Angel investing basics
What is angel investing?
Angel investors provide seed money to high-potential businesses. These investments usually range from $5,000 to $100,000 but can be $1 million or more. But it’s not free money. It’s an investment in the company.
Angel investors get partial ownership in the business. Or, they might get convertible debt, which gives them the right to switch the debt into shares of company stock in the future. Many states also grant tax credits to angel investors.
Who are angel investors?
Individuals with high net worth are angel investors. But some get together to form angel groups or angel networks. This lets them share research about new businesses and pool their investment dollars.
Some angel investors have been entrepreneurs themselves. Some provide mentorship or get involved in business operations. It’s kind of like the show “Shark Tank” — personalities vary and so does how the investors want to be involved.
What are super angels?
This term refers to experienced angel investors who have a little more money to invest. Angel investors usually won’t invest more than $250,000, but venture capital firms generally won’t invest less than $1 million. Super angels can fill this gap. They can be individuals or groups like Collaboration Capital in Kansas City or iSelect in St. Louis.
So there are angel investors in the Midwest?
Yes. In Missouri, you’ll find angel investors primarily in Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis. And Kansas has a tax credit designed to benefit angels. There are angel groups active around the Midwest.
Could an angel investor help my business?
Maybe! Read on – or call KCSourceLink at 816-235-6500. Our Network Navigators can help you find the resources that are right for you, your business and where you are right now. And all our services are free.
Who should work with an angel investor?
Partnering with an angel investor isn’t for every venture. And it has its pros and cons.
Financial support from an angel investor can increase your odds of business success. But it can also mean giving up some control. You may be held to a higher standard or an accelerated timeline.
Know yourself, your business and your funding stage. And do some soul searching before you approach an angel investor or network. You and your business partners need to answer these questions honestly:
Am I willing to give up some ownership and control of my business?
Can I show that my business is likely to realize significant revenues and earnings in the next three to seven years?
Can I show that the business will produce a significant return for investors?
Am I willing to take advice and direction from investors? Can I accept decisions by a board of directors even if I don’t always agree?
Do I have an exit plan that means I might not be involved in the company in three to seven years?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll need to follow them up with a solid business plan. You’ll also need an executive summary that includes:
- Financial overview for at least the next three years
- Sales and marketing plans
- Goals for the next three to five years and actionable steps to get there
- Exit strategy
Keep in mind that angel investors are judging potential businesses by a specific set of criteria. Here’s the inside scoop on what investors are looking for. It boils down to:
- A new or disruptive business concept
- A realistic business plan
- Technological superiority
- Realistic valuation
Maybe this doesn’t describe your business at all. That’s great — it just means working with an angel investor probably isn’t the right fit. But if your company is headed in the direction an angel investor would find attractive, but it’s not there yet? KCSourceLink can help you move forward and get ready to pursue this funding. Reach out to our Network Navigators today.
How do I prepare to meet with an angel investor?
You only get one chance to make a first impression. So before you meet with a potential investor, make sure you’ve collected all necessary data and perfected your pitch. This is where an experienced coach can make all the difference.
First up? Get your house in order. You need that solid business plan and an executive summary. Then, it’s time to craft your pitch. It needs to cover:
- The problem, the solution and why you’re the one to fix it
- Market opportunity and the research to back up your numbers
- Go-to-market strategy, competitive analysis and revenue model
- Your team and the advantage you have over the competition
We highly recommend that you get coaching before any pitch. KCSourceLink can help you connect with experienced counselors who can provide free guidance. Call us at 816-235-6500.
A pitch can be like a job interview. You should be prepared not only to answer questions, but to ask for information, too. Here are some questions to ask angel investors.