Where to look for angel investors? If you are just itching to quit your day job, and start that business you have always wanted to own, then there is a good chance that you are looking for business funding of some kind. According to the South African Venture Capital association, the average investment size by venture capitalists in the country is around R7. 8 million,. This figure is adjusted to R10. 6 million if angel investment deals are excluded. The first thing you need to understand is what an angel investor or business angel is.
Angel investors are typically wealthy or well off people, who usually made their own fortunes through entrepreneurial means. Their motivation for helping out promising new business owners is usually as much from the desire to see others succeed, as it is a desire to make a profit. This makes them less risk averse than some other types of financiers, and means that anyone with a good idea, and a burning desire to succeed, could access this type of finance.
The primary criteria, when working with an angel investor, is not whether you have collateral with which to secure your loan, or whether you have a pristine credit record, it’s whether you have a great idea, that can become a great business.
Where to look for angel investors?
On the Internet
Thanks to the internet, many people who are looking for an angel investor now have a resource, literally, at their fingertips. It is not only the paid sites that can help though. Networking sites like Linked In and others can also get you connected with angel investors, or you could even look on classified advertising sites, or start your own website to promote your idea!
People You Already Know
Many major companies started out with angel investment from somebody that the founders already knew. Granted, these were usually very small loans, but just about everyone has at least one relative, friend, or acquaintance who is well off, and speaking to them about funding your business idea, while scary, may be your easiest route to angel investment. Some people even find angel investors working in (or running) the company that they are working for before they launch out on their own!
Real world networking, whether it is attending trade shows or industry events in the industry you are interested in working in, or whether it is joining the local chamber of commerce, puts you in contact with plenty of other entrepreneurs and business people. If your idea is good enough, and you present it to those people you meet through those events in the right way, you might just find an angel investor who is willing to get your business started.
If you are looking for an angel investor, you need to understand that they can appear from just about anywhere, at any time. You might be playing a round of golf, when someone who might invest in your business starts talking to you. You might be at a dinner party with people you have only just met. The key is to be ready.
If you are actively seeking a business angel to invest in your business, make sure you have an ‘elevator pitch’ (a short description of who you are, and what your idea is) ready at all times. That way, whether you meet a potential angel at lunch or at the Laundromat, you will always be ready to take advantage of the opportunity. Keep it subtle though – you want them to be blown away by your idea, not scared off by your approach!
Finding an angel investor is hard. There is no doubt about it. But the truth is, finding any sort of business funding is no picnic, and it can be done, if you have a great idea, and you stick to it.