How to Find Angel Investors – Full 34-Page Guide

This is the full 34-page guide on how and where to find, reach out to, and pitch angel investors.

This epic guide is meant to help any founder find angel investors for their startup, even if you don’t have a huge network or a diploma from a fancy university.

My sincere goal is to level the playing field for founders that don’t have the privilege of a rich uncle, a country club membership, or an exclusive network of high net work individuals (HNWI).

(If you’d prefer to read this guide in parts, start here.)

Chapter 1: Create a Realistic Plan and Timeline for Your Angel Fundraise

The biggest mistake that I see founders make is not giving themselves enough time to raise money from angel investors. Nine times out of ten founders with whom I have spoken severely underestimate how much time it will take them to identify and connect with angels, built rapport, and get them to invest. 

Countless founders have told me that they plan on raising their angel round in one to two months when, in fact, it can take founders one to two years to raise a significant round of investment from angels. I’m not exaggerating. This is particularly true for founders that do not have rich friends and relatives or top-tier networks. 

This is a fatal mistake for two reasons. First, if founders are planning their business around financing that they expect to see next month but isn’t going to materialize for another year, they will run out of money. This might mean drastically reducing your investment in marketing or product development, firing people, or having to shutter your business altogether. 

Then when founders are two or three months into their fundraising cycle, and they’ve hardly had any meetings with angels, they panic or become demoralized. Often this leads to founders giving up prematurely.

On the other hand, if they had set more realistic timelines, they would have been ready for a long, drawn-out endeavor. As I’ve written in the past, people are much more likely to endure long, tough challenges when they know ahead of time what they are getting themselves into.

Of course, if you already have wealthy family members, friends, or work colleagues, it really might take you just a couple of months to raise an angel round. If that’s the case, you probably don’t need to read this article, although you are welcomed to do so.

1.1 Timing Depends on Size, Network, Traction, etc.

It goes without saying that the more money you are trying to raise, the longer it will probably take you to raise it. For example, if you’re trying to raise $20,000 from angels, you really might be able to circle it in a month or two. On the other hand, if you are trying to raise $250,000 from angel investors, that is likely to take you a lot longer. (Some angel investors only invest in large rounds such as Series A or Series Seed rounds. More on that below in Chapter 2.)

The hard thing is knowing how long to make your timeline given the round that you’re raising. This depends on a ton of factors that include the size of your round, industry, traction, and strength of your network. 

One way to estimate this is the following. Let’s say that you expect to get a $25,000 check, on average, from angel investors. If you’re raising $250,000, you will need 10 checks. If you have a 1 in 10 probability of getting an angel investor to commit to investing, you will need to pitch 100 angel investors. If you pitch two investors per week, it will take you at least 50 weeks to raise the full $250,000. 

The two main variables in the above back-of-the envelope math are the probability that an angel investor will say yes and how many angels you can pitch in a week.

I hate giving random guidelines, but sometimes it’s better to have something slightly wrong than a total guess. I would say that if you are starting from a tiny or no network of wealthy individuals and are raising $250,000 or more in a very competitive market with little or no traction, you should allow yourself at least a year to cultivate the relationships needed to fill your round. 

If you bootstrapped your company to some kind of meaningful traction (say, a few thousand dollars of monthly revenue) in a wide-open market, you might be able to raise a $250,000 angel round in six to twelve months. 

Once again, these are very rough benchmarks meant for illustrative purposes and your timeline might be very different. 

1.2 Ask Angel Investors or Founders About Timelines

Another way to come up with a reasonable timeline is to ask other founders that were in a similar situation to you. Founders that built businesses in your industry, had roughly your kind of network, had a similar work and school history, etc. Even if not, they can give you good advice about how much time to allot yourself. More on reaching out to founders later in Chapter 5 of this guide. 

Similarly, as you are meeting with angel investors, it would be a good idea to get input from them. You won’t sound silly if you say, “Hey Angela, I’m thinking that I can raise my round in 6 months but want to be realistic about my timelines. What do you think about that timing?” 

1.3 Start Now and Give Yourself Enough Time

You don’t have to predict how much time your angel round will take to raise, but please don’t assume you can get it done in a “month or two” unless you have an incredible network, outstanding background, and strong initial traction. Even if greatly overestimate how long it will take, that’s much better than underestimating. 

Also, get started researching, identifying, and connecting with angel investors as soon as you finish reading this article. It often takes wealthy individuals a long time to get to know you and trust you, and the sooner you can get on their radar, the sooner the clock starts ticking.

Chapter 2: Different Kinds of Angel Investors

Not all angel investors are the same. In fact, there is an incredible amount of variety among angel investors. Some angel investors are one-off investors that invest based on how much they know and trust you. Other angel investors make dozens of investments per year and are very sophisticated. Still other angel investors write $1-10 million checks into hot Series A and B rounds. This is just scratching the surface of how disparate angel investors can be. 

It’s critically important, however, to understand this variability in backgrounds, motivations, and investment styles because you need to be focusing on those investors that are the best fit for your company and the opportunity to invest in it. 

As I’ve said before, fundraising is sales, and the fundamental tenant in sales is to focus on your ideal customer–or those folks that are most likely to buy. You will waste an enormous amount of time and energy if you are pursuing investors that are not a good fit, and that is the most likely reason that your fundraise will not succeed.

Let’s dive in and learn a little bit more about different angel investor types or archetypes.

2.1 Aspirational Angels

One way that angel investors vary is by how often they invest, or their activity level. This can range from never having made an investment to dozens of investments per year. You might be tempted to think that it’s easiest to get investment from super active angels, but that is rarely the case. 

There are scores of wealthy individuals that have never written a check in their lives. I call these folks “aspirational angels.” It doesn’t mean that they are not likely to invest in your company, however. 

They might not have yet made an angel investment for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they just never saw an opportunity that resonated with their interests or personal mission. Or they might want to make their first angel investment but are intimidated by the process of making and managing an investment. It might be that they don’t even know that they would be excited to make an angel investment in a company like yours because they’ve never really considered it.

These kinds of angel investors might be folks like your dentist or your former boss. What is important to understand is that you not only have to present your opportunity to them, but you will likely also have to help educate them and connect them with resources to enable the process. These resources might include templates for evaluating investment opportunities, templated investment documents, even courses for aspiring angel investors.

The good thing is that these kinds of angels are not on many other founders’ radars, so there is a lot less competition for their attention and money. This can be a real positive as you consider on whom to focus your efforts.

