How To Work With Angel Groups

Published: 9/18/2007 9:44:08 PM

As part of a continuing series on getting financing for your venture startup from angel groups, this post deals with the all-important full presentation in front of the angel group.

Different angel groups have different formats, but one that is common is a 20-30 minute time slot alloted for your presentation, usually in a dinner setting in front of a few dozen to 60 angels.  At the angel group I'm a member of, the Band of Angels, you get 30 minutes total time.  We usually recommend that you limit your formal presentation to 20 minutes and allow 10 minutes at the end for question and answer.

At the Band, we also provide presentation coaching free of charge, and we highly recommend that as a presenter, you get the proper coaching you need, so that your "delivery" doesn't get in the way of your opportunity.  We used to see many company founders who didn't have good presentation skills - and their prospects for getting financing dropped accordingly, since their poor or unorganized method of delivering the message got in the way of the angel group members trying to decipher what the opportunity was.

There are many books written about the subject of presentations - but you need to be succinct, clear, and obvious in the market pain, how your company alleviates that pain and how you intend to go to market and actually sell the technology.  Whatever you do, never say that your business opportunity is "the next Google."  That will likely immediately end your chances of raising money from that angel group.  I've seen it happen.

In the Q&A period, expect to be hammered with tough questions.  Make sure you repeat the question for everyone to hear, and don't dodge it!  I've seen many cases where the presenter didn't answer the question directly, leaving the impression that she either didn't know the answer or didn't want to tell us.  Be clear and candid, and you'll have the best chance for success.

Don Jones



Don Jones
CEO, VentureDeal

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