Angel investing is a learned skill that is not taught in the university. The ability to select a deal, analyze it, invest, and then follow up requires a certain skills drawn from both one’s investment and business experience. My experience having help launch and grow three angel groups indicates that there are certain skills and experiences an angel investor should have when approaching the decision to invest.
The Texas Open Angel Network is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to educating angel investors on how to invest in startups. It’s a non-profit so there’s no profit incentive to promote investment opportunities or sell services. I launched the program in Austin and held monthly lunch and learn meetings. Speakers with experience in consumer product goods, gaming, life science, technology and more came to the group and shared their experience with other investors.
In taking the program to the rest of the state, I encountered a scalability problem. The physical meeting format was difficult to maintain in multiple cities. I decided to take the education series online and captured the content in the form of podcasts which I listed until the program name—AngelConnect.
This turned out to be a much better way to capture the voice of the experienced angel investor. The distribution was highly scalable as anyone can download the audio file and listen to it on their own time. In addition to key investors, we’ve held panel sessions in which a group of investors discuss topics such as exits, due diligence, and more.