Here's to all my fellow devs with the biggest ideas known to tech but cannot seem to execute or work on their big idea because of a lack of funding. Here's something you don't know.
Start-ups don't essentially start themselves; not every regular person with an idea will automatically get money to carry out development or operations. In the start-up world, there's something we call start-up capital, and this is where all tech founders freeze.
The first thing a startup founder needs to do is create startup capital, which is the initial funding you will get to carry out the first operations to ensure the business. This includes an HQ space, new hires, development infrastructure, costs, permits, licenses, and marketing.
You can get that funding for your golden idea in three major ways: Venture capitalists, business loans, and Angel investors. Let's talk about angels a little bit more.
Who Are Angel Investors?
Angel Investors are essentially called private investors, people with a very high net worth who are very open to the idea of providing financial backing to small-scale start-ups and entrepreneurs. Why is this such an interesting topic? Well, startup founders always misunderstand one simple fact: if an Angel doesn't back your start-up, there's less chance it'll get any support from the big dogs' venture capitals.
Angel Investors are essentially the risk-takers of the startup world. If you're lucky enough to sit down with one, you will get your chance to explain what your startup would do and how it'll change the market.
You have to understand investing in your startup isn't like investing in stocks, so it's extra risky for the angel; if your idea is too futuristic it might not get the initial reception from people that you might intend, and if your idea is just too backward, you won't even get the funding. It has to be at the right spot where you've considered the market, competition, operational costs, and marketing budget amongst other things.
Now that we know who Angels are, here comes the hard part... Finding them.
How You Find Angel Investors
Now that you know what angels are and how they can help your start-up, finding them is the next tricky part. Angels can be everywhere; some disclose they are angel investors, while others love being in ghost mode. Billion in net worth but won't even disclose they are looking to invest.
If you haven't guessed yet, Linkedin is literally the home of professionals; every occupation, job opening, and organization is available on the platform. So obviously investors are going to be lurking over the platform.
Some Angel investors make it very public that they are infact actively investing in start-ups and have a portfolio of companies they've invested in. This doesn't mean you can just DM them very easily; their profiles might not even allow messages from those, not in their connection.
Believe it or not, if you utilize Twitter to its max, you can find your investor on Twitter. Twitter has become the space for techies to interact more and more, and yes some big-time angels are also there. You could be talking about your start-up on Twitter and get a surprise DM from an Angel investor.
This tweet by David Herbert on Twitter talks about the same thing; investors can be found on Twitter, so utilize it.
Meet-ups & Tech Events
When there's a tech event, especially on a larger scale, ideas are always thrown around including startup founders coming to present their ideas. Angels are usually present in those as well, and most of the time they are actively looking to invest since most founders are always pitching at events.
You should know these are just where to find them, not an avenue to send a non-strategic DM or meet one without prior contact. To successfully get the attention of angels you have to extensively research what exactly to type or say... be it through email or in person.
Will Angels Fund Just My Idea?
In most cases, no. You have to understand some people have this big idea that has the potential to be the next big thing, but not exactly feasible. Ideas are easy to come up with, and most of the time Angels need something tangible to fund... a prototype or a product; if you've even started operations all the better.
If you're gonna get an Angel to fund just your idea, you have to make sure it's feasible, make sure there's a market for it, conduct market research, plan exactly what you'll use the start-up capital for, and your operations strategy. You have to consider the investor too; they want to make money from your business, not lose money.