Angel Investor

how to become an angel investor

How To Succeed or Fail at Startup Investing

how to become an angel investor

How to be a Successful Startup Angel Investor

The best approaches to being a successful startup angel investor might not always be the most obvious ones, in fact it often starts with the ground rules and guidelines of angel investing. 

Over a 10 year period, successful pre-seed and seed stage angel investors make 3x to 5x on their cohort of investments which is about double the return of index fund public company investing. The rewards are the highest of all investment types, as are the risks, but the risks are manageable. 

There are 3 approaches to be a successful early stage investor – and one sure way to fail. 

Top 3 successful startup angel investing approaches 

  1. Passive investment through a trusted fund or syndicate

If you’re thinking that following the ground rules (noted below) is a ton of work, you’re right. Which is why the #1 approach is to invest in a fund or with a syndicate. In a fund or syndicate, the general partner(s) curate the deal flow, do the hard diligence work, and create “win-win” investable deals that can return the fund 3 to 5 times – or more. Funds consistently invest in 20-40 company cohorts over a 3 year period to mitigate risk and maximize returns. Syndicate investing on a deal by deal basis saves investors work, but on its own, does not mitigate risk across a large cohort in the same way a fund will. Many investors invest in a fund as a baseline and for deal flow, then add capital via syndicates to specific deals to spread risk and/or invest deeper in specific deals where they have more conviction.. 

  1. Active investment through an angel group

If you like the activity of finding companies, listening to pitches, asking questions, and engaging in the diligence process, an angel group may be more appealing. Angel groups share the workload among members, usually divided into committees like the selection, deal flow, due diligence, membership, etc. Some larger groups have paid interns and/or administrators to conduct the research required for screening companies and due diligence. Most angel groups have 2 or 3 options for members to invest in companies that apply to the group a.) direct investment, b.) group fund investment, and/or c.) through deal by deal special purpose vehicles (SPVs). It’s harder to follow all of the ground rules in an angel group, but most are covered – and members must maintain their own discipline around cohort size and investment time horizon. Still, angel groups have a good track record and have a social and networking component that the other approaches can lack. 

  1. Active “DIY” angel investment with self curated deal flow

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to rely on or trust others, then the DIY method is for you. It can prove difficult for a single angel investor to see enough deals to invest solely using this approach. Many fund and angel group investors use this method as a supplemental investing activity, bringing a few extra deals into their personal cohort each year – and spreading their risk. 

In addition, there are some best practices for successful early stage angel investing. 

Startup Angel Investing Best Practices and Ground Rules 

  1. Investment Thesis

Develop a thesis for investment size, opportunity types, and follow-on scenarios 

Successful investors are disciplined in the types of companies in which they invest, how much they invest in each company, and whether or not they will invest more than once in the same company. Your budget for investing will drive the amounts, with many angels investing between 2% and 10% of their net worth. As investors get older, investment percentages in this riskier asset class moves toward the lower end of the spectrum. With a large win, it can result in a “high class problem” of being over allocated. 

  1. Cohort size, Time horizon, and Valuation

Plan to invest in at least 20 companies; 30+ reduces risk and increases returns. The time horizon to deploy funds for a 20+ investment cohort should be 32 to 40 months. Each investment must be able to return at least 30:1, preferably 50:1 or better 

The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future by Sebastian Mallaby tells us that 1 to 3 companies in a fund or cohort of 20-30 companies will make most, if not all of the returns. Even with the best diligence, research and picking, 75% of the cohort will likely fail. Due to the high failure percentage, to make at least a 3x return on the cohort / fund it’s critical to have enough companies and to be sure each one can return at least 30x (including anticipated dilution). 

Let’s look at a typical cohort where 25% of the companies return money to the fund, with a 75% failure rate. For this simple example, our fund size is $1M, making 20 investments of $50k each. 

  • 3x Average Fund / Cohort #1: One company returns 50x, another returns 5x and two more return 3x each, the other companies fail. This fund returns $3M or 3x. 
  • 4x Very Good Fund / Cohort #2: One company returns 50x, another returns 30x and two more return 3x each, the rest go dark, the entire fund returns $4.3M or 4.3x
  • 5x Great Fund / Cohort #3: One company returns 75x, another returns 25x and two more return 1x each, the rest go dark, the entire fund returns $5.1M or 5x 

These examples illustrate why it’s critical that every company can make at least a 30x return. If investors compromise on this metric, it’s very hard to make returns commensurate with the risk. Some investors believe they can beat the Power Law – that they have a superior ability to “pick winners”. Proceed with eyes wide open, understand Power Law math – and you’ll do well. 

  1. Larger Numbers – Better Chances

See 100 companies for every investment made, 250+ is better. 

