8 Tips for Entrepreneurs Seeking Angel Investment

We sent out a survey to our Seraf Compass subscribers to ask for tips and advice for first-time entrepreneurs. We wanted to share some answers we thought would be helpful!

We asked the question: “What advice do you have for entrepreneurs seeking angel investment and how can they best prepare for pitching investors?”

Robert Magnifico, Zest Group VC said:

"Any meeting with any type of counterparty requires adequate preparation. Who are you going to meet, what's their background, how much do you know about them, what do you not know about them, and above all what can you teach them that they don't already know? Never show up at any meeting with any type of counterparty, angel investors or whatever, without ever having done your homework first. It contributes to making you stand out above the others."

Raj, Large Bank Europe said:

"Be authentic with a story on why this founder and the team are the ones who can make the magic happen. Why is now the right time for the concept to go big? Clear steps for the next six months."

Andrey Kostyuk, AAlchemy Ventures said:

"1. Present not a heap of assumptions and (some) data, but a coherent story with you as main characters.

2. Know Your Customer - have initial validation of your business idea in place. Investors need to see that there's a market for what you want to sell.

3. Going back to storytelling, know your endgame - what is your exit strategy.

4. Do not forget to communicate your investment ask: how much you raise, to do what, which instrument you offer, what is the valuation/value cap, discount, and interest. "

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Mitch Tyson, Tyson Associates & CEVG said:

"Learn as much as you can about the investors such as where they worked and what they've invested in previously."

Tim Daniel, Sawmill (Rose-Hulman) Angels Network said:

"Be honest - don’t make stuff up and be upfront about the reality of your progress to date. Execution matters more than the great idea."

Elaine Bolle, RTP Angel Fund said:

"Entrepreneurs need to understand if they are ready for investment and how angel investing works. Also not all angel investors are the same. Nor do they have the same investment focus. Entrepreneurs need to do their homework and understand the investment criteria for each group that they pitch."

Ben Pidgeon, VisionTech Angels said:

No more us vs them, taking outside capital means forming a win-win partnership for all parties. This includes a level of accountability.  First time founders can recognize they are bound to make mistakes and we are ok with that with the exception that the mistakes can't be company killing mistakes. Talk to investors about key hires and contracts. 

Nic Lenz, Independent Angel Investor said:

Be selective and very intentional about populating your cap table. Consider what angels can add beyond just funding. Engage with angels that can solve for gaps/weaknesses in your start up.