Hi there, thanks for taking the time to read my question. I have a start-up, whose product is a marketplace that allows college applicants (primarily, high school students) to get 1-on-1 coaching from current college students. My product offers affordability and accessibility of high-quality help to students, many of whom go through immense stress while applying for colleges.
My start-up has product-need fit, but not product-market fit. I started this with my friend last August, but he has since quit for personal reasons. But I am going full steam ahead, and putting all my savings (and borrowed money, which I know is not a good idea) into developing a proper web app for my MVP Version 2! With a few new features, I believe this time I can achieve Product-Market Fit ("PMF").
But my road to achieving PMF will be hamstrung if I don't have money to either 1) continue going; or 2) have to scale down my go-to-market efforts, which will only hurt the product achieving PMF.
I really would like to start connecting with investors (angels, preferably) to ask advice, but hey - I don't mind if they wanna invest cuz they love the idea, right? ;)
One Clairty mentor I spoke to said "If you want to ask for money, ask for advice." Frankly speaking, that is exactly what I want to do!
Thank you so (so) much for taking the time to read my question. I appreciate your help. Wishing you all the best for you and your loved ones.
There are a number of different ways of reaching angel investors.
First, identify the type of angel investor you are looking for.
Then initially look within your own network, share what you are doing and you might be surprised.
Next research where your investors hang out and try and be part of the conversation.
Maybe there are incubators or accelerators that would be suitable and who can support you or facilitate investor introductions, meetings, and pitch events.
Maybe it might make sense to seek a grant or get funding from a partner who would also benefit such as in the education sector?
Another option that takes time is to find and connect to your investor audience through networks such as LinkedIn.
You can then nurture those relationships over time, ask for advice, keep them updated, take conversations offline, and establish trust.
Then probably after 6+ months of nurturing when you do raise funds, you should have earned a warm relationship that will allow you to approach them with regards to potentially funding your business.
Warm intros are definitely the best approach. Once you have your initial investors keep building relationships and they may recommend new investors next time round.
Worth noting with angels there is smart and dumb money and you may find that a coach/mentor from your sector provides more value compared to an angel who may be able to support you but on a more general high level. But as a rule of thumb always ask for support, your investors will usually provide, they are aligned with your potential success.
In most cases, you need to be referred to an angel investor. So, to find angel investors you need to get to know the right person, which means immersing yourself in your local business and social community. Focus on business owners – as these are the people who might be or become angel investors themselves or know an angel investor. While there are some angel investors who invest entirely on their own, many operate as part of an informal network or syndicate where they can pool their resources and share the risks.
You can read more here: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-to-find-an-angel-investor-2948107
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath
To address your question (how to reach the angel investors), it is advisable to answer the following question:
1. Is angel funding the best fit for your business capital structure? Have you designed your capital structure to meet your current needs and position to maximize your wealth in the future?
2. Is your current business really to look for angel investors? Do you have a list of criteria to achieve and a business sale package to impress the angel investors?
3. Do you conduct an evaluation to check whether you and your team are suitable/ suitable to accept an angel investor and/or new partner?
4. Have you develop some personas of the angel investors so that you know who to look for?
5. Do you have a deal flow strategy to include a) what to sell, b) who to invest, c) how to attract them, d) strategies to cover legal and commercial aspect, e) who to manage the business, f) how to manage investor relation, g) clean up documents & information for due diligence purpose, h) and so on ...
If you have the answers for all the above, you are on the right track - you know how to get your investors easily. If this is not the case, you can contact me and I can customise an advisory package for you based on the answers from the above questions.