Sunday, February 12, 2012

What makes a great angel investor?

There was a great blog post that recently listed the five key traits of angel investors. Here is a summary of the characteristics mentioned in the post:
1. Relevant experience and knowledge in the industry of the startup
2. Large network with relevant connections
3. Willingness to learn as much as you are willing to teach
4. Ability to provide time and empathy during tough times
5. Long-range thinking

I would argue that these are important skills that are relevant for just about any profession and they are also skills that I'm always continuing to build on. The first two traits come with additional experience in the field and take longer to develop, but the last three traits are ones that people can start on right away. The fourth trait is probably one that females have an inherent advantage, since empathy is often a trait that comes more easily to women (and one can argue that aggressiveness and risk-taking come more easily to men, which are other skills that can be helpful to investors).

Another great female angel network that I came across is the Women's Capital Connection.  The network was launched three years ago with 32 investors, who commited to investing in women-led ventures. The group started out in Kansas City and has invested over $1mm in five female-led ventures. They've also expanded to nine other similar groups and locations across the U.S. These amazing women of WCC are helping shape the future of angel investing, while sharpening their own financial and investment skills, mentoring other females, creating wealth and jobs for local communities and investing in women's futures and ideas. That's a very inspiring goal for us to strive for! 

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