The downside is that new angel investors might require a lot of hand holding to both make their investment and post-investment. Investing at the earliest stages of a startup, when it’s just an idea or just starting to grow, can be an extremely risky proposition, and investors might lose all of their money. Novice angels are not as comfortable with this outcome and might really be on your neck if things start to go south.

2.2 Sleeper Angels

Similar to aspirational or novice angels, sleeper angels do not make many investments, but they might have a small handful under their belt. Because they have gone through the process a few times, they are familiar with the risks and maybe a little more measured when your company goes through tough times. 

Sleeper Angels also are more comfortable with the actual investment and management process since they’ve been through it already, so there is less handholding and education that needs to happen. They might even have refined their investment focus and diligence process, so they can tell you much more quickly if your company might be of interest or not. 

In my opinion, sleeper angels are certainly worth keeping in mind because they are easier to work with but also not flooded with as much interest as active angel investors. 

2.3 Active Angels

As the term suggests, active angels make many investments consistently. They might make a few or even dozens per year. Their part-time or full-time job might be angel investing. These angels might even market themselves as angel investors by appearing on podcasts, writing articles in popular publications, and being featured in events on panels, etc. They sometimes have a website dedicated to promoting them and their angel investing. 

One thing that is very different about active angels is that they often have a lot more deal flow than less active ones. That’s jargon for “they see a lot more potential investments” than others. 

The benefit of approaching an active angel is that they are very well versed with making and managing investments. That means that they will likely be a lot faster to a “yes” or a “no.” However, there is often a lot more competition for their attention and money, even for smaller local angel investors. 

2.4 Super Angels

A key factor that might be significantly different about these angels is that they have much more capital to invest. Angels that are able to write big checks such as $5 million into Seed, Series A, Series B and higher rounds are called “super angels.” 

Popular angel investors such as Jason Calacanis, Alexis Ohanian, and Mark Cuban often participate in big funding rounds ($5-30 million) and operate through formalized business entities that make the investment and manage them post-investment. In fact, they might even be staffed with a team of investors and operators. In essence, these super angels often operate like venture capital firms.

Obviously, the competition for investment from super angels is orders of magnitude greater than for other active angel investors. In fact, you might be better off pitching a less well-known VC fund than a super angel. Moreover, it’s almost required that you get an introduction to super angels, and their networks are extremely difficult to crack into.

2.5 Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) with Investment Advisors

Some folks have amassed or inherited a considerable amount of wealth. Those that have more than $30 million in assets are called Ultra High Net Worth Individuals or UHNWI. Their level of angel investment can vary greatly from never having invested to being a super angel, with most falling somewhere in between. 

What is often unique about UHNWIs is that they often employ wealth advisors to help them manage their wealth and make investments in public stock markets, real estate, private companies, etc. The challenge is that these wealth advisors essentially act as gatekeepers, and they are incredibly good at it. 

It makes sense. The wealth advisor’s main function is to preserve their clients’ wealth, which means that making risky bets such as investing in very early stage companies is very much frowned upon by their kind. It is often impossible to get by wealth managers, and the only way to truly get on the principal’s radar is to work with them directly. 

UHNWI are often local entrepreneurs that have enjoyed tremendous success. The key is to find a way to get on their radar rather than in their wealth manager’s inbox. Once the principal is bought in, the wealth manager will take over diligence, making the investment, and managing their investment post financing. 

2.6 Single and Multifamily Offices

In terms of mysterious, opaque worlds of investors, none is more underground than family offices. Family offices are formalized investment arms of very wealthy individuals, often in excess of $100 million net worth. The family office is a formal entity that manages all kinds of investment activity for the principal. Single family offices will manage the wealth of one family, whereas multifamily offices will manage the investment activity for multiple families, as the names suggest.

The challenge of getting investment from family offices is twofold. First, the principals are usually very high profile individuals due to their wealth and social status. That means that they usually try to stay as much under the radar as possible, and so their family office is hard to find and connect with. Unlike other UHWNIs, the principals around whom these family offices are formed are almost impossible to connect with directly, and you are probably better off dealing with their family office staff. 

Second, the principals’ wealth is often so vast that it is impractical for them to make relatively small investments. Their minimum investment amount might be $1 million or more, which would be nice, but probably beyond the stage of most angel-round stage companies. 

Chapter 3: Finding Prospective Angel Investors

How and where to find angel investors that are likely to write your startup a check?

This chapter is all about identifying prospective angel investors. Chapter 5 is focused on ways that you can get on their radar. In my experience, it’s best to think of this process in these two steps because they are significantly different, and it’s easier to keep track of your outreach by breaking it up into smaller pieces.

3.1 Create a System for Tracking Potential Leads

Before we get started, the first thing you have to do is create some way to list and track all the folks that could potentially make an angel investment. 

There are many ways to make this list ranging from a spreadsheet to a customer relationship management (CRM) software like HubSpot or Attio. I recommend using a simple spreadsheet such as Google spreadsheets. More on this in Chapter 6. 

3.2 Angel Investors in Your Network

The good news is that there are likely a lot more angels in your network than you realize. The bad news is that they can be very tough to identify. 

For example, the friend that you went to high school with that later became a dentist, she might very well be able and willing to invest, but she’s not advertising that anywhere. She’s not posting on social media that she’d like to make angel investments in her friends’ startups, so how do you know to reach out to her? 

You don’t know, so here’s how you do it.

Step 1: Identify the professions that might enable your contacts to have sufficient capital to invest.

You likely don’t realize all the roles and professions that provide your friends and contacts with strong income and wealth building opportunities. Here is a list to get you started, but you likely can add to it.

  • Doctors including dentists, surgeons, psychologists
  • Executives including C-suite executives, vice presidents, and directors
  • Engineers
  • Lawyers
  • Founders or entrepreneurs
  • Small business owners
  • Finance professionals
  • Real estate investors and agents
  • Pilots
  • Politicians

Tip: For inspiration, all you have to do is a Google search for something like “top paying careers.”

Tip: Founders, entrepreneurs, and small business owners make excellent angel investors because they have been there themselves and understand the risks and opportunities better than most other folks.

Step 2: List every person that comes to mind immediately within a high-income profession.

Anyone that comes to mind immediately is likely going to be a pretty close friend or acquaintance, so prioritize these folks.

Step 3: List everyone that you know that has inherited wealth.

You might have a friend that works as a teacher, which isn’t a high-paying job, but she has inherited a pretty sizeable fortune from her grandmother. Don’t forget folks like her.

Step 4: Go through social media and list every person with a high-earning career.

LinkedIn is the best for this, but other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook also work. Even going through your contacts on your phone can help you identify scores of folks that might have the means to make an angel investment.

