By Tom McKaskill
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Additional resources for An Introduction to Angel Investing - A guide to investing in early stage entrepreneurial ventures
When investee firms get into trouble, such as not achieving targets, making losses or losing key staff, General Partners need to devote considerable time to their current investments and have little time to source and evaluate new investments. General Partners will also be actively involved in setting strategy, planning and executing the exit. Around 70% of the General Partner’s time is taken up working with their investee firms; hence the capacity of the Venture Capital Fund is limited. Venture Capital Funds therefore typically make few investments: only a few in any year.
The Angel needs to be sensitive to this and ensure that the management team accepts the active role and knowledge contribution that the Angel is expecting to bring to the venture. Are you able and willing to act as a non-executive director? Most Angels require a seat on the Board of Directors, this way they can closely monitor their investment, influence decision-making and provide strategic input. They are also able to use their veto powers directly from their Board position.
Fools are said to be investors who throw their money in on the off chance that it might make a return, but generally don’t risk very much and have low expectations of getting the money back. New ventures are not without their risks. Australian research indicates that up to 70% of new start-ups will fail within five years. Further, few will ever grow beyond six people and very few will achieve significant size. Thus the chance of losing the money from relatives and friends is reasonably high. One of the considerations which new venture entrepreneurs face is the impact on their relationships with family and friends of the venture failing.