Where do you go if you need money for your startup? Of course the usual suspects are friends and family, bank loans, and increasingly, crowdfunding. But today I want to suggest that you spread your wings even further and consider the possibility of getting angel investments from across the globe.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you have likely considered the angel investor option, but it also may seem like a pipe dream because the process can seem slightly overwhelming. Where do you start? Where do you find angels? What are they looking for in a potential business investment? Would they even be interested in your business?
While the idea may seem a bit scary and the dream distant, getting angel investment capital, whether here at home or from abroad, is doable. And I’m here to tell you how.
I was recently in Istanbul, Turkey, and spent a few days at the European Business Angel Network (EBAN) conference and that is when I saw first hand that the international angel investment community is a vibrant, committed, excellent option for the right startup, say, one like yours.
At first blush, the angels at the EBAN conference seemed like regular business men and women who wanted to make money off of their investments. And yes, of course they are, but they all had one other thing in common: They wanted to make a difference. Here in the States, it is easy to fall prey to the belief that angel investors are just about money and nothing more, and while profit is certainly a big piece of the investment portfolio puzzle, these folks were about so much more.
Think about it: Most angel investors (in any country) are entrepreneurs themselves, and successful ones at that. What do all entrepreneurs share in common? You bet – they are passionate and driven. That’s exactly what angels are. They want to be a part of the thrill of a new project. They want to see a new generation of companies and people succeed. Angel investors also want to help with their local economy. They want to stay in the small business game and scope out new ideas.
They want to do nothing less than change the world.
While they love profit (heck, we all love profit!) what you need to realize if you are going to tap this opportunity, is that angels are not just in it for the money. They view angel investing as a way to make a difference, and therefore you will capture their attention if you can offer them a business opportunity does just that; a business that is
• A game changer, and which has
• A secret sauce
So here’s the deal: If you are going to be an entrepreneur, you have to think big. Now what I want to suggest is that you think even bigger. How are you going to change the world, even your little part of the world? Angels play a big game, and if you want to play with them, you have to play a big game too.
And if you decide to play an international game, then the world, literally, can open up to you.
By: Steve Strauss
Senior small business columnist at USA TODAY and author of 15 books, including The Small Business Bible.