Each angel group has its own unique processes, personalities, and traditions. So at first blush you would think getting two or more angel groups to collaborate on a deal is nearly impossible! Luckily the problems, and solutions, are the same for syndicating individual angels and groups of angels.
In Greater New England we have created a series of events that build the excellent syndication environment we now enjoy.
- Short monthly conference calls (45 minutes) of angel group leaders. A few important things happen on these calls.
- We use organizing regional in-person syndication meetings as the excuse to get together. Having a common, recurring task gives us something to work on together. Doing so builds us group-leader to group-leader relationships.
- We discuss 1-2 topics of mutual interest, usually sharing of best practices.
- We also share quick “pitches” of deals we are trying to get help with. “I have a medical device startup with a spinal implant. We’re impressed with the team but need to chat with someone with domain expertise.” If a manager on the call can help they “raise their hand.” The Asker follows up with the Hand Raiser offline. The Asker appreciates the help and the Hand Raiser gains social capital. If the Asker treats the Hand Raiser’s contact with respect, and especially if they return the favor, social capital is earned in return.
- The agenda is dominated by entrepreneur presentations and breakout sessions. The presenters are all deals backed by at least one angel group, almost always walking in th door with a signed term sheet.
- A minority of time is allocated to 1-2 guest speakers. These speakers help communicate best practices so as to help get angels from many different groups to start using similar processes and norms on terms.