Now that you have your list of folks that you know, even if it’s not very well, make sure to designate or categorize them as such. You could even have a category for folks you know very well and others that you know kinda well. 

Basically, anyone that would recognize you if you reached out to them via email, social, or text message and fits that above criteria should be on your list.

3.3 Local Angel Groups

No matter where you live chances are very good that there are local angel groups in your vicinity. Here’s how to find them and identify their members, sometimes including their actual email adresses.

Step 1: Check out the Angel Capital Association Directory.

According to the Angel Capital Association directory of angel groups (an excellent resource!) there is at least one angel group in almost every state in the Union. In fact, many formal and informal angel groups aren’t even listed in the Angel Capital Association directory. 

Step 2: Do a Google search.

A Google search for “angel investor groups in ____” will often yield angel groups not found in directories such as the above. 

Step 3: Do a search on Crunchbase.

Crunchbase is an excellent, reasonably priced investor research tool for founders. You can do an investor search for angel groups in a given geographic area such as Boston, California, or the Southeast by selecting the investor type as “Angel Groups” and specifying the headquarters location. 

For example, there are 923 angel groups in the U.S. according to Crunchbase. Granted, some of the data is a bit off, but it’s a good tool for identifying local angel groups and well worth the $49 per month.

Step 4: Do a Search on LinkedIn

Finding angel groups on LinkedIn is a bit trickier but can be very effective. The best way to do it is to search companies with the terms “angel” or “angels” in their name. Specifically, type in “angel” into the search bar and select “Companies” from the search results drop-down. 

Once again, you’ll need to use your best judgment to determine which results are truly angel groups because you’ll get companies such as the Los Angeles Angels, which is clearly not an angel group. On the other hand, Miami Angels is an angel group located in Miami, as the name suggests.

The best thing about searching on LinkedIn is that the angel groups will often list some of their members as “employees,” which is just a weird artifact of how LinkedIn is structured, but useful as you’re identifying individual angel investors.

Step 5: Go through each angel group and record their members, if available.

Sometimes angel groups will list their members on their websites, and in other cases angel investors will identify themselves as belonging to an angel group in their bios and on social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn

Note down all the angels that you find this way, along with their social media profile and email! 

To make vetting them easier, you might also want to specify how you found them, so you can easily look them up again later.  

3.5 Thematic Angel Groups

Some angel groups invest along themes that might align very well with your startup. Plus, you know that if someone is a member of such a group, they themselves must have the same interests. 

For example, there are angel groups focused on medical innovations, such as AngelMD. There are also angel groups focused on investing in women entrepreneurs such as Pipeline Angels and LGBTQIA+ founders such as Gaingels, who have invested more than $800 million from 2019 to 2023 (wow!).  

The process for finding these angel groups is exactly the same as for finding local angel groups. Start with Google, LinkedIn, and the Angel Capital Association of angels. And make sure to add any individual members to your angel investor tracker. 

3.6 Finding Individual Angels on LinkedIn

As you might have noticed above with angel groups, LinkedIn is a great resource for finding angel investors in general, even if you don’t know them personally. 

The way to do it is to people search for “angel” or “angel investor.” You can also search for “angel” and “angel investor” in the Title and Company fields in the “All Filters” view of the search interface. 

Finally, you can also search for people that talk about certain hashtag topics such as #angelinvesting in the “All” tab of the search interface. 

3.7 Pitch Competitions

Another great place to connect with angel investors is at pitch competitions. Ideally, you are one of the presenters pitching, but even if you are not, you can often find angels regardless. 

Tip: There are many free pitch competitions organized by local economic development organizations, so you don’t have to join a paid or equity-compensated accelerator program to get into a pitch competition.

Local pitch competitions are probably the best bet, but thematic and national pitch competitions can also be great venues for making meaningful connections with investors. 

In terms of finding local pitch competitions, Google search is your best bet. Just search for “pitch competitions in ___,” and you should find resources pointing you to at least a few. You can also contact your local economic development agency, Small Business Administration (SBA), or local incubators.

Eventbrite and Meetup are also great sources for finding local pitch competitions. Local entrepreneurship organizations such as 1 Million Cups, which has local chapters in numerous locations, also hold regular pitch competitions.

There are also national and international organizations that organize pitch competitions requiring little or no payment or equity compensation. Organizations such as The Capital Network and Startup Grind are ones that immediately come to mind. To find more, Google “free pitch competitions” or “virtual pitch competitions.” 

Finally, there are also thematic pitch competitions such as ones targeting specific industries like EdTech or certain groups of founders, such as Women Founders Network Fast Pitch Competition. Once again, all you have to do is Google “pitch competitions for ___.”

These connections with angel investors at pitch competitions will often be inbound because few competitions list their investor attendees. However, they do sometimes list their angels, and that’s your cue to capture them in your investor tracker.

3.8 Ask Your Accountant, Banker, or Lawyer

If you are just starting out, you might not have an accountant, lawyer, or banker yet, but if you do, they can be a good referral source for you. You can ask them, or any service provider that might have angel investors in their network, who they think might be interested in investing in your company. 

I’ve spoken to a few founders that have gotten meaningful connections to angel and VC investors through their service providers, but my sense is that this is a hit-or-miss tactic. In my own experience, I have asked all three to make connections with investors for my business, and the only one that ever did was our law firm, who made two connections. 

3.9 Local Economic Development Agencies and Organizations

In some places, local economic development agencies have strong ties to local angels and angel groups. These agencies, nonprofits, and incubators can connect both help you refine your pitch and connect you with angel investors that are likely to be a good match. 

In Utah, where I am currently based, there are a number of government affiliated agencies and organizations such as the Utah Small Business Development Centers, which is run in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. There are other organizations such as the Utah Technology Council, which is a professional association for folks in tech and which is a good place to network with both angels and folks that could introduce you to angels. Even in such a relatively small market, there are a number of available resources.

Beyond that there are national organizations such as the SBA and SCORE that have local chapters and collaborators. SBA has “Navigators,” which you can easily find on the SBA website.

Google to the rescue once again! Just Google “economic development agencies in ___” or “founder resources in ___” to find similar organizations in your area or state.

3.10 Look for Angel Investors on Crunchbase

Crunchbase can be a good resource for identifying individual angel investors as well, particularly ones outside your local geography. The great thing about Crunchbase is that they have many filters that you can use to hone in on your ideal angels. On the other hand, only the more active angel investors tend to be listed in the Crunchbase database. 

Here’s how you might go about finding angels to add to your investor tracker:

Step 1: Search for angel investors based in your area or state.

