* Artigo em inglês
One key takeaway from Maher’s interviews? Though there are many different places to find investment opportunities, all can provide a good chance at great startups and returns.
Here are the five most common ways Maher found that experienced angel investors find their best deals:
Personal Networks —Successful angels often establish a network of friends, past work colleagues, and other people in their local entrepreneurial community who know them as an investor and offer referrals. Performing diligence on deals sourced this way can be done independently or with an informal group of investors. Some angels invest in a variety of industry sectors this way, while others invest in a particular industry because of their direct industry experience and technical expertise and may invest across a broader geography. Investing with industry expertise adds value to the company because the investor can leverage their contacts and can provide mentoring and industry specific advice and insights to help the company grow.
Angel Groups — Many angels join angel groups specifically because the groups attract high quality deal flow. Deals are brought to the angel groups by entrepreneurs, trusted service providers, or angels within the group. Working with angel groups to source deals is generally the easiest way for new angels to get started because there is a built-in network of experienced angels and deal sourcing. It is not uncommon for angels to join multiple angel groups to maximize their deal flow and diversity. Mike Crill is an example of this, joining top groups in his home town of Seattle and then other groups up and down the west coast to get access to more potential top deals.
Universities — Some angels choose to work closely with professors and students at universities because they want to heavily mentor the entrepreneur and help startups launch. Typically these angels have science or technology backgrounds and an interest in working with innovations before they are companies. They source deals by building relationships with professors at large and small colleges, attending university events such as business plan competitions and sometimes by getting to know the technology transfer offices.
Accelerators – The large growth in startup accelerators has led to great deal flow for angels who like to mentor entrepreneurs in concentrated time periods. Some of these angels do most of their mentoring with a few accelerators but then connect with many other incubators to learn about other interesting companies.
Online Platforms--Sourcing deals online is another growing channel for angels to invest in deals. These include accredited platforms such as AngelList, DreamFunded, AgFunder, AngelMD, or many others. Because many of these deals aren’t pre-screened by other experienced angels (such as in an angel group), you will need some know-how in order to effectively pick the right deals for you. A growing number of angels focus specifically on investing via these platforms. In Maher’s book, Nick Wyman formed a partnership with three other investors specifically to invest in AngelList opportunities. Other angels are more opportunistic, occasionally finding a good deal on a platform or they are pulled into a platform when a deal they are considering from another source also goes online.
Maher’s interviews also revealed that when angels find a deal source they like, they stick with it over the long term. Some utilize a combination of different deal source streams, and others are exclusive and focus on one. “They become comfortable in their own deal flow.” What does Maher himself prefer? “A variety of deal sources, including the Seattle Angel Fund, Seattle Angel Conference, online platforms, and referrals from my personal network.”
In the end, there is no wrong way to source deals. Try out an option or two and then source deals in the way that comes most naturally to you. Most importantly, have fun hunting. In my view this is one of the most exciting aspects of angel investing.
Autora: Marianne Hudson