LeisureLink, Inc., was launched with nearly $2mm in Angel funding from the Pasadena Angels and Tech Coast Angels. How did we do it? We had an advocate in each Angel group who aggressively lead the effort.
It’s critical to identify a lead investor who is truly excited about your company. Someone has to do the heavy lifting of advocating, organizing, and building enthusiasm about your company within their Angel group. Angels are loose confederations of individual investors. Everyone makes their own decisions, and sometimes with very individual criteria. You need an Angel partner who can successfully “herd the cats” to a successful conclusion. They have to be aggressive, and they have to be willing to write a check.
How do you find that Angel partner? When you present to the Angels at any level, work to find out who informally leads the group. Clearly you start with the officers and directors of your Angel group, but also pay attention to who speaks up in meetings. Ask around and find out who is often a deal lead, and focus your efforts on those individuals.
As an example, Dave Berkus of the Tech Coast Angels was critical to our early efforts. He is a long-time Angel, a former Chairman at TCA, and has invested in more startups that most of us will see in 2 lifetimes. Dave advocated tirelessly for LeisureLink, created enthusiasm among the other Angels, and invested personally. His leadership focused people’s attention, and allowed us to succeed.
Getting Angel funding can be a challenge–you have to submit a business plan/presentation, survive the screening process, and then deliver a compelling presentation. At each step of the process, look for a leading Angel to be your champion. Their support will allow you to succeed.