Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage Financing

Ham Lord (center), Anita Brearton (right) and Christopher Mirabile (left).

Ham Lord, Anita Brearton and I gave a talk tonight at Mass Challenge on the top 20 dos and don’ts when dealing with angel groups.  I promised I would share the list, so here it is (video is below if you want to see the discussion unfold):

  1. Don’t send in a plan by email unsolicited without an introduction and expect success
  2. Do your homework and find out what companies a group likes to invest in (check out their website, or talk to some of their members)
  3. Do find a deal champion within a group by networking
  4. Don’t ask a group to sign an NDA
  5. Do feel free to ask questions about how an angel group works, the profile of the membership and what to expect
  6. Do pay attention to the presentation guidelines given to you by the angel group that you are presenting to
  7. Do not use more than a handful or words on a slide and do not use any small font sizes
  8. Do not use elaborate builds on your slides
  9. Do not plan a complicated demo or video as part of your pitch
  10. Do not run over your allocated presentation time
  11. Do practice your pitch multiple times
  12. Don’t be flip or glib in your presentation
  13. Don’t forget your manners
  14. Do not tell the angel group that “you are not a business person”
  15. Don’t mumble, whisper or equivocate
  16. If you are guessing, say so and explain the basis for your guess
  17. Do not claim you will rely on first-mover advantage and have no competitors
  18. Do not think that “social media” is an adequate go to market strategy or assert that you will grow by “going viral”
  19. Do make sure that you have a financial slide in your presentation and do not leave it until the last minute and then hurry through it
  20. Do not list Google as a potential exit, unless they are are actually a realistic potential exit and you can explain why.
Here’s the video of the event:
Launchpad, Golden Seeds How to work with Angel Groups

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.

If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy: What I Look For In An EntrepreneurWhy Angels Chase ElectronsAre Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?Pick Your Founder/Co-Investors Carefully & Reflections on the Nature of EntrepreneursDelusional EconomicsThe OvertureThat Vision ThingThe Power of An Advisory BoardLoch Ness, Unicorns & The First-Mover AdvantageShould I Wait For A Technical Co-Founder.

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  1. Christopher,

    Sincere thanks for posting this important list! You, Ham, and Anita gave a great presentation. Thanks again for your help and for supporting MassChallenge!


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