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  • Angel Gambino

Mastering the Investor Relationship: A Founder's Guide to Partnering with Angel Investors

At my recent Lunch with Angel Open Office Hours, prompted by a question from a mental health founder, we dove into the nuanced realm of determining whether an angel investor is the right fit for you and your business. Drawing from my experience in angel investing spanning 17 years, as well as my background as a founder and in investment banking, I shared insights on how founders can effectively assess potential investors.

When it comes to engaging with prospective investors, it's not just about securing capital; it's about forging meaningful partnerships that will support your startup through its journey. Here are some key considerations and questions to guide your conversations:

1. Investment Philosophy and Approach:

- Why did you become an angel investor?

- What is your investment focus and thesis?

- How do you typically evaluate potential investments?

- What stage of companies do you prefer to invest in?

- What makes a great team? 

- How important is investing in inclusive teams, and what percentage of your portfolio is inclusive?

- What kind of business models do you normally invest in and why?

2. Experience and Track Record:

- Can you share examples of successful investments you've made in the past?

- What have you learned from investments that failed?

- How do you typically add value to the companies you invest in?

- Have you encountered challenges with portfolio companies, and how did you handle them?

3. Alignment of Values and Vision:

- What are your long-term goals and objectives as an investor?

- How do you view the role of investors in supporting startup growth and success?

- What are your views on diversity, sustainability, and social responsibility?

4. Communication and Support:

- How often do you communicate with your portfolio companies and how do you prefer to communicate?

- What support or resources do you provide beyond capital?

- Can you provide references from founders you've worked with?

5. Decision-Making Process:

- How do you make investment decisions?

- What factors are most important to you when considering an opportunity?

- What is your timeline for making investment decisions?

6. Risk Management and Resilience:

- How do you approach risk management and mitigate challenges?

- Can you share an example of a difficult situation with a portfolio company and how you addressed it?

7. Exit Strategy and Long-Term Partnership:

- What is your typical investment horizon?

- How do you support companies through different growth stages?

- What are your expectations for the investor-founder relationship over the long term?

Remember to seek references from other founders they've invested in to gain further insights into their track record and approach.

By engaging in thoughtful conversations and asking questions, you can determine whether a prospective investor aligns with your values, goals, and needs. Establishing mutual trust is crucial for building a successful and supportive partnership that will drive your startup's growth and success.

If you're ready to explore how Angel Club supports angel investors and founders, schedule a call with Jessie, our Head of Community, and don't miss our next Lunch with Angel Open Office Hours for more insightful discussions and networking opportunities. Let's embark on this journey together!

Schedule a Call with our Head of Community here.  

Register for Lunch with Angel Open Office Hours here

Angel Gambino,

Founder, Angel Club


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