Go to the investor search and select “Individual/Angel” for investor type and enter your location in the headquarters location (awkward label for people, I know). For the location, you can get very specific such as a city or town or search more broadly such as in your metropolitan area or state.

Step 2: Search for angel investors investing in your industry.

Similarly, if you go to the investor search tab, select “Individual/Angel” under investor type and then under Investments, set the industry that most fits your startup. This will give you a list of angels that invest in companies in your industry.

You can further refine this list to narrow in on a geography or even investment stage such as “Angel” round. 

Once again, add all the angels that you think might be a fit to your master list of potential investors. 

In the next step, we’re going to qualify all the leads that you’ve captured, so you can focus on those that are most likely to write a check.  

Chapter 4: Qualifying and Prioritizing Angel Investor Leads

Fundraising is sales, and as any good salesperson will tell you, the first step in the sales process is qualifying or vetting leads. In other words, it’s deciding, based on pre-determined criteria, how likely a lead is to buy what you are selling. You can either spend 10 hours trying to convince a lead that will never buy from you or 3 hours talking to a lead that is eager to buy, or invest in this case. The best sales people are savants at identifying those prospects that are easiest to convert, and you’ll be well-served to do the same. 

Below are some common criteria to consider as you develop your own profile of your ideal angel investor.

4.1 Availability of Funds

Obviously, the first thing you want to know is whether they might have enough wealth to make an investment in the first place. 

For example, perhaps your friend is a lawyer and is making pretty good money, but she has tons of debt from law school and has to pay for private school for her four children. You know that she’s constantly complaining that she can barely make ends meet. In that case, you can be pretty sure, even without asking directly, that she does not have an extra $25,000 that she can invest in a high-risk, early stage venture.

Sometimes it’s fairly easy to figure out if an individual has enough wealth that it would allow him or her to make an investment. For example, perhaps you have a local entrepreneur in mind, and you read in your local newspaper that her company was recently acquired for over $100 million. Changes are pretty good that she is able to make an angel investment. 

Even if you aren’t sure about an individual’s wealth, you can categorize them as yes, no, or maybe, and prioritize those that are in the yes category.

4.2 Industry Experience

If you are developing, say, a digital health app, you probably want angel investors that have worked in the medical industry. Perhaps doctors, hospital executives, and consultants are most likely to truly understand why the problem that your company is solving is meaningful and why your solution is valuable and unique. If you were to pitch your digital health company to a restaurateur or an oil executive, they might not get it and also not be able to help you by making connections and providing advice. 

Likewise, if you are starting a restaurant chain focusing on fast, healthy food, a hospital executive might not be the best fit unless they have a personal connection to the problem. 

This is why it’s worthwhile considering the angel investor’s industry experience. It very likely that they will be both able to better understand and appreciate innovations in a space that they know intimately well and be better able to help you in meaningful ways due to their expertise, connections, and insights.

4.3 Investment Activity

As mentioned above, the most active angel investors might not be the best fit. Perhaps very active angel investors won’t be able to provide the kind of support that you’d like. (Although, you might really care a lot more about getting their check right now!) It might also be extremely hard to get on their radar because more folks know about them. Or they might be investing in rounds that are significantly bigger than the round that you are raising. 

At the same time, just because an angel investor has never made an investment doesn’t mean that they would make one in your company. They might also have more time to help you as a founder with connections and as a thought partner. 

It’s up to you to decide if active or less active angels would fit your company’s needs and investment opportunity better. 

4.4 Local Versus Remote

Angel investors often invest in their own backyard, but not all of them. Super angels might invest across the country and even the globe. Local investors can bring meaningful connections to local customers, talent, and co-investors. Non-local angels might bring connections to bigger markets such as California and Asia. Local angels might be easier to get to because you have better connections in your community than across the country. Once again, depending on your particular needs and circumstances, local angel investors might be a better fit, or not.

4.5 In Your Network or Not

Most angel investors will ignore outreach if it doesn’t come from their trusted network in the form of a warm introduction. You’ll want to usually prioritize those potential angel investors in your network first for that reason, that you might already have a bridge or at least a partial bridge to them. 

You might not think that you have any angel investors in your personal network, but it’s amazing how even folks with very small networks are able to identify potential investors once they start asking around and showing their friends and family what they are building. More on that below.

4.6 Accredited Investor Status

If you’re new to angel investing, you might not be aware that not everyone is legally allowed to invest in your company. According to the Securities Act of 1933, angel investors in your startup, especially those with whom you don’t have a prior relationship, need to show proof that they are accredited investors. In order to be considered an accredited investor, an investor must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • A net-worth of at least $1,000,000 (excluding their primary residence); 
  • Income of at least $200,000 in the past 2 years (with a reasonable expectation to make this amount in the next year); 
  • or $300,000 joint income with their spouse (with a reasonable expectation to make this amount in the next year).

There are exceptions to the above for friends and family members. According to Rule 506, a startup may include up to 35 non-accredited friends and family investors in your friends and family round. 

In addition, there is Rule 504 that, in some special cases, allows your startup to receive up to $1 million in angel investment (over a 12-month period) from folks with whom you have had a prior business or personal relationship. However, state laws often influence how this rule is applied. 

If you are taking investment from someone that you just met, you almost certainly need to ensure that they are an accredited investor.

Speak to a lawyer if you are planning to take money from friends or people with whom you have a prior relationship to make sure they don’t have to be accredited. 

You will obviously want to prioritize those potential angel investors that are family, very close friends, or accredited investors. 

4.7 Other Qualifying Criteria

There are many other things to consider when qualifying your angel investor leads. For example, if your startup is an impact-oriented company, you’ll want to prioritize folks that are very mission-aligned. Or if you are starting a luxury restaurant brand, you’ll probably want folks that identify themselves as “foodies.” 

The most important thing is to create and implement a system whereby you rank and prioritize those potential angel investors that you think will be easiest to convert and write a check. Often the best way to do this is in a spreadsheet where each row is a person and each qualifying criterion is a column. More on this in Chapter 6.

4.8 Prioritizing Outreach to Angels

Once you have gone through your entire list of potential angel investors, the second most important thing is to prioritize, putting those that are most likely to invest (or the best fit) at the top of your list. 

This is critically important because fundraising is sales, and if start with leads that are not well aligned, you will waste your precious time, have little success, and will likely run out of time, money, or motivation. 

And don’t stress if your qualification and prioritization aren’t perfect. They won’t be, but they will be good enough to help you focus on those potential angels that will most likely result in a fast check, and that is 90% of the battle.

