Angel Syndication: Avoid the “angel death march”

Securing investment from one herd of cats (AKA an angel group) is hard enough. Trying to get herds of herds of cats (a syndicate) to all meow on key can be… exponentially tougher.  Five years ago entrepreneurs in Greater New England often found themselves on something James Geshwiler of Common Angels called the “Angel Death March.”  Pitch to group A in January, start due diligence, pitch to group B in March, group C in April, Group D in may… the CEO has to support SEPARATE due diligence process for EACH angel group… and then we start to notice “Gee, this deal has been around for a long time… I wonder what is wrong with it?”

This does not add value for the entrepreneur, nor for the angels.

In fact, this would be as silly as having a company pitch to Member A in your group, then Member B, then Member C… and support separate due diligence efforts with each person.  That is obviously foolish.  We form angel networks precisely to solve these problems of coordination and collaboration.  Syndicating multiple angel groups has the same dynamic.  The solution we created for individual angels serves as a useful template for the larger scale problem as well.

So be a good angel, don’t send your hopeful, cash-strapped entrepreneurs on an Angel Death March.

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