This page is about my angel investing. More about me. I'm on AngelList too.
Here's some startup advice:
• Codified startup advice
• Constructing a better startup pitch
• Traction mistakes
• How-to learn about angel/VC term sheets
• Traction Book
• More below and on my blog (left col).
My investing strategy has evolved with experience and personal situation. As you can see from the right, I don't do a ton of investments (~3/yr).
My investment criteria:
• Founded in Philly – I'm here long-term and want to continue growing the burgeoning scene here.
• Consumer oriented – I want to be a user of the product so I can help shape it. Also, consumer is where my career is focused (DuckDuckGo, etc.).
• Something ambitious – I want to spend my limited time on stuff that matters. It's not all about making money.
• Clear path to victory in the $30-50M range – that is, if everything goes to plan you can get to $3-5M earnings and there are obvious exit opportunities.
• Opportunity to add value – I'm looking to get involved and help you define/question assumptions & avoid mistakes.
• First money in – I want to get in early at a low dilution, low valuation stage, but enough money to get to the next major milestone.
• Hacker founders – reduces technical risk and increases ability to uncover growth. Also, I'm one so I can relate.
• Bootstrapping mentality – reduces financing risk, which has increased.
• Either a quickly profitable or powder keg idea – reduces financing risk further.
• A MVP backed by some Customer Development – reduces market risk.
• Traction vertical testing plan – should explain the use of funds.
• To know you ahead of time, so contact me now before you need money – reduces team risk.
• Use of Series Seed docs (same ones AngelList is using) – keeps legal costs to a minimum and promotes fair, open source docs. Would strike the board seat in favor of a formal advising relationship (4-6wk meetings). Not excited about convertible notes for you or for me.
Here's some other stuff:
• Solo/single founders OK. I've been one and I've funded several.
• Not interested in gambling, "adult," search (too much conflict), or without special circumstances gaming (too hit driven), enterprise (see consumer above), or anything involving physical products (inventory sucks).
Wall of Shame:
Every investor eventually passes on a lot of great companies, unfortunately.
• Acquired: Venmo, Mailgun, LiftDNA.
• Doing awesome: Zonoff, SeatGeek, Adaptly, Zerocater, DramaFever.
Invested 04/13 Modern Forum Software
Invested 11/12 Workflow Automation
Invested 10/12 (on Board)
Invested 04/12 Ecommerce Analytics
Invested 11/11 Interactive Guitar Lessons
Invested 10/11 Managed Wordpress Hosting
Invested 4/11 Consumer Location Analytics
Invested 8/10 (on Board), Acquired 8/12 Modern Indian Dating
Invested 4/10 (on Board) Wristband Sleep Device
Invested 3/10, Died 06/12
What I learned from this one. Market for Class Notes
Invested 9/9 (on Board), Acquired 6/11