The Mind of an Angel Investor

Here’s a couple of quick hits on how I view my charter as an angel investor. Originally posted as a comment on Infectious Greed.

1) My #1 job as an angel investor is to help the company raise money. That means introductions and coaching, but it also means not doing anything to screw up the financing once the VCs are interested.

2) If I wanted to run the company, I’d start it myself. My goal is to avoid getting involved in operations. I’m there to provide advice and contacts.

3) If a company can raise VC money without any help from me, I’d certainly love to invest, but I can’t see why they’d want me in the deal. It’s my job to find those diamonds in the rough that can, with some intelligent polishing, become VC funded deals.

4) Conversely, that means that I have to be extremely careful in bringing deals to VCs. Reputational capital is hard to come by, and it’s all too easy to blow it with a couple of dumb deals.

1 thought on “The Mind of an Angel Investor

  1. Hi Chris,

    My name is Dan Hsu, and I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University. I am writing because we need your help.

    In business schools today, entrepreneurship and new venture creation is one of the most requested focuses areas of our students. However as an academic area, entrepreneurship is in its infancy. There are few courses, textbooks, and empirical research studies to draw from when creating courses for students, etc. As such, the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University is conducting a national research program focused on advancing our understanding of entrepreneurship, and one of the areas we are focused on is new venture investment. Specifically we are interested in how both angel investors and venture capitalists in new ventures arrive at investment decisions. We are contacting you because of your experience in this area.

    This research is important, and will influence how we teach entrepreneurship to our students. Below you will find a link to the online survey that is associated with this study. We respectfully request that you take the time to complete this survey – it should not take more than 10-15 minutes to complete. We would be happy to share the results of this research with you once the study is complete.

    If you could also forward this email to the angel investors and venture capitalists you know, we would greatly appreciate. Thank you very much.


    Dan Hsu

    Ph.D. candidate
    Department of Entrepreneurship
    Whitman School of Management
    Syracuse University
    721 University Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244

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