Open any news site that covers startups and you’ll see an endless stream of XYZ Technologies Raises Angel funding from ABC Ventures. It looks like everyone with half an idea can get a ton of cash from a bunch of rich guys who just happen to be waiting with blank cheques around every street corner. Right? No. Sorry to burst your bubble but the truth is far harsher. Angel investors are not people you come across on a daily basis, they’re hard to find and harder to approach. This is a guide that will help you scale Mt. Angel (or leap across Angel Chasm).
India now has several incubators and accelerators in its major cities. Accelerators will connect you to experts in your industry as well as a variety of angel investors. Most investors have a ‘favourite’ business category that they like to put their money into – one may prefer healthcare startups, while the next is only interested in F&B startups. So be sure to match yourself to the correct investor!
When you’re ready with your idea, start asking your existing contacts to link you to any investors they may know. You can also build your network by contacting startups in the same industry and getting through to an investor. Even startups have great contacts! They give the best guidance on how to get funding because that’s something they’ve accomplished themselves.
Business schools do a lot more than churn out graduates every monsoon. They’re known for helping out their students with startup ideas, connecting them to the likes of investors and industry experts (the way accelerators do). Even if you’re not from a B-school you can simply get a professor’s reference from your friend circle or your professional network.
An angel network is an organization of angel investors. If you know one person in the network he/she can easily get you in touch with the rest. Angel networks provide funding, mentorship, professional expertise and more. They’re similar to accelerators and incubators in this sense. Do have a look at CIO Angel Network, Indian Angel Network and Mumbai Angels, you’ll get an idea of what they do.
Found yourself an angel investor? Congrats! Now comes the harder part – pitching yourself effectively. Click here to read our guide to a great and effective pitch.
You could also find an investor with a little networking on the Ohai app! Ohai matches you with new, relevant professionals based on your profile and immediate need. Click here to download.
** Ohai App’s parent company Cutting Chai Technologies is part of Reliance’s GenNext Accelerator, Facebook’s FbStart and IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program (GEP).
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