To get good at picking startups and founders, you need to see a lot of them. It’s just like any other skill – repetition and experience makes investors better. Successful funds and angel investor groups regularly see 100+ deals for each one in which they invest, often the ratio is upwards of 250:1. Joining with a group or fund that attracts high quality founders in large numbers will ensure better investing results. It’s not fun saying “no” so much, but it’s a critical skill to making the fund / cohort return 3x or more. 

Some very large early stage funds and accelerators take the large numbers rules to the extreme. Studies from Right Side Capital Management, 500 Startups, Y Combinator and others show that studious investors who follow the rules have a 75% chance of a 3x return when the cohort size is between 20 and 75 companies. As the cohort size increases, chances of a 3x return increase to 90%+ at a 500 company cohort size and closes in on 100% as the cohort size approaches 2000 companies. The more quality shots investors have on goal, the better. 

  1. Due Diligence, Valuation, and Deal Memos

Develop a due diligence method, be vigilant about it, and independently verify:

  • Founder backgrounds, qualifications, and expertise 
  • Market size: TAM/SAM claims + realism of SOM 
  • All claimed IP 
  • Competition 
  • Traction and customer contracts – talk with customers 
  • Exit multiples for industry 
  • Sensibility of market capture w/r/t exit valuation requirement 

Very few enjoy this critical piece of the investment process. Be sure you, your angel group, and/or your fund / syndicate have access to the research tools to do the job right. The Angel Capital Association recommends at least 40 hours of diligence work for each investment made. Many investments will be partially researched – until a problem is uncovered – then the deal is called off, which increases the average diligence time per closed investment to closer to 80 hours. When the investment is fully researched, diligence is complete, and conviction is reached to make an investment, it should be documented with a deal memo summarizing the research, diligence, and noting the reasons for and risks of the investment. Deal memos become a critical learning tool as the investments make the desired returns – or when they fail. 

Each piece of research is important, but one that is often overlooked is the valuation research. What is the entry price of the investment? How much of the company will the investment purchase? How much dilution will occur as future rounds are raised? What does the exit point have to be (including dilution) for the investment to generate a 50x return? What level of sales does the company have to reach to justify that exit price? What percentage of the market (SAM) does the company have to acquire to hit that sales number? Is it reasonable for any company in the market to own that required percentage of the market (SAM)? Can the founders execute at the level required over the time period to reach that market percentage? 

  1. Putting it all together

Write a deal memo for each investment made to document the details above. 

You can make a great return and have a ton of fun investing in startups. There are few activities that stimulate the brain, the imagination, provide social engagement, and very high returns like startup angel investing. The risk is high, but the rewards are much higher than Private Equity (PE), Hedge Funds, Real Estate, and public stocks – when investments are made correctly. Investing in a fund or with an angel group will not require as much work as DIY, but it’s important to know and understand what is required – even if you don’t DIY. 

Angel and Startup Investing Resources and Opportunities 

StartUpNV provides several options for startup and angel investors. 

  1. AngelNV – team up and learn with other angels. Some but not all of the work is done for you – and you’ll meet dozens of other like minded people investing in an annual conference fund, risking as little as $5k. Find out more at 
  2. FundNV – a $2M pre-seed fund where investors can participate in hearing company pitches, asking questions, and providing feedback to the general partners. Investors don’t have to source deal flow, conduct due diligence, etc. Fund management makes the decisions and manages the $100k per company investments on behalf of its members (aka “limited partners” or LPs) 
  3. Sierra Angels – a traditional membership angel group investing directly and via SPVs 4. 1864 – a $10M see fund similar in structure as FundNV, except making larger investments in more mature companies 
  4. 1864 – a $10M see fund similar in structure as FundNV, except making larger investments in more mature companies
  5. StartUpNV Syndicate – investors in any StartUpNV based fund (and their invited friends) participate in “side car” investments and one-off deals that may not be a fit for the fund or angel group thesis.

About the author, Jeff Saling: 

Owner Jeff Saling start up nv 1

Jeff co-founded StartUpNV (2017), a non-profit state-wide startup accelerator and incubator; FundNV (2020), a pre-seed venture fund; AngelNV (2021), an annual conference seed fund that educates investors; and the 1864 Fund (2023), a seed venture fund.  Since inception, StartUpNV has engaged 1000+ companies, runs 80+ events per year, and has worked with 40 Nevada companies raising $77M+.  He is co-President of the Sierra Angels (2023), one of the nation’s longest operating angel investing groups. Jeff is a founding member and Vice Chair on the NV Governor’s Council on Startups and Venture Capital (2022), worked with NV Lt. Gov Kate Marshall to introduce and pass SB9 (Blue Sky Laws) in the 81st NV Legislature (2021), worked in the 82nd Legislature (2023) with Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager and Cisco Aguilar, Nevada’s Secretary of State to introduce and pass AB75 (Nevada Certified Investor). Since 2018, Jeff teaches ENGR-461 (High Tech Entrepreneurship) during fall semesters in the College of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Jeff was a SaaS startup founder and executive with 4 successful exits by IPO and acquisition between 1992 and 2016. Jeff’s private company professional experience includes leading worldwide sales, SaaS operations, and product development.


