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Idea Cafe's CyberSchmooz
Financial Feasts

Financing message forum where you can get and give insights found nowhere else. Belly up to the table and request funding. Or tell your money tales. Any money talk is fair game except ads.

The Latest Hot Topics:

Show Me the Money!
Belly up to the Financial Feasts table and talk turkey about money... what to look for, where & how? All money talk is fair game. Go


Angels (Personal Investors)

1. What's an angel?

2. Who is this good for?

3. When is this the best choice for me?

4. When is this not advised?

5. Tips for getting the money.

6. Ingredients you'll need on hand.

7. Idea Cafe Tips.

8. Watch out for!

9. Web Links.

color business bar

1. What is an angel?

The most heavenly of financial bodies: an individual who invests in your company, usually at the very beginning. Angels' desire for control varies widely. Some consider themselves mentors and will become very involved, others are hands-off.

2. Who is this good for?

Early-stage companies: Angels typically provide seed money for companies just starting up or emerging from the prototype stage to establish their first operations;

Companies that need more than credit card financing but less than venture capital: Most angels keep their investments well under $100,000, so they can spread their risk across several companies.

3. When is this the best choice for me?

  • When you need a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars to get going, and you don't have the personal resources to make it happen;

  • When you have a lot of wealthy friends who have money they can comfortably risk, who believe in you personally and are willing to bet on your potential;

  • When you're willing to have investors take personal interest in what you're doing, but don't want your biz management to be taken over by outsiders like a venture capitalist might do.

4. When is this not advised?

  • When you need more money than angels typically invest;

  • When your company isn't the type to grow fast or big enough to meet angels' expected returns soon enough;

5. Tips for getting the money

Angels are matched with mortals through relentless networking among contacts, friends, professionals. A refusal by one angel can easily be transfigured into an acceptance by another, on the strength of a referral;

How did your angel make her money? If you can, dig up published reports on her current or past companies to divine details about her operating style and even the depth of her pockets.

Discard stereotypes. Entrepreneurs rub shoulders with angels every day, according to James Arkebauer, author of Ultrapreneuring and president of Venture Associates Ltd., a Denver financial consulting firm to growth companies. "You have to look beyond the doctor, lawyer, dentist, accountant," he says. "Think about your neighbor who drives nice cars and owns a manufacturing company."

6. Ingredients you'll need on hand

  • A concise summary of your concept and business plan.

  • A longer dog-and-pony show, that includes a summary of your business plan to present to potential angels who are seriously interested.

  • The gift of gab, plus the patience to keep explaining the beauty of your concept to ever more people.

  • Basic financial package.

7. Idea Cafe Tips

Boil down your story so any angel can quickly "get it," then easily relay the concept to their friends.

If your concept is too stodgy, it won't give your angels anything to impress their friends with, so give it some sizzle.

Seek out referrals from one potential angel to another. Ideally, you'll get yourself on the "angel track" in your area, so when people want a fun, trendy (and more risky) investment, they'll think of you and wonder what you're up to now.

8. Watch out for!

Angels who become devils after you've got their money. Scout down entrepreneurs whom the angel has already supported.Was he a dream or a nightmare to live with?

Cashing out. At some point, you and your angel will part ways. Talk about how and when before you take the money so you won't have any nasty surprises later on.

Angels who don't understand that this isn't a loan -- it's an investment, and a risky one -- there's no guarantee they will see their money again.

9. Web Links

America's Business Funding Directory
Some 13,063 funding sources, including listings of angels and other would-be investors.

Money Hunter
Articles, lists of consultants, matchmaking service for angels, investors and growth companies.



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