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dan_plan's Avatar dan_plan dan_plan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordlancaster View Post
Not for everyone, but what's the alternative? Apply for Dragons' Den tv show? Worth considering if you're serious about meeting investors.
That's very true.

---------------------------------------------

I have met the AngelsDen team (for free) at the British Library in London and they were kind and gave me good pieces of advice.
http://www.angelsden.co.uk/Applicant...e.aspx?tag=707

They told me clearly why my business wasn't ready per investment - they didn't try to make me believe the opposite just in order to cash in the 800.
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lordlancaster's Avatar lordlancaster lordlancaster is offline
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Sorry, I don't mean to be mean - I just want to highlight one of the main problems for us young entrepreneurs: sometimes you don't know who you can trust - and when you are in a difficult situation is quite likely you trust people you wouldn't trust otherwise (just because they offer you the easy solution to your problems and are good in manipulating people).
I know what you mean, but hopefully by reading through all the replies people can get a balanced opinion of services like this. Ultimately it's down to you the individual (and other entrepreneurs) to decide what's best for you. Forums like this are simply a place to share ideas and information which will help people make more informed decisions.
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lordlancaster's Avatar lordlancaster lordlancaster is offline
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They told me clearly why my business wasn't ready per investment - they didn't try to make me believe the opposite just in order to cash in the 800.
That's good to hear. I've met Bill Morrow from AngelsDen a and he seems like a good guy. He's also speaking at our Shell LiveWIRE LIVE! event in London on 9th November (details coming soon).

What Bill told me is that it's not in their best interests to take on any old business. Their investors are seriously rich guys who don't want to waste their time and be faced by a load of rubbish businesses pitching for investment. It's in their best interest to only take on certain investees.
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dan_plan's Avatar dan_plan dan_plan is offline
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Paul, indeed, I like this forum very much because there are people in a similar situation as mine and who I can trust.

I was talking about the "outside world" - where unfortunately it is not easy to test how good a service is before you buy it.

I think this thread have some interesting points:
1) nooma42 asked for feedback to us (a trusted environment) before buying something she/he wasn't sure about
2) you gave alternatives you know they can be good
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Richard.curran's Avatar Richard.curran Richard.curran is offline
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The pricing mechanism is what puts this business model in doubt. There's a duality happening here :

Only considering businesses who are genuine candidates for investment / Requesting 99 up front.

I already said my advice earlier on and I also noticed the dubious replies.

My advice again to anyone is to ask yourself these questions about you and your business, baring in mind that investors don't ever look at the business model alone (see numerous examples from Dragon's Den when they spend as much time talking about the person as the business).

Ask yourself these questions :

About you:
* What type of person is a great candidate for investment?
* Have I met those criteria?

About what you know re investment:
* Who can I meet face to face for some free advice on this?
* Can I trust that person/organisation?

About what you have done:
* Have you got a great business plan?
* Have you entered Shell Live-Wire Grand Ideas Award?
* Have you met with a business advisor in person?
* Have you visited your local business incubators - Business Gateway, Prince's Trust etc etc?

About your business:
* Is it dependent on you as a person, what you can bring to it - or - is it a stand alone product (/invention)?
* Does it need money now for growth or simply to survive?
* Are there non-equity alternatives to investment?
* Are there non-cash for equity alternatives you'd consider?
* What are your accounts like? All ready and prepared?
* What is your current share / ownership structure?



Essentially, if you can't answer all these questions inside and out then you should stay well away from those websites. Why? Because you don't know yourself, your business and therefore you don't know what you're selling. Equally, the investors on the website will not know what they are buying, and that makes you less attractive to them.

Being invested in is not like selling slices of pizza. There is no quick fix. By going out and meeting people who can help you answer these questions (and the thousands of other questions you'd need to know, my list is just the tip of the iceberg) you will become exposed to investors and meet people who can introduce you to angels.

FYI, this level of investment is normally for "seed capital" and comes from an "angel investor" who will often demand a minimum of 25% due to voting rights which can marginalise investors (see Facebook movie). If you're reading this thread at all then you are not ready for venture capital (VC) funding.

