I'm proud to announce the first company in which a majority of hacker angels invested: Locately. HA is not a fund--just a group of hackers who also do individual angel investing. This means we each individually decide to invest, in this case 4 out of 5 of us.
Locately is leading the location analytics market. They analyze GPS data from opted-in consumer mobile phones to help businesses better understand their customers. For example, they can help companies determine who their real competitors are, if physical advertising is actually working, or where to put their next stores.
There are really a lot of possibilities. Just as web analytics is an essential tool for online marketing, I believe location analytics will become essential for offline marketing.
The easiest way to get investment quickly is to have traction because traction trumps everything. And Locately has traction. Even so, many angels (including myself) want to actually know the founders beforehand as much as possible. This desire stems from the fact that doing a startup involves a lot of meandering and critical thinking, and over time you can start to get a sense of how people think about and react to things, as well as see progress.
So I'm fairly certain that starting dialogs with potential investors long before you are raising money will increase your chances of actually raising money. There are many ways to do it, e.g. sending periodic newsletters, asking for feedback on product/strategy/fundraising/etc., or even bringing people on board as formal advisors. In this case, I communicated with Drew (one of Locately's founders) on twitter, and then we hung out for most of Angel Boot Camp. That really kicked things off.