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Asian startup founder preparing due diligence on investors.

Understand Investor Expectations: A Pre-Seed Due Diligence Checklist for Founders

Understand Investor Expectations: A Pre-Seed Due Diligence Checklist for Founders

The pre-seed funding stage occurs when startups seek initial outside capital to develop their business ideas, build prototypes, or scale their business. It’s a pivotal moment in a startup’s development and one that sets the stage for seed-stage funding. Companies that seek pre-seed funding need to give investors the means to provide an evaluation that doesn’t waste time and makes the company’s core value shine through.

In truth, the due diligence process goes both ways in pre seed funding. While investors will research the startups best suited to their interests, startups can tailor their pitch decks to better align with these investors’ expectations through research, and can determine more about alignment of the investors and their investment thesis. By doing so, startups gain a better chance of securing needed finances across every stage of the funding lifecycle.

The Pre-Seed Funding Due Diligence Checklist

Illustration of a checklist.

1. Know the Investment Criteria

Startups must speak to the overarching theme and the specific investment criteria (thesis) established by the angel group. Investors often have non-negotiable criteria, and startups that don’t meet these requirements will be cut, often without any feedback as to why. 

Founders must understand and align their venture with the expectations of the investor group before they proceed. Lack of alignment jeopardizes the chances of consideration, and it diminishes the opportunity for reconsideration.

  • Thoroughly research and understand the specific investment criteria.
  • Align the startup with the expectations of the angel group or investor.
  • Prioritize compatibility before proceeding with the application.

2. Highlight Venture Investability

While all investor groups have different pre-seed funding criteria, they tend to seek ventures that exhibit the potential for substantial returns, typically between 20-50 times the initial investment within 8-10 years. 

As such, it’s good to emphasize the potential for “big wins” in the pitch. As a general rule, startups should avoid niches that may not have sufficient market size or face saturation with trendy, short-lived ventures. They should promote the venture as a hot item with big potential for long-term gains.

  • Emphasize scalability and the potential for significant returns.
  • Be mindful of market dynamics and trends in specific niches.
  • Align the stated business model with the investor’s appetite for exponential growth.

3. Get Busy Networking

Proactive engagement with the investment group can impact a startup’s chances. Founders should reach out to publicly listed members of the selection committee to establish early contact and gain insights into what attributes should be pushed in pitch deck messaging. In-person contact is ideal to connect faces with names, but online communication and general company research can yield great results.

  • Actively engage with the chosen investment group.
  • Establish early contact with publicly listed members of the selection committee.
  • Gain insights into the preferences and focus areas of the investor group through strategic networking.

4. Include Business Mechanics

Investors value startups with a defensible position in the market—often referred to as a “moat” that shields the company from easy duplication. Founders should focus on strategies that position their company to dominate the market quickly or possess high switching costs and network effects that solidify their role as a market leader.

  • Develop strategies to establish a defensible position in the market.
  • Emphasize the importance of existing moats to protect against easy duplication.
  • Demonstrate a clear path to market dominance or the creation of high switching costs and network effects.

5. Get the Valuation Right

Getting the valuation right will have a significant impact on the chance to secure funding. Founders should work closely with advisors, utilize valuation methodologies, and avoid common pitfalls of over or undervaluation. A well-calibrated valuation instills confidence of investors and positions the startup for success in subsequent funding rounds.

  • Collaborate with advisors to determine an accurate valuation.
  • Utilize valuation methodologies and don’t shoot in the dark.
  • Strive for a well-calibrated and realistic valuation that inspires investor confidence. 
  • Check out StartUpNV’s Valuation Calculator.

Preparation Improves the Odds of Securing Pre Seed Funding

While this checklist provides a fairly comprehensive guide for startup founders who navigate pre-seed funding, note that each funding journey is unique. Founders may benefit from additional guidance tailored to their specific circumstances. 

They should  seek mentorship, engage with industry experts, and leverage networking opportunities to supplement the checklist and enhance the overall approach. After all, what is pre seed funding due diligence if not the perfect opportunity to hammer out problems before the company kicks off?

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Holiday Rush

Time Management Tips For Entrepreneurs In 2024

Time Management Tips for Entrepreneurs in 2024

Stepping into 2024, founders may feel the whirlwind of post-holiday demands. The new year is supposed to be a time of rejuvenation and fresh starts, but for entrepreneurs, every day is a new challenge. Below, we offer time management tips for entrepreneurs, insights on how to prioritize precious work hours, and how to juggle multiple tasks without sacrificing work-life balance.