Often the best money spent is money not spent at all, do you really need investment?
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ig ig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordlancaster View Post
Not for everyone, but what's the alternative? Apply for Dragons' Den tv show? Worth considering if you're serious about meeting investors.
It's worth noting that Angel's Den was one of the groups specifically criticized when the pay-for-pitch controversy arose a few years ago:

http://www.readwriteweb.com/start/20...to-pitch-p.php

Beyond the ethical issue of charging cash-strapped companies to pitch, there's also a strong conflict of interest arising from a company both offering access to angels and offering pitch advisory and training services.

There are many other approaches to get access to angels including ethically operated angel intermediary services like http://angel.co/ and free networking and mentoring events.

One of the key sources of referrals for angels is via the companies they already invest in, so one of the best approaches is to look for businesses which you respect and are similar to yours (but not direct competitors) and get them to introduce you to their investors.
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red_one red_one is offline
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Just joined this today to get a picture of how the UK entrepreneur scene operates in comparison with Ireland. At the outset it looks like we've got really good government backed supports (e.g. Enterprise Ireland) but one of the things Ireland lacks is much in terms of Angel communities/investors. To that end I joined multiple networks (GoBigNetwork, Angel.co, Angelsoft.net, IrishInvestmentNetwork and VentureGiant).

The GoBigNetwork doesn't charge - neither does Angel.co. I found GoBig full of chancers - mostly US based hocus pocus companies who'll take you on as a "client" to find you investors. Angel.co just looks like yet another social network .. bored of that. AngelSoft attracted a Chinese company with a French agent which when queried by our lawyers disappeared (draw your own conclusions). BTW, AngelSoft was 250 per month!! The IrishInvestmentNetwork has reaped a couple of individuals which we're working through but individuals are a different kind of animal - they want tax incentive schemes set up etc (yes we can do that in IE) but it's a 20k headache to do so. VentureGiant has generated 2 potentials - one an individual and the other a bluechip investor.... Now that's better.

So it's a case of how much is your time worth with the free ones. The expensive ones don't do much either (except cost me unnecessary legal fees and a monthly lump so far) and then there's Venture Giant at 99. It's not free but compared to the others it's not expensive either. One thing I also noticed is that only 40% of proposals on Venture Giant get interest. On the free networks, that's a lot higher (e.g. we got 12 in less than a day) but every last one was a waste of time.

BTW, if you talk to the Irish government agencies about investment networks, the first thing they will tell you is that most of the investors aren't vetted. Which in my experience is totally true but if the potential investors are easy to trace (email addresses, traceable over the net etc) you've got some hope. The contacts we've had on Venture Giant so far have at least been real people and organizations with valid email addresses.

T
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Soda Brade Uk Soda Brade Uk is offline
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Hi Guy's

I found this thread, and I can offer some feedback in regards to Venture Giant. Firstly searching for Finance or Angel Investments can be a mine field, we all know that, and finding one that suits your needs and fits the pocket too can be difficult. I know, we recently decided to open a New company, I am currently the MD of a business, but decided to venture into a slightly different field, as a fledgling company we certainly don't have the capital to lay out, so I was forced to look at Angel Investments.

I have found various on the web, most of which want payment up front, and to perfectly honest I am cautious when it comes to that kind of thing, we all have had issues at some point or another in our careers, where companies want payment upfront without any form of guarantee.

I found Venture Giant and went through their TOS and T&C and to be honest the buy now pay later option suited me, for one if no one replied well at least it wasn't going to cost me money. So I chose to go with VG, and I for one can only but provide positive feedback, I got not 1 Investor but 5, all with in a day of my submission. No fakes, no Cons, and No companies but genuine people looking to invest, we are close the point of sealing our deal, so I can only say that experience as a whole was a pleasant one, VG were very quick to help, and offered loads of assistance, I know a few companies that could take a page out of their book!

I obviously don't speak for VG, but as far as customers go, I'm a very happy one, and I hope all of you share the same pleasant, hassle free experience that I have. The VG team have been great!

Cheers,

Jason
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meisage meisage is offline
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I haven't heard about this but, reading those comments above I don't think I'll pay the sum if it would have been me.
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