The world clearly has changed. Long gone are the days of Rotary Club and Elks Lodge America, and of Tuesday afternoon tea. Replacing them is the brave new world of social and virtual networking, of Linked-In, of Facebook, and of Twitter. And from a standpoint of access to and diligence of great deal flow, this is an extremely good thing.
It was this last question that really bothered me...the notion that you can simple complete a form online and have angel investors (or venture capitalists) flock to your company. Our research shows that the chance of an angel investor funding your business based on an online form is about 0.01%, or 1,000 times WORSE than the odds of getting into Harvard Business School.
Sure there are many sites that tell you to pay them, submit your plan or complete their form, and that your plan will be sent to thousands of investors. And each of these sites prominently display their success stories. BUT, these success stories are the outliers. They are the 1 in 10,000 businesses that got funding for one reason or another.
The FACT is that angel investors (and venture capital firms) DON'T invest this way.
But, the good news is that tons of angel investor do invest, and in fact, they fund 15 times more companies than venture capital firms. According to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, last year 55,480 ventures were funded by angel investors.
And because the public stock market has being doing so poorly, more and more individuals are considering angel investing.
So the angel investors and money is out there. It's just a matter of knowing how to raise angel capital.
From our recent research and having been raising angel and venture capital for the past decade, we uncovered all the ways that you and your business CAN raise this type of capital. And it doesn't include filling out forms online.
We were thrilled to see our client LeapFish.com featured in the Web+Department section in the March 2009 edition of Entrepreneur Magazine.
Launched in November 2008, LeapFish is a search engine that uses proprietary hyper-threading to deliver more results in a single search.
What makes LeapFish unique and so fun to use is its "click-free" search functionality. As you type, the screen refreshes with new results -- give it a try!
Entrepreneur selected LeapFish along with a handful of other innovators in search.
The old adage about the definition of insanity -- "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" -- has never been more applicable than it is right now with the crisis in our financial markets and our government's response thereto. The daily, depressing drama of the federal government's frenetic, "bailout flavor of the day" response mechanism would be comical if it wasn't so tragic, frustrating, and anger-inducing.
Sometimes I feel I went to bed one night in the United States of America and woke up in the U.S.S.R. in the midst of a "5-year plan." It is long-overdue time for Main Street America, for Small Business America, for Scientist's and Engineer's America, for Junior Achievement America, for Paper Route America, for Immigrant America, for eBay America, for Mary Kay America, for Franchise America, for Venture Capital America, for Startup America, for Entrepreneurial America to stand up and shout ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Because they built this country. Because they represent and embody its best and most admirable and most idealistic qualities. And because if the Washington bureaucrats would just let them be and get out of their way they can and will dig this country out of its current hole far quicker, cheaper, and more fairly than via the banana republic cronyism that masquerades as policy in Washington these days.
The funny thing is, Entrepreneurial America has never been more vibrant, more creative, more productivity-building, more value-creating, than it is right now. With the collapse of the "Blue Chips," the playing field has never been more level, the competitive arena never more wide open, the cost of key business inputs (labor, rents, technology) never less than it is right now for entrepreneurs.
What these firms need to succeed is not government handouts or "stimulus," but simply good old-fashioned growth capital. And for this capital, these companies -- in such dynamic growth arenas as alternative & green energy, healthcare & biotechnology, digital media, and software -- are priced at "end-of-the-world" levels. In other words, as long as the world does not end, they will make themselves and their investors money.
So my suggestion to all of those in Entrepreneurial America: make yourself heard. Call and write your congressperson and senator. Email essays like this to your family, friends, and colleagues. Support your local small business. If you see a website of a business you like, write the company and tell them to keep on keeping on. Blog. Twitter. Post on YouTube. Shout out on Facebook. Because this is a fight for private enterprise and economic freedom and one that Entrepreneurial America, and the world for that matter, cannot afford to lose.
Read Jay's second article in this series - Entrepreneurial America, Part 2.
Webinar: Keys to Successful Private Company Investing
Please join me on a live, interactive web conference where I will share with you my keys to successful private company investing including:
- How to utilize the Internet to source and research opportunities
- How to conduct data-driven risk analysis on private company deals
- How to exploit the "pricing inefficiency gap" endemic to private equity
- The importance of technology bias (and which technologies to bias) when selecting deals
- How to properly apply "black swan," or "randomness" thinking to private company investing strategy
To register, click here: http://www.growthink.com/livedeals
It is absolutely astounding how quickly the discussion around the appropriate government response to the economic crisis has morphed -- from one around whether it even makes sense, or is the proper thing to do, for government to bail out ailing financial and manufacturing firms -- to one simply around "how much," "how fast," and "how many."