Chapter 5: Connecting with Angel Investors

After you have qualified your angel investor leads and prioritized those with the highest likelihood of investing, it’s time to reach out to them. 

This is usually the part where founders get most intimidated and confused about what to do. Fear not, however! I’ve got some actionable and effective tactics that will demystify the process and hopefully get you some meaningful meetings.

5.1 Connecting with Potential Angels that You Know

Usually, the most likely people to invest in your company are those that you know. Not everyone has a ton of friends and family that can write a check, but almost everyone has at least a handful of folks that could be their angel investor.

How do you know if you know them well enough? If they wouldn’t think it’s totally weird to get a text from you inviting them to coffee, lunch, or a drink, then you know them well enough.

5.1.1 Demo Dinner with Your Friends and Family Angels

One of the most effective tactics to bring your friends and family together to hear about what you’re building is to simply invite them to dinner. However, it’s critically important that you don’t ambush them. Instead, be very direct. 

Reach out to your friends via text message, social media, or email and let them know what you are working on and that you’re hosting a dinner for your friends to show them your product or startup and to ask them to consider investing or help you identify angel investors in their network. An email might look something like this:

Hey Angela, 

I hope you, John, and the boys had a great summer! As you might have seen on Instagram, I started a platform to help teachers share and learn teaching best practices from each other. We’ve had a ton of really positive feedback from teachers so far! 

I’m hosting a dinner for my closest friends, like you, to tell you about my startup and see if you might be interested in investing or if you know anyone that might be excited by what we’re building. 

The dinner will be on Saturday, September 16th at my place. Let me know if I should count you in.


I know, you’re really putting yourself out there, but your family and friends want to see you succeed. They almost certainly won’t be affronted, and they will politely decline if they are not comfortable joining. At worst, they will probably say something like, “Ali – I really, really love what you’re building, but I’m not comfortable investing right now. I will ask around to see if any of my friends might be interested. In any case, I’m so proud of you!”

By the way, you can write a similar email to your Aunty too!

Tip: These kinds of dinners work best when you bring circles of friends together. So perhaps you can do one dinner for your college friends and another for your work friends and colleagues.

In terms of how the dinner should go, just be yourself. After you eat, you might show everyone your platform, app, or product. Tell them a bit about why you are passionate about it, how things are going, and what’s next. If some of your friends or family members are interested, they will let you know with the questions they are asking and their body language. 

5.1.2 Demo Coffee or Lunch

Perhaps one of your friends can’t make the dinner, or you just feel more comfortable talking to them one-on-one. Invite them to coffee, lunch, dinner, drinks to show them what you’re working on. 

Once again, don’t ambush them, but perhaps take a little bit of a less direct approach in one-on-one situations, so your friends or family members don’t feel cornered. I find it’s best to ask friends to catch up and tell them about what you’re working on. A text message thread might go something like this:

Hey Kat! It’s been too long! Wanna grab coffee and catch up? I have exciting news about this platform I’m building for teachers. LMK how next week looks for you!

The tone of your invitation will depend on your relationship with the person with whom you’re connecting. 

For example, if you want to invite your dentist to coffee, you might write something more along these lines:

Hey Dr. Root! As I mentioned in my last visit, I’m building a platform for teachers to learn from each other. Could I show you what I’m working on over coffee? 

Although the above is not quite as direct as the email above, Dr. Root won’t be caught by surprise when you start talking about your startup over coffee and dropping hints about angel investment.

How do you spring the question? Well, it varies based on how comfortable you feel with the person sitting across from you. With Kat you might just ask outright, “So Kat, do you think you might want to invest?”

With Dr. Root you might judge his reaction and body language. If he’s totally uncomfortable and shifting around in his seat like he’s about to go through a root canal (pun totally intended), then you might just ask him if he can think of anyone that might be interested in an angel investment. If Dr. Root is asking a ton of questions and his face is lit up, you might go for it and ask, “Would you be interested in investing in my startup, Dr. Root?”

5.2 Connecting with Angels that You Don’t Know Well

When you don’t know investors, asking them to a group dinner or coffee probably won’t work well. However, there are a few tactics that can help to both get you on their radar and build rapport, so you can get a meeting with them in the future.

5.2.1 Ask Portfolio Founders to Introduce You

The best tactic, by a very long margin, is to get founders in whom the angel has invested to introduce you and vouch for you. Investors trust their portfolio founders more than even other investors. This is gold and totally worth the effort to make such an introduction happen.

Step 1: Identify portfolio companies.

The first thing that you’ll need to do is identify companies in whom the angel investor has invested. In some cases, this can be easily researched online. For example, many angels list their investments on online platforms such as Crunchbase, or they will list their investment in their LinkedIn profile

If they are a local angel, you can always ask around and find out what companies the angel has invested in. For example, you can ask other founders in a co-working space or business leaders that you know or have a connection to. 

Take note of each company you identify. If you are keeping track of angel investors in a spreadsheet, you might want to create a new worksheet for listing just portfolio companies and founders for each angel.

Step 2: Identify portfolio founders.

Once you find out which companies the angel has invested in, the next step is to figure out who where the founders of those companies. Once again, a little Google, LinkedIn or Crunchbase research usually does the trick. Again, note down the founders for each angel investor that you are trying to reach.

Step 3: Reach out to the portfolio founder.

The trick is not to ask the founders for an introduction to angel investors right away. It’s very intimidating to put one’s reputation on the line by making an introduction to a founder that you know next to nothing about. 

Rather, connect with the angel’s portfolio founder by asking for advice on fundraising from angel investors or a specific business challenge that you have. Here is an example of an email that you might write:

Hey Amanda!

I recently read about you and Fiveable in EdSurge and had to reach out to you. 

My co-founder, Meg and I are building a platform for teachers to learn classroom tactics from each other and are seeing some really great early success.

I’d love to show you what we’re building and get your advice on connecting with angel investors such as Deborah Quazzo, who is an investor in Fiveable. 

Could you spare 20 minutes to share your advice with me over the next couple of weeks?


How you reach out to founders is less important than the context. You can reach out via social media, LinkedIn, or email. 

If you reach out via direct messages, you will obviously need to make the above message shorter. For example:

Hey Amanda! Loved your story in EdSurge! I’m building a peer-learning platform for teachers.

I’d love to show you what we’re building and get your advice on connecting with angel investors. 

Could you spare 20 minutes over the next couple of weeks?


Don’t be afraid to follow-up a few times (3-4 follow-ups is normal). Founders are swamped with emails, messages, and meetings, and might not respond right away even if they want to help.