Set Priorities: Best Practices for Time Optimization

Embrace the Eisenhower Matrix

3D Man sitting on hourglass looking at a laptop

The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as Eisenhower’s Urgency and Importance Matrix, provides a structured, four-quadrant framework that prioritizes tasks. Founders can make use of this framework at any stage of their startup. In the ‘Do First Quadrant’ individuals address critical and urgent tasks and use techniques like timers to stay focused and drive progress. Meanwhile, the ‘Schedule Quadrant’ focuses on significant yet non-urgent tasks to encourage proactive planning.

The ‘Delegate Quadrant’ helps leaders effectively manage task distribution. Leaders assign tasks based on expertise and alignment with organizational goals to foster collaboration and accountability through clear communication channels. Finally, the ‘Don’t Do Quadrant’ is a place to eliminate unproductive habits. This makes it easier to stay focused and juggle multiple tasks.

Implement Time Blocking

Time blocking is a helpful way to effectively manage multiple tasks with a busy schedule. Founders and staff managers can allocate specific time blocks for tasks, meetings, breaks, and focused work sessions.

For example, each Monday morning from 9:00-11:00 AM can be just for strategic planning. This time block allows staff members to review business objectives, assess market trends, and consider new goals. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, from 1:00-4:00 PM can be set aside for product development, product market fit questions, and other tasks.

This structure helps staff know what to expect across the work week and mentally prepares them for the creative work to come.

Focus on the Right Tasks

Founders should test and apply a variety of prioritization strategies to find the ones that best fit their team’s business goals. Buy-in from teams is important, but it’s also important that founders don’t run with the first framework they find. Every hour spent on a task is an hour that can’t be spent elsewhere, so it pays to identify high value tasks and apply efforts there.

For example, the oft-cited Pareto Principle states that 20% of activities produce 80% of outcomes. The founder should identify and prioritize these high value tasks, then allocate resources accordingly.

Define Clear Objectives for Each Time Block

Establish clear objectives for each time block to ensure that each section becomes a productive time slot. Without a clear focus, time blocks can turn into unproductive jam sessions where ideas are shared but no actual progress is made.

Apply Productivity Techniques

Everyone has their own preferences for how work gets done, but founders can integrate effective time management techniques into their company culture to make best practices an institutional value. Consider the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo, or the Eat the Frog Principle, popularized by Brian Tracy. These methods help workers stay focused throughout the day and ensure that the most high value tasks are made priorities in the workday.

Incorporate Buffer Time and Flexibility

Time management tips for entrepreneurs follow a common theme: flexibility. Founders should incorporate buffer time within the schedule to accommodate unexpected challenges or interruptions. They should allocate additional time for unforeseen tasks and try to stay one step ahead of the schedule. This minimizes the risk of unexpected roadblocks that creates a schedule time crunch. In this way, the buffer time remains a top strategy to balance a busy schedule with a personal life.

Delegate Tasks: Empower the Team for Success

An oft-cited mantra for executives isnever be the smartest person in the room’. A founder should surround themselves with trusted partners who bring their own unique perspectives and skill sets to the table. When a founder can delegate with confidence, it becomes far easier to manage the startup’s to-do list.

The Last Word on Productivity

A final word on time management tips for entrepreneurs: Don’t neglect self-care! Personal management is part of being an entrepreneur, and founder burnout can spread like wildfire among lower level staff. Founders should do themselves, and their startups, a favor and set aside some time each week for rest and rejuvenation, and incorporate regular breaks to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Visit StartupNV for more tips for success in 2024!

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Angel Investing vs. Venture Capital: What’s Best for Your Nevada Startup

Angel Investing vs. Venture Capital: What’s Best for a Nevada Startup


For most startups, there’s a point where self-funding the business isn’t an option anymore, and founders are often left with the choice between angel investing vs. venture capital. Either they need to scale but lack the liquidity to do so, or they need to cover operational costs. Whatever the reason, funding is needed to keep the dream alive. 

New startups usually have to rely on personal networks like friends and family to get startup capital. They may apply for a bank loan. But there’s no guarantee that close friends, family, or a loan can supply enough money to stay afloat. Sometimes new entrepreneurs must approach private investors. 

Investment funding may come from two main sources: angel investors and venture capitalists. A startup needs to ask the right investor- startup fit questions to determine which is the right choice and learn about the potential risks and benefits of each option.

Angel Investing vs. Venture Capital

Angel investing and venture capital (VC) are private fundraising options for businesses that want to sidestep traditional banking institutions. While there are some similarities between them, they operate differently. Everything from the maximum investment offered, to expectations on returns, to the terms and amount of due diligence performed vary.

What is Venture Capital?

Raising venture capital funding operates outside of traditional banking. It’s a private equity solution through which startup businesses receive anywhere from several hundred thousand to millions of dollars in exchange for an ownership stake in the company. To offer these amounts, venture capitalist firms pool funds from several high-net-worth investors (including corporations and individuals) and create an investment portfolio.

What Is Angel Investing?

