Every blog has to have a first post, and this is it. I suppose I should elaborate on why blog this exists at all: after being active in the so-called angel investment sector for five years, I think I’ve learned a few things worth sharing. Some of it is good news, some not so good. Lately there has been a lot of focus in the press on some of the not-so-good, so I’d like to start with a few posts on the wide-ranging nature of angel investment which should paint the landscape, and then we can tackle some of the more controversial and timely issues.
Note that I don’t want to recreate all the great material already available from groups like the Kauffman Foundation, Angel Capital Association, Angel Capital Education Foundation in the US, the Canadian National Angel Capital Organization and the European Business Angel Network. In fact, I’ll be referencing it liberally, and for the most part focusing on US-centric issues as they are closer to home.
But to give everyone a little preview, I’m not rabidly for or against any existing models of angel organization and investing. I do believe that the next few years are going to see some radical shakeup in the marketplace, though; but that’s because it is time for new thinking, not because of any inherent inequity in the current systems. However, as the title of this blog suggests, there are early-stage investors who really are angels, and some who are real pinheads. We’ll try to sort out the best and worst practices.
All that said, here’s a few fundamental tenets underlying what I’ll cover:
- Direct investment from private individuals (i.e., angels) is a necessary – and significant – component of the startup ecosystem
- Those individuals have many different goals and investment profiles, and there is no “one right way” for them to find and participate in deals
- The securities regulatory environment is a fundamental contributor to the problems we see in organized angel activity
- Caveat emptor
If you disagree with any of these, I don’t suppose the rest will be very enlightening. Just the same, thanks for stopping by.