The only tactic that I know of right now is approaching recently funded companies founders to get an introduction. Would you personally recommend anything that has worked for you?
Let's be clear that there are two types of angel investors: Experienced angel investors (they have invested in 5+ startups) and people with money who *might* invest in you and your startup.
Generally speaking, you should focus your time in getting meetings with experienced angel investors, as they generally follow clear protocols, whereas the other group are highly unpredictable.
Whichever group you choose, you ought to filter based on relevancy. Approaching someone whose entire experience has been with games, as an example, and thinking they're going to get excited by a marketplace for construction materials is a stretch.
I've found that the more someone can understand the need for the product, the more likely they are to invest.
People really don't ever want to be "pitched" They want to build a relationship with someone who they believe in, who they feel they have helped and can continue to help become incredibly successful. So starting with asking for advice is usually a great way to commence a relationship. But of course, you must be genuine in your respect for that advice.
Angel investors are really the first or second step to funding a company. In my experience, angel investors can be institutional and structured groups investing in specific applications, or just wealthy people looking to diversify. I've seen companies raise $250,000 spread between 10-12 investors.
Where do you find them? Anywhere. Usually where rich people hang out. That can vary from countless networking events, country clubs, speaking engagements, business happy hours, and more. Also, accountants and lawyers have a large network of high net worth colleagues, peers, or clients that are always looking to make money. A lot of times if you can start networking and becoming close with people like this (and if your idea is good), they can play a role in helping you find cash.
The biggest thing entrepreneurs overlook when raising money is the relationship. All too often, entrepreneurs think that all of a sudden money will show up with a good spreadsheet or slide deck. It takes countless calls, meetings, emails, and conference calls for angel investors to build trust and eventually find a deal. Keep working hard and keep your network big and the money will eventually come!
Steve has some great recommendations and I will reiterate the need for creating a real network... not just online but real face-to-face relationship building over time.
It's almost like dating (from what I can remember lol)... it takes time and building trust is important.
Jumping into bed with someone on the first date... I'd recommend viewing that analogy the same as if someone I just met wanted to throw money at me.
Short term it may be fun but you *will* pay in the long run (smile) on many different levels.
Eesh... did I just say what others [with experience] were thinking anyway?
- mike vizdos