Step 4: Ask, show, tell, and ask.

Once you are able to connect with the founder, make sure to first establish rapport by asking about their journey. “How did you know you had to build your startup?” is a great way to kick off a conversation. Then you should share your journey. What led you on this adventure? Why are you so passionate about what you are building?

If you have time, a quick demo is always a great way to solidify your vision in the other person’s mind. But make sure to prepare and manage your time, so you can get to the ask, if appropriate. 

Again, the trick is to judge the founder’s reaction to what you are doing. If there are showing excitement on their face and are asking good questions, they are likely into what you are building and will make a good introduction to their angel investor or investors.

If you can tell that they are interested in your startup, you might ask them something like, “I noticed that [insert name] is an angel investor in your company. Would you feel comfortable introducing me to her?”

The worst thing that could happen is that they politely decline. However, they are almost certainly going to be supportive either way. Remember that they were in your shoes once, and they know how challenging it is as a founder of an early-stage startup.

Step 5: Send a blurb, and follow-up.

The best thing that you can do to make sure that the founder introduces you to their angel investor is make it super easy for them. 

Most importantly, send them a short 3-4 sentence blurb about your startup. Make sure to include a one-sentence each of the following:

  • What your startup is about;
  • What problem you are solving and how your solution is unique; and
  • The momentum that you have built up.

Make sure to illustrate with numbers! Below is an example that you can use for inspiration:

EdPop is a platform disrupting the $18bn market for professional development in education. 
Our mission is to empower over 3 million educators to learn from each other in real time rather than through tedious and out-of-touch professional development programs. 
We launched our platform is under 3 months, have signed up 124 beta users (many using EdPop daily), and made $15K in the last two months alone. 

Also make sure to include your pitch deck, preferably in the form of a link pointing to it. Docsend and HubSpot are very good options for sharing your deck via a link.

Finally, feel free to follow up at least 3 times. As I mentioned above, founders are busy, and even though they really might want to make the introduction, they are getting pulled in a hundred directions every day and might forget.

5.2.2 Ask a Champion to Organize a Pitch Dinner

Even if you don’t have investors yet, most founders have champions–those individuals who admire what you are building and are willing to actively help and support you. Often, your champions are your investors, but they could also be your mentors, former bosses, college friends, an ex-professor, a local business person or celebrity, etc.

Chances are good that your champion has folks in her or his network that could make an angel investment in your company, particularly if they are well known and respected in your local business community. 

If that’s the case, ask your champion or champions to organize a pitch dinner for their friends and acquaintances. Here’s how this might work:

Step 1: Your champion sends an introduction and Invitation.

Your champion sends out an email to her business associates, friends, and acquaintances to introduce you and your business and to invite them to a dinner she is organizing, so they can hear your story first-hand and get to know you.

It can be very helpful for your champion to leverage a description or blurb that you provide to her and that she can put in her email:

Ali is a former classroom teacher and education influencer who decided to dedicate her life to empowering other teachers after experiencing first-hand a dearth in effective resources and professional development.

Ali and her co-founder Meg founded EdPop a year ago to disrupting the $18bn market for professional development in education. 

EdPop’s mission is to empower over 3 million educators to learn from each other in real time rather than through tedious and out-of-touch professional development programs. 

They have excellent early traction with 124 beta users (many using EdPop daily), and made $15K in the last two months alone. 

Step 2: Tell your story at the dinner.

The most important thing that you can do as a founder is tell your authentic story, since a lot of angel investors back people rather than business metrics. 

Remember to include how you became so passionate about the problem you’re solving and why your approach is so uniquely valuable. You can also mention high-level traction and milestones, but be careful not to sound too transactional.

End by mentioning that you would love to connect with those that might be interested in making an investment or can help you on your journey by opening up their network.

Important: You should not be pitching an opportunity to invest in your startup to folks that you don’t know very well without verifying that they are accredited investors. (See above for criteria.) You need to verify their accredited investor status before you mention details about the investment opportunity. See the next step.

Step 3: Connect with those folks that might want to invest or can offer support.

You next need to write down or connect with those folks that want to learn more about your startup. The best way to do this is with a good ol’ fashioned sign up sheet, where folks can write their name, email, phone number, and accredited investor status. 

For their accredited investor status, make sure to give them an option to specify as “not sure.” You should also be fluent with the criteria yourself, so you can provide direction.

If you are not sure about whether someone should be considered as an accredited investor, play it safe and put them on a back burner for now, or ask your lawyer. 

Step 4: Meet with each potential investor individually.

Now that you have the contact information for those that want to be involved in your startup, set up one-on-one meetings with them where you continue the conversation. 

Once again, make sure they are accredited investors before discussing the terms of your angel round. 

Assuming they are, you can ask them directly, “Would you be interested in making an angel investment in our company?”

Step 5: Follow up.

You will likely need to follow up with the individual to send them additional information about your business such as a pitch deck, financial projections, or the investment instrument that you’d like to use such as a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) or a convertible note. (More on that later.)

Also, most folks that are in a position to invest will likely also be very busy, so don’t be afraid to follow up two to three times to help move things along.

5.2.3 Ask the Angel Investor a Specific Question

If all else fails, it is possible, although a lot less likely, to connect with an angel investor via cold outreach. However, blasting angel investors without targeting, personalization, or finesse will almost certainly lead to failure. 

In the experience of those that have had success with cold outreach, they will often mention that the most effective way to get a response is to personalize your outreach. 

It’s not uncommon for angel investors to get dozens or even hundreds of cold outreaches per month via social channels and email. They often don’t have enough time to respond to them all and even less time to meet with all the founders that reach out to them. Remember, these are often successful people whose attention is in great demand. 

One of the best ways to stand out from the massive crowd of founders competing for their attention is to demonstrate to angel investors that you have invested time into knowing them, so they might return the favor and invest their precious time to get to know you too. Here’s how:

Step 1: Understand their background, interests, and investment preferences.

Do a little Google searching, check out their social media profiles, and ask around. What kind of work experience does the angel investor have? What are some areas of innovation and business that she is interested in? Which startups has the angel invested in?

Step 2: Identify a topic that the angel might be able to help you with.

Let’s say that you run a digital health startup and your target angel is an emergency room doctor, John. In your research, you find that the angel has built and sold a company in the mental health space, and his passion is understanding patients and their needs. You also learn that he has invested in four other digital health and wellness companies in the past. 

Below is an example of what a cold email to this angel investor might read like:

Hi John,

Your experience in building ACME Health is truly inspirational, and I’d love to learn from you. 