Angel investors are individuals who fund startups in exchange for an equity stake in the business that’s realized at an exit. In the US, an investor must have a net worth of at least $1 million excluding the equity in the primary residence or have earned at least $200,000 for the past two consecutive years for single investors or $300,000 for a couple. This is known as the SEC’s definition of an “accredited investor.” Usually, angels are the first outside backers after an entrepreneur exhausts friends and family, bank loans, and personal reserves. Angel investments still qualify as “pre-seed or seed investments” because the funding is usually lesser amounts with the average being $25,000 to $50,000.

There are also angel groups and syndicates. Angel groups can operate in a number of ways that include funds into which all angels invest, investments that are made with the approval of a minimum number of angels or each individual angel making his/her own investment decision.  Angel syndicates may pool a minimum investment from each participating member, which allows the group to invest larger lump sums in a single deal or “spread the wealth” across several deals. Syndicates can also be a simple network or angels or angel groups who share deal flow and have no rules attached. The difference is important because pooled investment funds, whether within an angel group or as a syndicate, allow these groups to operate like small-scale VC firms. Still, the total investment per deal is smaller than a VC would offer.

Similarities and Differences Between VCs and Angels

With both VCs and angels, you approach outside investors for funding. Both groups will have preset criteria to determine whether your deal is viable and coincide with their portfolio and investment goals.

The Similarities

Both VCs and angels require information to assess a potential deal. The information is most often offered in the form of a pitch deck. The pitch deck should cover the basics of the business, including what problem the startup is solving, the market potential, competitors, how they sell to customers and what they charge, any traction, the team, and what they’re asking in terms of investment or support. It should demonstrate how the investors will likely earn a return. Both groups are early investors and usually agree to invest before or after achieving major financial milestones. Funding is invested in exchange for a stake in the company with the expectation of a financial return once a liquidity event occurs. 

A liquidity event can be acquisition by another company or a future funding deal like series A or B funding rounds, or an initial public offering (IPO). Series A and B funding rounds (a common angel exit) refers to bigger investments that are still pre-IPO but occur after seed funding is exhausted. IPOs occur when businesses become publicly traded on the stock market (a common VC exit). The most common exit for startups is acquisition by another company, or failure.

The Differences

When pitting angel investing vs. venture capital, there are a few main areas in how the two deals differ:

  • The funding amount
  • The equity stake and return expectations
  • Startup position within the business life cycle 
  • Risk exposure and startup readiness

Because Angels typically offer smaller investments than VCs do, they are more open to funding earlier-stage startups, including at the proof-of-concept stage. Because of this, the risk is greater, and deals may be held for longer periods. Likewise, they may choose to be more hands-on with the startup to safeguard their investment.

By contrast, VCs look for faster growth and will often consider only those deals with larger funding requests—the series A and B rounds. Although the risk is inherently higher with bigger sums, VCs will require established track records like year-over-year financial growth, secured business partnerships, or top talent at the founder level, like serial startup founders, previous influential angel investors, and industry insiders as advisors. As a result, early-stage venture capital firms  usually fund startups after proof-of-concept stage.

Which Funding Source is Right for You?

Criteria such as business stage and market potential will automatically determine which funding option founders can pursue. VCs rarely consider early startups since they prefer more established businesses with a verified market share, revenue, and growth potential. Startups should focus on angels who are open to funding early stage businesses. Founders can take the guesswork out of sourcing investors by partnering with StartUp Nevada. With seven education programs for entrepreneurs, and an accelerator that invests in early stage companies, we help nurture business ideas. We also help educate founders about angel investing vs. venture capital opportunities and offer access to venture capital in Las Vegas through our in-depth investor network.

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Angel Investor photo - Happy businessman with angel wings over gray background

Building an Angel Network within Incubator and Accelerator Communities

How to Build an Angel Network With Our Incubator Community

Nevadans will be the first to tell you that our state’s startup scene is experiencing an unprecedented surge of energy. With no state income tax and significantly lower barriers to entry compared to most regions in the U.S., Nevada has become a hotspot for investment. But the benefits of investing in Nevada aren’t just about tax perks. The Nevada community and StartUpNV are ideal locales to build valuable connections—and bridge an existing gap between investors and the startups they support.

Bridging the Gap with StartUpNV


As Nevada’s only statewide startup incubator and accelerator, we’ve noticed a unique challenge: a perceived gap between angel investors and startups. Angels may claim there are no worthwhile deals to be found; entrepreneurs may lament the scarcity of investors willing to write checks. These, however, are misconceptions.

StartUpNV is here to shine a light on these issues. We organize startups into a dynamic marketplace where the most promising ventures rise to the top. We make these opportunities available to forward-thinking angels who possess the foresight and strategy to identify and back the winners. We do this through a variety of programming, but in this article, we focus on one tactic in particular: how to build an angel network.

