There are hundreds of thousands of individual or “angel” investors in the United States (and many more throughout the world). This is many, many times greater than the mere 6,000 members of angel investor groups.
And here’s the key: the vast majority of these individual investors are what I call “latent angel investors.” That is, they have the interest and ability to make an angel investment. But they don’t actively seek to make angel investments.
Basically, you have to find them and pitch them, since they aren’t actively seeking entrepreneurs to fund. And in most cases, they’ve never before invested in a private company.
So, who are these “latent angel investors?” The short answer is that they are people with money. I sat down this morning and wrote brief profiles of some the angel investors that have funded some of Growthink’s clients. Here they are (I changed the people’s names for privacy reasons).
Roger is a lawyer.
Alan is an executive at a large consulting firm.
Bill is the COO of the US branch of a multi-national corporation.
Allison is a restaurant owner.
Randy owns a small consulting firm.
Catherine is an executive at a large financial services company.
Robert used to run his own business and is now retired. He does some consulting on the side.
Victor is from Europe. He attended business school in the United States. He now has business ventures throughout the world including one in the United States.
Josh is a super successful entrepreneur in his early thirties. He had a lot of success in his first venture, and continues to launch new companies.
Richard is a retired executive from a Fortune 500 company.
Here’s some additional info: All but two of these angel investors are between the ages of forty and sixty five. All but three of them live within 20 miles of the companies they funded. And of the three, two live within an hour’s flight or 3 hour drive.
The key lesson here is this: potential angel investors are all around you. They are current and retired doctors, lawyers, executives, business owners and otherwise successful people with money (interestingly, none of my current clients have doctors as investors that I know of; although doctors are very common angel investors).
Yes, there are specific ways to contact and present your venture to these investors, but the key is to network, network, network. Don’t be shy. Rather, start telling people about your venture and get referrals to people with money that could invest in your company.