Startup Wealth

How the best angels make money in startups

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Whether you’re investing in early-stage companies, raising capital for your startup, or just interested in how angel investors really make their money, Startup Wealth will unravel the mystery surrounding startup capital. Josh Maher profiles 23 of the country’s best investors over the last two decades by way of real-world case studies. Through revealing interviews, readers are introduced to Mark Suster, Catherine Mott, Christopher Mirabile, Brad Feld, Allan May, Joanne Wilson, and many other accomplished angel investors and venture capitalists.
Awesome book and Josh is such a great guy! Loved it!
.@joshmaher: What inspired you to write this book? How long did it take you to get on all of those calendars?
@kkdub Thanks Kelly, it took roughly a year to get all the interviews. As any entrepreneur here can attest, reaching out to angel investors is a long hard process. I got a lot of "No's", I got a lot of "I'm too busy", I also got a lot of "I get what your doing, let's talk". I used a lot of cold emails, cold twitter, and of course warm introductions (all worked, but the warm intros were about twice as effective as the cold outreach). As for my inspiration for the book, it came to me after reading all the great books out there on angel investing and venture capital. They all shared a lot of the similar advice, some were dry, some were funny, but none of them really helped an investor, entrepreneur, or startup fan understand the true variety of approaches that are successful with early stage investing. With this missing in the community, my love of writing, and a fourth read of Jack Schwager's Market Wizards series, I set out to interview the best investors and add their story and investing model for successful investing to the community. Each investor in the book actually represents several investors who invested in similar ways to the ones in the book.
@joshmaher It feels like we're entering an era of increased transparency in the venture cap/angel investing world, and your book is an example of notable players in the field being willing to share their experiences and their knowledge. Have you noticed this change? What do you think the impacts might be?
@kkdub Angels still have a long way to go. There's a lot more MicroVCs that act like angels that are becoming more transparent, but angels for the most part are still too tight lipped for their own good. Mostly it's because they want to reserve their privacy which is a good thing, the moment someone puts "angel investor" on their linkedIn profile, they're bombarded with requests. So why not put... "Angel Investor in B2B SaaS productivity companies"? It may be more accurate for an investor and it may dissuade a few entrepreneurs from sending the request but the fraudsters will keep at it so long as they think you're an investor. The result is angels are quiet, private people on balance with lots of deal flow in their neighborhood. The investors who love it the most raise small funds, launch syndicates, and really morph into a MicroVC. We're also getting a newer breed of early stage investor, the moderately wealthy middle manager or low level executive putting their capital into these MicroVC funds and syndicates. For example the $400 million fund announced on AngelList today. This new breed of investors are also attracted to transparency and are creating an opportunity for more angel investors to become MicroVC GPs or prominent syndicate leads. Transparency definitely is a differentiation for entrepreneurs, I hope more investors can find ways to offer a more transparent view into how and why they invest.
Great book! I'll share with the angel group here in Tallahassee!