For those seeking to secure a business investment from one or more high net worth individuals, a.k.a. angel investors, it all starts with the “elevator pitch”. So named because it should last no longer than a typical elevator ride, the elevator pitch must be a concise, compelling, and crisp presentation of the entrepreneur’s business opportunity.
The Elevator Pitch
One of the reasons a well-rehearsed elevator pitch is so important is that as entrepreneurs enter the fray of organized panel discussions, angel investor group sponsored conferences and other formal opportunities, there will arise around these events one or more additionally unexpected opportunities to pitch a wealthy individual. Perhaps even on an elevator.
Finding the Investors Locally
For high-tech start-ups, the job of finding an angel investor or two is even more crucial, given that they represent 80% of all early stage capital. The first step for an entrepreneur seeking investment is to identify the legitimate local angel investor groups in their area. Unlike venture capital funds, many angel investors choose to keep a low Internet profile, for fear of attracting too many unsolicited proposals. However, Internet blogs and content sites are a great resource to search for articles identifying the leading angel investor groups in a given area.
Finding the Investors Online
Another good place to start online is to find the relevant national membership directory. In North America for example, the Angel Capital Association lists angel investors living in both the U.S. and Canada, while the National Angel Capital Organization limits itself to the Great White North. These organizations and smaller angel investor organizations are the most efficient and legitimate gateway to an event specific invitation. In a sign of just how far the angel investment horizon has progressed globally, it is now relatively easy to find fill-out Internet forms designed to connect entrepreneurs with would-be angels in China.
Finally, a great advantage for anyone seeking to navigate the corridors of angel investment is to have, either directly or by means of a colleague, a direct connection to an Ivy League Alma Mater. Institutions such as Stanford, Harvard, and Wharton have incredibly powerful alumni networks and angel investor groups, all of which naturally tend to favor those who once frequented the same hallowed grounds.
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