10 Things You Need to Know About Angel Investors

This post by Blackstone Content Correspondent Summer Suleiman originally appeared on ideavillage.org.

Idea Village angel capital Listen up all you entrepreneurs out there!

Have you heard about 1 Million Cups? If not, you need to know. It’s a super cool group that brings together entrepreneurial communities in different cities across the country every Wednesday from 9am-10am. Each week, the 1 Million Cups program offers two local entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their startups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors, and entrepreneurs. Groups vary from city to city. The 1 Million Cups group in New Orleans meets in the IP Building at 643 Magazine St.

Today at 1 Million Cups NOLA, Mike Eckert, chairman of NO/LA Angel network led the session with a very informative and straight forward overview of Angel Investors. Eckert previously served as the former CEO and President of the Weather Channel and Pathfire, and also as the 2014 Idea Village Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Those are just to name a few. You can read Eckert’s full LinkedIn bio here

If you missed this awesome session today, don’t worry. We got your back at the #IDEAinsider. We woke up extra early to fill you in on everything you need to know, so you won’t miss a beat.

1. Who are angel investors?

Angel investors are strategic investors accelerator funds, seed funds.

2. Where did the term “angel investor” come from?

It came from New York City in the 1920’s when wealthy individuals backed Broadway plays.

3. Who is an angel investor?

A high net-worth individual, entrepreneurs (current & retired), corporate executives, those with inherited wealth.

4. What is an angel investor?

A high-risk taker; someone who invests in extremely high-risk early-state startups that can’t get financing from institutional resources such as venture capitalist firms or banks.

5. Why do angels invest?

To obtain a very high return on their investment. But there’s more…They engender the next generation of entrepreneurs.

6. What are the types of angel groups?

Country club/dinner club groups, angel funds, angel networks, crowd funding platforms

7. What is the investment criteria for NO/LA Angel Network?

Management, market knowledge and experience, leadership experience, trustworthiness, coachable, maturity, ideally a serial entrepreneur, attractiveness and growth trends or target market, slice of market, innovative product/service/technology, defensible and sustainable competitive advantage

8. How do I establish relationships with angels?

Meet and speak with angels and do not formally pitch them initially:

  • invite them to coffee (your treat!)
  • ask for advice
  • build a personal relationship
  • listen/learn/come back
  • ask angels to become advisors to you and your company

9. How do I meet angel investors?

Participate in programs in which angels are coaches or mentors: The Idea Village, Propeller, NOBIC, Launchpad, and 4.0 Schools.

  • present at events at which angels are in attendance
  • seek out Angels at social/networking events
  • initiate a coach/mentor relationship

10. Do angel investors sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s)?

No, angel investors are constantly meeting with entrepreneurs and new companies. They are not liable for confidentiality.

Check out 1 Million Cups on Twitter @1MillionCupsNO to find out when the next session is!