My angel group, RVI, has reached a point that nearly all groups hit if they live long enough… midlife crisis :). Like all groups a small number of our members do most of the deal leading. Over time your veteran members get invested in a lot of deals, tying up their money and bandwidth. If you don’t add new members who are passionate about investing, you lose momentum. We don’t want to lose momentum, and thus my research.
I am speaking with leaders who’s angel groups have successfully transitioned through this phase. So far, my major take-aways are:
- We need a clear brand promise to our members and to entrepreneurs: great deals, efficient process, network that fuels portfolio company success.
- Training up new members to replace tapped-out bandwidth is critical.
- Need well established processes to help new members go up the learning curve.
- Members need to be serious about investing and about improving their ability to do so. If a potential member isn’t willing to make such commitments, adding them can be a detriment to the group.
If anyone else has data they would like to share, I am all ears!
UPDATE 7/12/2011: I’ve interviewed nearly a dozen angel group leaders and compiled there advice in this follow-up post.