Fools rush in…and angel investors run a mile…

With the news that the Catalyst Centre has captured the interest of Angels 5k, a South East based Angel investment organisation, our thoughts naturally turned to angel investment this week. How do you approach angels? What do they look for in a proposition, and how do you make sure that you successfully communicate what’s great about your idea?

Much of the hassle is taken out of the equation for Catalyst Centre tenants. The deal with Angels 5k will see everyone guaranteed a chance to pitch to them, and they will receive all the support they need to prepare a perfect pitch, before they are introduced to the angels. For those less lucky souls, who have to prepare alone, we’ve done some homework, and come up with a few tips for successfully pitching to angel investors.

  • Be prepared. This is one instance where getting in there early isn’t necessarily a smart move. Take all the time you need to do your research, find the sweet spot in the market, check out your competition, and thoroughly prepare your proposition. Investors aren’t going to give you an easy ride – this is their money they’re staking, so your pitch needs to be watertight.
  • Don’t mock the afflicted! Focus on making your proposition outstanding, not on undermining the competition. It’s important to know what your competitors are doing, and to take on board what they are doing, right and wrong. Negativity about your competitors product/service makes you look bad. Use the info you gain from researching them to improve your own offering by all means, but don’t let their shortcomings become part of your pitch. And Yes, this does include damning with faint praise!
  • Dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Your initial approach to angel investers will be the most important document you ever produce. It’s crucial that it is properly written, carefully checked for grammar, spelling, punctuaion and other errors.You may have the best idea ever, but if its poorly presented it will be on the fast – track to the bin. This may seem grossly unfair, but that’s the way it is, (Heres an exercise for you. How many errors have you spotted in this paragraph?)
  • Don’t go on and on and on and on. Avoid using 10 words where 5 will suffice. That applies both to your written business plan, and to the physical pitch. Nothing says “unprepared” like waffling, so embrace the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle, and let streamlined be the order of the day.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, but we have selected what we think are really important considerations, and ones which can be easily overlooked. For the definitive approach to getting angel investment on board, you need to click here!