This past week, I attended another EFactor event that consisted of two keynote speakers who talked about angel investing and then it was followed by a panel discussion with five angel investors from all the major angel groups in Chicago. For the next few posts, I’m going to recap what I learned from the event and focus on what it means to be an angel investor, what the current angel funding landscape is like and what angel investors are typically looking for when deciding whether to make an investment.
Also, a good article about how to pitch to angel investors was published in the WSJ a few days ago that I would recommend reading especially if you are looking to reach out to angels for funding anytime soon – Chasing the New Angel Investors.
I also really enjoyed Joanne Wilson’s perspective on angels investing in women-led businesses in a recent Q&A. When asked to provide advice for angels or VCs looking to invest in women-driven startups she said, “There are meetups all over the city every single night. Eventually, you meet people and hear what's going on. It's a very open, embracing industry. There's a lot out there and there are a lot of bloggers writing about what's going on and about new businesses. If you can't find women-led businesses, then you're not reading the right things and you're not looking in the right spots. I would love to see more people who have created wealth for themselves and their families take a chunk of their change and invest in women-led companies. It would be better for the economy. And, again, better for women. By the way, it's not always about women — companies should be mixed. Women bring something to the table and so do men. It's about the best ideas.”
I completely agree with Joanne Wilson (who by the way is the wife of VC Fred Wilson) and I’ve found the entrepreneurship community here in Chicago very welcoming and easy to get involved in through meetup groups, networking, and helpful seminars.