Lately I’ve been spending more time looking for offline angel investments. I want to make sure that I’m not missing out on prime opportunities by focusing exclusively on online deal flow. So I’ve been reaching out to colleagues, friends and companies I’m familiar with to let them know I’m looking for great startups to invest in.
And it’s yielding positive results. I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks, but I’ve got a lead on a really great investment already.
Our networks can be valuable sources of deal flow. Most of us know some really talented and smart people. Reach out to them, find out what they’re working on and what’s going on in their world. They may be able to point you towards opportunities that you would otherwise never hear about. And as a startup investor, finding unique deals is one of the best ways to spend your time.
Of course, I’m not investing in “pet projects” or small businesses. When I reached out to my network, I made it clear that I was looking for growth investments that can scale long-term. I recommend doing the same — just be clear about the types of companies you’re interested in and what you expect from an investment you make. It will help you avoid discussions about restaurants and other small businesses you’re trying to avoid.
There are great companies being built all around us. It just takes a network — and a little effort — to reach them. Building my personal startup investment network is going to be my project for the next few years. I’ll keep you all updated on my progress.