The angel groups of New England and New York joined forces to help startups get funded. Initial results: 2x as many startups are being seen by 2x as many investors, in 1/10th the time.
Entrepreneur Pain Points
You would think that the marginal effort to raise money from a second angel group is much lower. Won’t the second group take all the hard work you did from the first group and only need to ask a few more questions?
Instead, each angel group has their own subtly different questions and process. This makes the entrepreneur answer the same questions over and over. They have to create hours creating slightly different versions of documents. This costs the entrepreneurs precious time they need to run their ventures. This is bad for everyone!
Angel Investor Pain Points
All this back-and-forth isn’t valuable for angels either! The longer it takes us to assess a startup, the fewer quality investments we can make each year.
This problem crops up when we lead deals too. If a deal needs more money than we can put in, then there is a lot of work we have to do to help our entrepreneurs close the round. Knowing how hard that is discourages some groups from leading deals. Fewer people leading deals means few great deals getting done. That’s bad for investors, founders, and the economy.
The new Northeast Deal Sharing process addresses many of these issues.
- Saves deal leads time by making it easy to share a deal with their peers in seconds.
- Increases dealflow by providing angel leaders a curated list of vetted deals.
- Save investors time by sharing only deals with a lead investor ready to share & coordinate due diligence.
- Saves entrepreneurs time by accelerating connection to more investors via the curated list. We speed funding by setting new norms around sharing diligence.
We run it on simple tech (Google Sheets!) we built ourselves for no money.
Is it perfect? Hell no. There is a lot left to improve.
Is it a leap forward from what we had? Yes.
Since switching to this system more deals are raising money from more investors and in less time.
Since New England and New York agreed to merge our processes and share dealflow, 2x as many startups are being seen by 2x as many investors, in 1/10th the time.
Right now we’re shaking out the merger of the New York and New England systems. A few months from now will add more deal sharing groups. Those groups can focus on geography, diversity, sector, etc. We also need to strengthen norms around being respectful of the entrepreneurs’ time.
If your angel group is interested in participating, let me know.
My thanks to all the angel leaders, and the Angel Capital Association, for their hard work! A non-exhaustive list includes:
- James Geshwiler for getting the angel leader of New England to start talking about this nearly 20 years ago!
- George McQuilken for kicking us all in the butt and hosting the first New England regional syndication meeting back in ’06.
- William Swiggart for writing up the first Angel Treaty that allowed us to comfortably start sharing due diligence in New England.
- David Verrill & Christopher Mirabile for taking leadership roles in syndication in New England for a decade.
- Sandy Wollman for launching and leading syndication in New York and encouraging our two regions to join forces!
- Marty Isaac for building the tech platform that allowed New Yorkers to share deals.
- Sandi Gilbert, Rick Plaut, Pat LaPointe, Sarah Dickey, Heather Krejci
for encouraging syndication nationally!
- Marcia Dawood and Pat Gouhin for making syndication a priority for the future of the angel community!
- And so many more!
Thank you everyone!