Build Your Network with a Startup Incubator

Angel groups provide a structured framework for high-net-worth individuals or accredited investors to discover, evaluate, and fund promising entrepreneurial ventures. Maybe we’re biased, but we recommend that all founders tap these angel networks.. It’s one of the best tactics to boost startup success, both for seasoned founders and first-timers.

These networks provide a sounding board where minds come together and evaluate opportunities, review product/market fit, and share business resources. If you team up with the right startup accelerator community, such as StartUpNV, you can unlock unique opportunities that startups won’t find anywhere else.

Improve Diversification

Angel investors and entrepreneurs can diversify their portfolios when they participate in investments offered through accelerator partnerships. For example, consider FundNV, a for-profit pre-seed venture capital fund for StartUpNV accelerator companies.

FundNV invests $50,000 per company through a convertible note or a SAFE, both of which offer founder-friendly terms.. This type of diversification minimizes individual risk and increases investment success.

Partners in Due Diligence

Angel networks can foster rigorous due diligence processes and evaluate investment opportunities, especially when an investor has particular goals in mind.

For example, check out the 1864 Fund, a $10M seed-stage fund affiliated with StartUpNV’s programming. This fund provides a verified way for investors to support talent outside of more conventional enclaves because it focuses on opportunities in the American interior. We call this a “gold zone” where deals are priced low and returns have great potential. We aim to connect investors with these types of opportunities through a collaborative approach that connects the right investor to the right deal at the right moment.

Learn From Those Who Came Before

A recurring theme among accelerator programs is that members can get more done when they harness collective knowledge. Some accelerator programs are designed to help members do just that. Our AngelNV investor education program is a great example. 

Here, investors have the unique opportunity to learn from seasoned startup investors within a secure group environment, perfect for those new to startup investing. AngelNV brings together a mix of first-time and seasoned angels to invest collectively, and this creates an ideal space for knowledge exchange.

Attendees benefit from a conference format that goes beyond theory; it provides hands-on engagement with startups seeking investment. This approach enables individuals to kick start their journey as they build a diverse portfolio of startup investments.

Boost Deal Flow and Negotiating Power

Angel networks can facilitate strong connections within  a region’s startup ecosystem. Members benefit from a broader range of investment opportunities and the potential to pool financial resources, which supports a collective approach that yields better results. 

As an added effect, these networks can leverage more substantial negotiating power when they deal with investment candidates. This can lead to more favorable terms for the network’s investors. These are the types of insights and benefits we strive to bring to all members of our program, and we always strive to improve our ability to connect.

Whether you’re an investor, a founder, or a tech enthusiast, StartUpNV is here to help. From understanding different types of venture capital strategies to learning how to calculate pre- money valuation, our programs will give you an edge to navigate the investment landscape.

Discover the multitude of investment opportunities available through our startup incubator and let’s make Nevada’s ecosystem flourish.

Our AngelNV 4 Investor track is coming January 23rd. Sign up now!

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StartUp NV - Seed Funding Tips and Strategies for Nevada Startup Founders

Seed Funding: Tips and Strategies for Nevada Startup Founders

Seed Funding: Tips And Strategies For Nevada Startup Founders

Seed funding is often the jumping off point that brings an entrepreneurial startup from idea to realization. Nevada’s growing startup landscape offers both challenges and opportunities for businesses big and small,and reliable early-stage capital will help startups scale within crowded marketplaces when they need it most.

Organizations like StartUpNV provide support to founders who could use some seed money to get started.

Understand What Makes a Startup 'Venture Fundable'


Venture capitalists (VCs) are on the lookout for more than just innovative ideas. They know that success is more likely measured by great execution by “A” level founders in a large market – on a solution that solves a large and growing “pain”, or problem.

According to the State of VC in 2023 (Forbes/TrueBridge Capital Partners), plummeting valuations have caused public market investors to deprioritize promises of future growth and emphasize focus on profitability. Modern-day startups must assess their pre-seed strategy to make sure they don’t head toward long-term failure.

What makes a startup venture fundable today?
  • Product/market fit: a clear demand in the market for a product or service
  • Large addressable market: vast potential for growth and profit
  • Competitive advantage: the differentiator(s) that make a company stand out from the competition  
  • Strong founding team: a team that can execute the vision and adapt to challenges, ideally with demonstrated relevant experience

Good ideas turn into great businesses through comprehensive research. This is why due diligence must precede the quest for seed funding.

  • Understand customer needs: Understand your target market and don’t just assume their needs. Direct feedback helps you refine your offerings
  • Evaluate competitors: Research into your potential competition will help you spot market gaps to position your startup uniquely

A venture-worthy idea is only half the battle. According to data collected in 2021 by CB Insights, 38% of startups fail because they can’t raise new capital, and 35% fail because there’s just no market, no need, for their product or service.

How to Build a Startup that Resonates with the Market

For a startup to succeed, it must align with a market opportunity. A startup must create relevant solutions for urgent, unmet market needs. Even that’s not always enough in today’s fast-paced, digital world.

