Ideas for Angel Investor Groups in the Startup Community

Recently I met with one of the angel investor groups in town to catch up on the startup community and the Atlanta Tech Village. One of the questions posed was “how can we become more top-of-mind for entrepreneurs in the community?” Easy, I said, the best form of marketing is education. Meaning, go out and help educate entrepreneurs, which in turn will result in more mindshare and more deal flow.

Here are a few ideas for angel investor groups in the startup community:

  • Develop a program to help entrepreneurs learn the basics of building a business (e.g. run an event every Wednesday night for eight weeks like the Kauffman FastTrac program)
  • Start a monthly breakfast series that’s open to the public for entrepreneurs to learn about the fundraising process as well as ask questions (e.g. the BCVP Entrepreneurs’ Breakfast program)
  • Provide clear expectations around the desired types of investments, stage of business, level of traction, etc. so that entrepreneurs can quickly ascertain if they are a good fit
  • Host an investor summit once a year where CEOs of portfolio companies present updates on their businesses and invite a small group of entrepreneurs to attend along with the members

Angel investor groups are an important part of the startup ecosystem. Groups that help educate entrepreneurs through events and mentorship will also see the best investment opportunities.

What else? What are some other ideas for angel investor groups in the startup community?

2 thoughts on “Ideas for Angel Investor Groups in the Startup Community

  1. If these angels created successful businesses surely they had to employ good marketing to grow those businesses. So if they can figure out how to to market a business why can they not figure out how to market to entrepreneurs? Surely there is some disconnect. In 2015 investment money is a commodity and IC (intellectual capital) trumps plain old dollars on a term sheet. So angels need to differentiate themselves with experience, expertise, guidance an connections they can bring to the table. On the flipside it is egotistical for many entrepreneurs to assume money is their only obstacle to growth. Those who assume they know how to do everything (and money is the only problem) are simply buying a runway for a plane without wings.

    If I were an angel I would screen scrape the attendee list for every meetup around town. I would email those people (the customers) and ask them “besides money, what are your top 5 obstacles to growth.” I would then do events to address the obstacles. I would present ideas, solutions and examples with real depth and give the entrepreneurs the pros and cons from their point of view. Smart entrepreneurs are tired of going to see an angel give a big picture overview and avoid the tough questions. The entrepreneurs who are smart are going to make it and they don’t need to waste an hour of their time hearing fluff when they could learn more in 5 minutes on venturehacks.

    Every business can be broken into 8 to 10 functional areas and 5 or more stages of growth. The startups in the early stage can use the wisdom from the advisors who sold their company but what they really need is the tactical advice from the people at the same stage and the next stage. Not every company has the potential to be a unicorn but with the right framework of interconnecting entrepreneurs the entire bell curve can shift to the right. Those with only 10 customers need to get advice from those with 50 to 100 customers and not an advisor who built a company and sold it in 1998 and has no idea of how to do tactical marketing in 2015.

    If you build the right education framework startups will grow faster and with an increased chance for success and along with that will be the increased need for capital (both investment and intellectual).

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