Specifically, I saw that your passion is discovering and understanding the detailed needs of patients. 

Our startup is focused on preventing clinical depression among youth, and while we’ve made great strides in adoption and engagement, we recognize that we can get much better.

Could you kindly spare 30 minutes to connect with me and my co-founder, Jess, and share with us how you’ve solicited feedback from patients at ACME Health and discuss how we might do so at our startup? 


Step 3: Nurture your relationship with the angel investor.

Unless the angel asks to invest on their own accord, it’s exceedingly unlikely that an angel investor that doesn’t know you well will make an investment in the first meeting. 

In the majority of cases, you will need to build their trust and confidence over time by sending them updates to demonstrate your momentum and ability to execute, relevant industry news to show them your in-depth knowledge of your space, etc.

Over time, however, as you demonstrate your passion, execution, and domain expertise, the angel investor might become comfortable investing in you and your team. For example, if after a 4-5 touchpoints, you see that the individual is engaged and is liking and commenting on your social media posts and replying to your email updates, it might be time to ask for another meeting to formally pitch the opportunity to invest in your company.

Chapter 6: Angel Fundraising Logistics

Okay, now you know how to identify angel investors, vet, prioritize, and meet with them. There are a lot of questions about logistics that you might still have, such as how to take in the investment, how to track connections, and what’s the best way to email them. This chapter covers all those questions and more.

6.1 Goals and Timing

As with all fundraising, it’s very unlikely that you’ll raise all the money you need in just a few conversations. How many conversations you’ll need depends on a number of factors such as the size of your raise, the traction that your business has, the strength of your relationships with investors, their average net worth, etc. 

Having said all that, if you are raising $250-500K in angel investment and don’t have a huge network of wealthy friends, you should expect to pitch 50-100 angel investors before you round up all the money you need. If you are raising $50K, you might only need 5-10 conversations. If your target is $1 million, you might need a lot more than even 100 pitches to get you to your goal. 

What does that mean for you? Once again, if you don’t make a realistic plan, you are greatly reducing your chances of success. 

For example, let’s say you are raising $250K and expect that you’ll need 50 pitch conversations to get to fill your angel round. You will need at least 10 weeks to have 50 pitch conversations, if you have 5 pitches per week, or one per day. If you have two pitch conversations per week, it will take you 25 weeks (or more than 6 months) to get to 50. 

If you are super busy running your business, as most founders are, and it’s realistic for you to do only two pitches per week, you need to plan that your fundraise will take at least 6 months. Plus, you have to add another few weeks to do the initial research and outreach. That means that your timeline might expand to 8 months. 

Most importantly, you need to set goals, track your progress, and adjust accordingly. 

If you are planning to do two pitches per week, but a month in you have only had four pitch meetings, you need to re-adjust your timelines, goals, and expectations. You should either be planning on fundraising for a year or reduce how much you are looking to raise. Failing to set goals, track them and adjust your strategy will almost certainly lead to a failed fundraise.

6.2 Angel Investor Tracker

There are many tools that you can use to track your angel investor outreach, and what you should use is up to your preferences alone. Some people swear by customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like HubSpot, while others insist that a simple spreadsheet is ideal. 

6.2.1 Simple Spreadsheet

I would recommend starting with a simple list in a spreadsheet such as Google SheetsAirtable or Microsoft Excel. 

What has made my life considerably easier in the past is creating two worksheets: one that is just a massive collection of potential investor targets and the other that is the actual tracker of vetted angel investors. Here’s how this could work:

Step 1: Aggregate all potential leads.

As you are doing your initial brainstorming and research, you might want to add everyone that you identify into one worksheet to vet later. In that worksheet, you might also want to have columns for various vetting criteria such as how well you know the individual, their investment focus, how many known investments they have made, etc. Then, as you go through your initial list, you can vet and prioritize your potential investors. 

Tip: It is often a good idea to get help at this step. For example, an intern can competently do a Google search to find out about known investments, etc. 

Step 2: Move top priority angel investor targets to tracker worksheet.

Once you have identified your top 30-50 angel investor targets, you would then move them to the worksheet that you will use for tracking your outreach to them. 

In your tracker outreach, you might have columns such as the following:

  • Name
  • Email
  • LinkedIn Profile
  • Outreach batch (e.g. Batch 1, Batch 2, etc.)
  • Status
  • Relationship to me
  • Potential introducer
  • Notes

The status column should consist of structured values such as:

  • Vetted
  • Contacted
  • Into Accepted
  • Meeting Scheduled
  • Post-Meeting Follow-up
  • Data Room
  • Committed
  • Passed
  • No answer
  • Not a Fit
  • Maybe

At this point, you might do further research to find their email or individuals that could make an intro to each target.

Step 3: Track and update outreach.

As you reach out to your top prospects, it’s imperative that you keep track of your outreach. Doing so consistently will help you use your time efficiently and hold yourself accountable. 

Importantly, you should update the outreach status and notes for each contact. 

6.2.2 CRM Like HubSpot

Some founders prefer to use a sales platform for their investor outreach. That’s also fine. 

The major benefit around using a sales customer relationship management (CRM) is that you can also predict sales by ascribing a value and probability of winning investment for each prospect. 

In addition, CRMs often have features that allow you to share documents and track engagement, which you can use to inform your outreach strategy.

6.2.3 LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Another viable tool for tracking your investor outreach is LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. I’d be willing to bet that nearly everyone in your target list is on LinkedIn, so why not use LinkedIn to keep track of your outreach to them as well. Having said that, there are some limitations that Sales Navigator has as compared to the other two options mentioned above.

6.2.4 Use What Makes Sense to You

Most importantly, use whatever tool that makes sense to you. Everyone is different, and there is no perfect tool that works for universally well. 

6.3 Email Outreach

The only thing that I will say regarding email, particularly cold email, is to not use an email marketing platform such as HubSpot or MailChimp for investor outreach. This is for two very simple reasons. 

First, most folks have spam and category filters that weed out mass emails. Many folks use GMail, which categorized mass emails as “Updates” and “Promotions.” I know many angel and venture capital investors that never read emails that end up in those two categories, if they don’t get blocked by their spam filters first. 

Second, it greatly devalues you in the eyes of an investor when you demonstrate to them that they are not worth the effort that it takes to write them a personalized email. This is the exact opposite of what you want to convey. 

6.4 Sharing Your Pitch Deck and Documents

It may be tempting to just send your pitch deck as an attachment, but that is not ideal because you can neither track who has looked at it, nor can you update it easily as you create new versions. 

