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Showing posts from June, 2018

How to Encourage Angels to Invest - Advice for Entrepreneurs

After a fairly short but traditional crawl through big company management structures, I decided someone else's rat-race wasn't for me. I wanted to try my luck at creating my own. So at the age of 29 I became an entrepreneur. How hard could it be? Think of an idea, borrow some money, make lots, pay it back, invest in more ideas. Several decades later I can look back and compress my experiences into precisely that chain of events, but oh boy it was neither as easy nor as fast as I ever imagined. But in a way, if I'd been more prepared, I either wouldn't have bothered or I wouldn't have experienced the pitfalls that helped me meander my way to where I am today.   What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. This post is not about how to come up with ideas that stand a chance. I've written plenty of posts discussing that - click here to read them . After a series of decent successes (and some failures), I reached 50 and decided to start investing in other peopl

Why Become a Business Angel?

Putting some of your hard-earned savings into start-up and early stage businesses is one of the riskiest investments you can make - other than backing a horse perhaps. Although at least with a horse you'll quickly know whether it was a good idea or not, and the horse won't keep pestering you for more money if it loses (unless you own it of course). So why become a business angel (or Dragon as the TV chaps like to be known)? Why do I love doing it despite the high risks? The short answer is because:- It's fascinating and you might help to change the world (quite apart from possibly scooping the jackpot).  When we're in the twilight of our career or perhaps we've retired, some of us don't want to just stop working or feeling we're still useful. Whilst I love relaxing or playing golf in the sun, I don't envy the legion of prune-skinned Algarve émigrés. Through angel investing alone, I'm closely involved with VR, sports management, telecom surveil

Angel Delights

I've been a business angel for a number of years. An angel is someone who invests in young companies (usually), even pre-start-up (occasionally), in exchange for shares in that business (typically), in the hope they'll one day be worth more than we paid for them (rarely). It's a very risky game, so why do I do it? I'm an entrepreneur myself. Salaried life frustrated my need to challenge myself. I was easily bored by process and reporting. In short, I became unemployable. I grew up in a house full of my father's wacky inventions (holographic fires, carburetor balancers, jet nozzles, squirrel-proof bird feeders etc), all of which lost him the money he'd made consulting for other people's companies on boring things like process and reporting. Dad's creativity missed one vital component that successful entrepreneurs discover. It's not about what you want to sell, it's about what people want to buy. I too learned this the hard way. Fortunately I p