:38 AM, comments: 0
I've seen a lot of entrepreneur presentations at the very early stage -
people looking for seed money or series A rounds. I'm amazed by some
of the things I hear.
For example, lately I've been hearing that to invest in an entrepreneur's company would be like investing "in the next Google."
I hear that, I immediately laugh (internally) and I write off the idea
of ever investing in the company. Perhaps the entrepreneur has learned
from some funding search coach that they have to "sell the sizzle" in
order to get angels to invest. Maybe they really believe it. Who
knows. Experienced, seasoned investors don't believe the hype for a
second. Those who invest at the very early stage invest mostly in the
entrepreneur's ability to make something good happen, adjust to the
realities of the marketplace and the inevitable setbacks.
So here's a tip to entrepreneurs raising capital: Convince investors why they should invest in you first and your idea second.