5 tips for finding your first business angels
Often essential for the first financing of a start-up, business angels are very much in demand. However, in a context where new businesses keep emerging every week, entrepreneurs are not all in the same boat. In 2015, business angels invested more than 41 million euros in the French Internet, according to the FIBAMY barometer.
1- Develop your network : it’s no secret. To complete a fundraising, get a sponsor or find a business angel, everything starts through the network at your disposal. It starts with the close network (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) to gradually find the right people, those who will accelerate the development of the company.
“Ideally, an angel is someone who understands business, who is positive, who brings expertise and who can accelerate it through his network of experience.», Notes Stéphanie Hospital. It is essential to surround yourself well because these are people who support the project for 5 to 7 years. “It’s a wedding», Adds the founder of One Ragtime.
2- Have a mentor : Building relationships with a mentor can be very astute and effective. By asking him for advice on getting started, he will be sensitive to this request. When the day comes to raise funds, it helps to talk to your mentor. “The latter will be tempted to invest and will take his friends in his wake», Comments Mounia Rkha, Seed Club Manager at ISAI Management. You have to take the time to interact with business angels over the long term, they will be happy to see you evolve.
3- Don’t join forces too quickly : even before convincing any investor, the future success of the start-up lies in the team that makes it up. It is important for an entrepreneur to have this ability to choose. A very strong team is distinguished by a business marketing duo. To be credible, the team must establish a solid financial plan and a clear roadmap to achieve its goals. Rushing is not going to accelerate the development of the start-up. Quite the contrary. A badly put together fundraiser at the start reflects a bad image of the project. “Fundraising is not an end in itself, it is developing a business ”, explains Stéphanie Hospital.
4- Prepare your file well : it is an essential step to convince a business angel. The file presented constitutes the first concrete contact with the project for the investor. Thus, it is imperative to ensure the consistency of the project and the interest that the angel can see in the adventure. We must keep in mind that business angels are investors who will bet on the head of the entrepreneur. It is therefore essential for the latter to fully understand its market and the competition that results from it. These two points must be reflected in the file.
In addition, it is easier to sell a file to a business angel who revolves in the sphere in which the start-up in question is located. “If you take a business angel who is not at all in your industry, it will be difficult to sell them your vision. He will be more reassured with a more classic file», Says Mounia Rkha, Seed Club Manager at ISAI. Overly sophisticated files are not recommended, as is mentioning the idea of reselling the box two years later.
5- Get recommended : this is an option that should not be neglected. Getting recommended can put business angels in a favorable context for a start-up in search of funding. “I have a golden rule: when someone sends me a file from someone in my network, I always meet the projects that are recommended to me», Confides Mounia Rkha. A business angel who receives entrepreneurs who have been recommended will be more likely to listen to them and refer them to their potential.