Today's Top TipOnline business plan scams are alive and doing very well. There's even a new wrinkle: the "crowd funding". Trust me, no one makes money but the promoters in this scheme.
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Angel investor groups are most successful when they are nearby. It's pure economics -- angel investors from Oregon find it very expensive to travel to South Carolina to oversee their investment.
Check the web sites of each group carefully before submitting a proposal. Some are interested in particular industries, some are more general; some focus on startups, some want companies to have some kind of track record; some will accept only online submission, some want a business plan.
Also watch carefully: some angel investment groups charge a fee for reviewing and/or presenting your business plan.
TED is an amazing resource for all sorts of things. I was delighted when I stumbled on this talk by David Rose, an angel investor, and serial entrepreneur. He is also the founder of Angelsoft (the platform used by most angel groups to manage entrepreneur applications, and deal flow). Here's REALLY how to pitch to angel investors!
The groups listed just below are a few of the angel networks that invest nationally. Also be sure the check the links to your geographical area.
Also see these angel investor groups:
California and the West. Angel groups from California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho are all represented here. This is the home of Silicon Valley, and the home of Microsoft, as well as hundreds of other powerful companies. The investors here are accustomed to risk, and to success.
Canada angel investors are growing rapidly. As their numbers grow, so grow the sophistication of their groups. There is now a wide variety to choose from.
Illinois and the Mid West includes Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and Mississippi. In recent years this area has put forth a real effort to attract angel investors.
New York, New Jersey and New England are strong areas for angel investment. Hundreds of smaller angel groups operate in these areas, as well as the larger, more established groups.
Texas and the Southeast angel groups have put the oil money to good use. Texas in a force to be reckoned with in the biotech and energy fields.
Business plans for angel investors vary widely in qualifications. No longer are notes on a napkin acceptable, if indeed they ever were. Now these plans are smooth multi media presentations that carry a real wallop.
Most IPOs are a real hassle. This IPO is created just for smaller companies. Be sure to check it out.
The newest wrinkle in the angel investor arena is the creation of new angel funds at hospitals. Along with those at universities and research organizations, a lot of money is involved.
Kansas City has invited angel investor networks to stay. It could be a fine model for other cities as well.
Never discount the SBA as a funding source.