Similarly, for sharing documents such as your incorporation documents or an entire data room, it’s best to do so in a tool that will both allow you to update things easily and track who engages with them.

Tracking engagement is particularly useful, as this insight will let you know on whom to focus. If you see that one investor is spending a lot of time reviewing your pitch deck and data room, you will want to focus your energy on fostering that relationship rather than another investor who looked at your deck for just five seconds.

Try to use platforms such as HubSpot or DocSend that allow you to both update your documents easily and track engagement to share your deck and documents.

6.5 Investment Agreements

If you are not very well versed in different investment instruments or agreements, this can be a very confusing topic and one that far exceeds the scope of this guide. 

However, below are some very high level considerations when it comes to choosing the method of formalizing an investment with a legal agreement.

6.5.1 SAFEs

One of the easiest methods of formalizing an investment is via a Simple Agreement for Future Equity, or SAFE. Originally developed by a leading startup accelerator, Y Combinator, SAFEs have garnered widespread adoption by investors and founders worldwide. 

They are fairly simple documents compared to convertible notes, etc. and don’t usually require legal back-and-forth to modify the terms. 

It is worth noting that angel investors’ attitudes toward SAFEs vary greatly by where they are based and their investment background. In general, the further the angel is away from a major tech hub like Silicon Valley and the more removed from high technology he or she is, the more likely that the investor will not be partial to SAFEs.

Important: For SAFEs and the other modes discussed below, their details are far beyond the scope of this guide, so please consult your lawyer and do your own research to become comfortable with these legal instruments and chose the option that is best for your startup. 

6.5.2 Convertible Notes or Convertible Debt

Another common option used by many angel investors is convertible debt or a convertible note. In essence, this is a loan that converts to equity when certain conditions are met. These agreements tend to be a bit longer and more complex than SAFEs, but there are many parts of the United States, where this is by far the more common instrument–particularly in the middle of the country.

6.5.3 Equity Grants, Warrants, etc.

Other options include priced rounds, equity grants, warrants of some kind, etc. There are too many to list here, but it’s really worth paying a lawyer to help you navigate this part, particularly when exploring less common options.

6.5.4 Crowdfunding

It is common, particularly for founders of very early-stage startups, who don’t have a bunch of rich relatives and friends, that some folks might wish to invest smaller amounts such as $1,000. 

In this case, it might not make sense to use a convertible note or SAFE since the investment is rather small. In addition, future investors might be turned off when they see a dozen $1,000 investments on your capitalization table (cap table). 

A potential work-around is rallying all of your small check angels around a crowdfunding campaign on a platform such as WeFunder or Republic

However, please note that this can be a significant effort, requiring dozens of hours from your team just to get a crowdfunding campaign launched.

6.6 Pitching and Pitch Deck

I’m going to tell you something completely counter to what every startup guru and mentor extols, which is that your pitch doesn’t matter much. It certainly does not matter, in my opinion, as much as finding the ideal-fit angel investor, building a rapport, and running an efficient fundraising campaign. 

If you find an investor that is a perfect fit to whom you roughly articulate your story and business opportunity, they will be far more likely to invest than an investor that is a bad fit, no matter how gorgeous your pitch deck is or how slick your presentation is. 

My advice is to spend the least amount of time on your pitch deck compared to researching, vetting, and reaching out to angel investors.

Chapter 7: Most Important Lessons about Getting Angel Investment

Having spoken with hundreds of founders winning and failing to win angel investment, there are a couple of clear trends that come up repeatedly. 

Many founders want to skip right to blasting countless angel investors with emails, or they spend the majority of their time designing and re-designing their pitch deck. I’m yet to meet a founder for whom these approaches have worked. 

Instead, the founders that I see successfully raising their angel rounds are organized, methodical, disciplined, and efficient with their time. They also listen more than pitch and invest greatly in building relationships.

Guess what. These are exactly the same behaviors and attitudes that make sales professionals successful. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it again until I sound like a broken record: fundraising is sales. 

Below are the insights, mentioned in detail above, that will greatly improve your chances of success. 

Insight 1: Make a realistic plan.

Once again, take into consideration how much you are raising, what your network looks like, how much time you can dedicate per week to nothing but fundraising, etc. and make an aggressive but realistic plan. 

Do not assume that you will raise your angel round in two months if you are raising a lot of money, don’t already have a large network of angel investors, and are planning to spend a couple of hours per week on your fundraise. 

If you don’t make a realistic plan, you are almost certainly setting yourself up for failure. 

Insight 2: Do your research!

I get it. It’s tedious to research angel investors, but I guarantee that it’s much less tedious than pitching angels that want nothing to do with your startup or blasting countless angels that don’t even invest in your industry. 

The research you do up front will save you twice as much time when you start your outreach and will greatly increase your chances of finding angel investors that will be excited about your company and willing to write a check. 

Failing to do research on investors is probably the deadliest mistake that I see founders make at any stage of fundraising.

Insight 3: Track your progress and hold yourself and your team accountable.

The second most critical error that I see founders make is doing ad hoc fundraising. They send out a few emails here, go to a pitch event there, LinkedIn message a random angel there, etc. They have no goals, no way of knowing where in the process they are, and no hope of being successful (unless they have a bunch of angel investors in their back pocket). 

Fundraising at any stage, whether angel or Series C, is a process. It’s like training to become an elite athlete. You have to have a solid plan, put in the work consistently, hold yourself accountable, and believe in the process. You might not see immediate results, but if you do those things, you are much more likely to get to your goal.

It’s not surprising that top sales professionals do exactly the same things. They make goals, track their progress, and hold themselves accountable knowing that if they nurture a given number of leads and have a given number of sales calls, they will meet their sales goals. Exactly the same is true for founders raising any kind of capital.

Insight 4: Don’t be discouraged, and don’t compare yourself to others.

We all know those founders that raised $1 million from their buddies based on an idea drown on the back of a napkin. If you don’t know these founders, count yourself lucky. Few of us have the kinds of networks where you can wave a magic wand and a $1 million appears. Do not fret or complain. 

You might have to work harder to build your dream, but in my experience, founders that have faced the greatest adversity and have the strongest grit, build the biggest companies–not those with the fanciest country club memberships.

Onward and Upward!

As one of my earliest mentors Perla used to say, “Onward and upward!” Pump yourself up, commit to the process, and get going. Remember, entrepreneurship and fundraising are a competition –competition for investment– so play your heart out, friend!

Good luck!

– Sergio

About Beta Boom

Beta Boom VC Fund logo

Beta Boom is a pre-seed and seed VC fund investing in software startups addressing impactful problems for society.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy