Angel Investors for Ideas
Everyone has great ideas... That said, great ideas do not equate to success. Execution must be your core competency. Every day I speak with numerous entrepreneurs who have excellent ideas for companies, products, websites; really everything you could ever imagine. But rarely do I speak with someone who has something I've never heard of or seen. You must set yourself ahead of the pack, figure out how you can differentiate - or even better, disrupt the market.
When it comes to raising capital, here is what you should consider: Are you looking for seed funding to start your company, or capital to scale it? If you are looking for funding to start your company you might have to take a different approach with your investors. You're going to have to raise "friends, family and fools" money until you have reached fundability by seed VCs or Angel Investors.
Before reaching out to investors it's critical that you assess whether or not your company is even fundable; and if it is, by which type of Investor. Institutional investors (VCs) are looking for established companies with some traction, preferably generating revenue. If this doesn't sound like your company, then your chances of successfully raising a VC round are greatly diminished.
When it comes to raising early-stage funding nowadays, here is the bottom line: Angels and VCs are not investing into just ideas; the heyday of frivolous internet startup funding is over. Institutional investors are investing into people and / or scaling. Either you or your team has done it before and you're just churning out another solid vision, or you have a company that has tasted its first hint of success, and you simply need money to replicate and to scale.
If you are a startup, use your own resources first to have something to show off. Tons of companies are getting to this milestone on almost no money nowadays. Walking around pitching an "idea" and asking for millions of dollars is a waste of your time.
Stephen is a Cofounder of FP Angels, a national angel investor group, and specializes in website, software and mobile application development. He is also a partner with MAVN Funding Advisors which specializes in providing a range of funding and business development services for both investors and emerging growth companies. Since 2009 Stephen has connected 14 different ventures with over $15M in venture funding. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Southern California Venture Network (SCVN.org). Stephen attended Babson College, the nation's No. 1 school for entrepreneurship and graduated with a B.S. in business administration, with concentrations in entrepreneurship and marketing, and was awarded a "30 under 30" in Southern CA in 2011.
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