Fundraising? Need Investment? Raising Capital? Angel Investor?

I will save you sharing the details of your story.  You created an idea.  Gave the mandatory blood, sweat, and tears to create an executable plan or get your idea from concept to reality.  Now you find yourself needing investment and jumping onto the treadmill of fundraising.  Instead of focusing on your idea you are diving into the shark infested waters of raising capital.  In due time you will learn the difference between a hedge fund, an investment banker, and an angel investor.  If it’s your early round and you aren’t Mark Zuckerberg, you’re probably going to end up in the land of angel investors like myself.

Hopefully you will find someone that brings more to the table than just a check book.  I’ve already shared what I look for when I am investing my hard earned entrepreneurial profits, so I will share some tips for what start up entrepreneurs should look for in angel investors when raising capital or kicking off a fundraising campaign.  First, get a mentor.  Seek out someone who is an investor or who has raised capital successfully more than once. Second, get your business in top shape.  Make sure your accounting and books are clean as can be, that your executive team has current resumes, and that you have a well written business plan based in reality.  Finally, look for an angel investor who has some level of expertise that you need plus a rolodex filled with connections that could expedite your entrepreneurial journey.  Steve Balmer is a great investor, but his money isn’t nearly as valuable as the game changing connections that he could make for you and your brand.  When in doubt, focus on self funding your venture for as long as you possibly can.  No one will be as committed to your project or believe in you more than you will.