Modern businesses (especially startups) must stay agile, anticipate trends, and continually reinvent their offerings to remain relevant. Harvard Business School recommends some strategies for staying relevant. One of these is to leapfrog the competition’s innovation: take over an industry or sub-industry with an exciting new service or product—and do it better than the competition does.

Market Need and Scalability are Essential

Show potential investors that you understand the market and the potential for business growth. This is critical! You must make sure your startup addresses a current market gap,that it’s sustainable, and primed for future expansion. This step must precede seed-money acquisition. 

Today, these elements are non-negotiable for startups looking for seed funding:
  • Addresses urgent market needs: A product that solves pressing challenges will always be in demand
  • Scalability: Can your business model handle growth both now and down the road? One year from now? Five years from now? Be sure it can before you seek significant investments
  • Stay updated: Continual improvements based on feedback and technological advancements keep your product or service relevant to a shifting market

Founders must remember that investors don’t merely back ideas. They invest in potential and foresight.

Preparation Before Pitching to Investors

Crafting a pitch that stands out is an art. One successful strategy is to combine data-driven insights with your startup’s passion-filled story. Couple this with unique, relevant market dynamics to give your pitch more local sticking power. Only then will you have a strong foundation for your pitch.

Things to consider as you craft your pitch for investors:
  • Narrate a compelling story: A well-told narrative showcases the value and potential of your startup, and it creates a memorable impression
  • Know your local (or global) landscape: Familiarize yourself with Nevada’s unique market dynamics. This will demonstrate a deep understanding of your target audience and existing competition
  • Customize your approach: Each investor is different. Make sure your pitch resonates with their specific interests rather than copy-and-paste your pitch from investor to investor 

Know Your Seed Funding Options


There are several avenues in Nevada to secure seed funding. This great state hosts many events that offer startups both exposure and funding opportunities. Here are some options:

  • Venture capital: traditional firms looking to invest in high-growth startups
  • Angel investors: individuals who offer capital in exchange for equity or convertible debt
  • Crowdfunding: on-line platforms that let you present your idea to the public
  • Grants and competitions: research grant opportunities and attend local events in Nevada that offer startups both exposure and funding opportunities
  • Innovative financial tools: Convertible notes and Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs) provide flexibility in early-stage financing

Organizations like StartUpNV are invaluable in your Nevada startup journey. They offer resources like no-cost educational programs for founders, pitch events, and investor networks tailored to Nevada startups.

Final Tips on Securing Seed Funding

Build genuine, lasting relationships in the investment community. According to a 2017 LinkedIn global survey, while 79% of respondents thought professional networking was valuable to career progression, only 48% actually keep in touch with their network.

  • Relationships matter: Network, not just for funds, but to foster long-term investor relationships. This is very important!
  • Perseverance: Every rejection is a step closer to a “yes.” Refine and keep pitching

Navigate the path to seed funding with research, preparation, and resilience. With the right strategies, and with support from platforms like StartUpNV, Nevada’s founders can secure the investment they need to propel their startups forward.

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The Ultimate Guide to Finding Angel Investors in Las Vegas

angel investors las vegas

Are you an entrepreneur in Las Vegas looking for angel investors to fund your business venture? Look no further! In this article, we will provide a step-by-step approach to finding angel investors in Las Vegas. Whether you have just started your business or are looking to expand, securing angel investment can be a game-changer for your entrepreneurial journey. 

Las Vegas, renowned for its vibrant energy and thriving business environment, is also home to a dynamic network of angel investors eager to support innovative ideas. Let’s delve into the ultimate guide to connecting with these essential backers and fueling your business dreams.

Refine Your Business Plan and Pitch

First and foremost, it’s crucial to hone your business plan and craft a compelling pitch that leaves angel investors in awe. Developing a compelling value proposition is key to attracting the attention of potential investors. Clearly present how your product or service addresses a problem or meets a need in the market. Highlight the distinct features and benefits that set your business apart from competitors. Show investors what makes your idea innovative and why it has the potential to be successful.

Crafting a compelling elevator pitch is equally essential when seeking angel investment. Your pitch should be concise, persuasive, and captivating. Start with a solid opening statement that grabs the listener’s attention and clearly communicates the problem you are solving. 

Make sure to emphasize the market opportunity and how your business addresses it effectively. Use concrete examples or case studies, if possible, to illustrate your point and provide credibility. Finally, end with a call-to-action that prompts investors to take further interest in learning more about your venture.

Identify Potential Angel Investors in Las Vegas

Once you’ve perfected your business plan and created an irresistible pitch, it’s time to uncover potential angel investors in Las Vegas. Keep in mind that the availability of specific investors may change over time, so it’s essential to do your research to find the most up-to-date information. Here are some strategies for identifying potential angel investors:

    • Local Angel Investor Groups: Las Vegas likely has local angel investor groups or networks. Look for organizations like the “Las Vegas Angel Network” or similar groups. These groups often host pitch events and provide a venue for startups to connect with potential investors.



    • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Events: Attend startup and entrepreneurship events, conferences, and meetups in Las Vegas. This includes events organized by chambers of commerce, industry associations, and startup-focused organizations. These events attract both investors and entrepreneurs.


    • University Networks: If there are universities in Las Vegas, they might have entrepreneurship or innovation centers that connect students, alumni, and local business leaders, including potential angel investors.


    • Online Platforms: Use online platforms like AngelList, Gust, and LinkedIn. Create a compelling profile highlighting your business, and actively engage with potential investors in relevant groups or discussions.

Remember that building relationships with potential angel investors in Las Vegas takes time and persistence. Be prepared to showcase your business’s value, demonstrate growth potential, and communicate how your investment will make a difference. Always conduct thorough due diligence on potential investors and ensure the terms align with your business goals.

Build Relationships with Potential Investors

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Angel Investors in Las Vegas

Building relationships with potential angel investors in Las Vegas or any other location requires a strategic approach. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you effectively engage with investors and increase your chances of success:

    • Request Introductory Meetings: Initiate contact with potential investors through professional channels, such as emails or networking events. Clearly express your interest in discussing your business idea and how it aligns with their investment focus. Highlight the unique aspects of your venture that make it compelling and worthy of their attention.


    • Coffee Chats and Personal Connections: Once you secure a meeting, whether it’s a formal presentation or a casual coffee chat, focus on building a personal connection. Show genuine interest in the investor’s background and experience. Ask questions about their previous investments, vision for the future, and any insights they might have. This demonstrates that you value their expertise and seek a mutually beneficial partnership.


    • Showcase Your Business Idea: During these initial interactions, clearly and succinctly present your business idea. Highlight the problem you’re solving, your target market, your competitive advantage, and your growth potential. Be prepared to answer questions and resolve potential concerns the investor may have.


    • Gauge Investor Interest: Pay attention to the investor’s reactions and questions. Are they engaged and curious? Do they see the potential in your idea? If they express genuine interest, it’s a positive sign. If they have reservations, use this as an opportunity to address their concerns and provide additional information.


    • Follow-Up Communication: After the initial meeting, follow up with a thank-you note, summarizing key points from your discussion. Share any additional materials they may have requested, such as a detailed business plan or financial projections. Regularly update them on your progress, milestones reached, and any significant developments.


    • Demonstrate Passion and Expertise: Investors invest not only in ideas but also in the people behind them. Clearly convey your passion for your venture, deep understanding of the industry, and commitment to making the business successful. Show that you’re willing to put in the effort and adapt to challenges.

Remember, building relationships with potential investors is a gradual process. It requires patience, persistence, and adapting to each investor’s preferences and needs. As you continue to engage with them, focus on the long-term value of nurturing these relationships, even if they don’t result in immediate funding. Building a strong investor network can provide benefits beyond just financial support, including mentorship, industry insights, and future partnerships.

Prepare a Comprehensive Investment Proposal

Preparing a comprehensive investment proposal is essential when seeking funding from angel investors in Las Vegas. A well-structured and compelling presentation can significantly increase your chances of securing investment. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a standout investment proposal:

    1. Executive Summary: Start with a concise outline of your business. Summarize your unique value proposition, target market, key products or services, and the amount of funding you’re seeking. Make it engaging and captivating, as this is the first thing investors will read.
    2. Business Concept: Clearly explain your business idea and what differentiates it from competitors. Highlight the problem you’re solving, the market need, and your innovative solution. Use real-world examples and anecdotes to make the concept relatable.
    3. Market Opportunity: Provide a detailed analysis of the market you’re entering. Include market size, growth trends, and any gaps or opportunities you address. Showcase your understanding of the industry and how your business fits into the larger ecosystem.
    4. Target Audience: Describe your ideal customer profile. Explain their pain points and why they would choose your solution over existing alternatives. Share data on customer demographics, behaviors, and preferences.
    5. Competitive Landscape: Identify critical competitors and perform a competitive analysis. Highlight your distinct selling points and key differentiators. Show how you stack up against the competition and why customers will choose you.
    6. Revenue Model: Clearly outline how your business generates revenue. Explain your pricing strategy, sales channels, and any subscription models or recurring revenue streams. Provide a roadmap for scaling your revenue over time.
    7. Financial Projections: Present detailed financial projections, including revenue forecasts, expense breakdowns, and profit margins. Use realistic assumptions derived from thorough market research. Create a clear, easy-to-understand visual representation of these projections.
    8. Use of Funds: Specify how you’ll use the investment you seek. Break down the allocation of funds for different purposes, such as product development, marketing, hiring, or expanding to new markets.
    9. Risk Assessment and Mitigation: Address your business’s potential risks and challenges. Be transparent and show that you’ve thought through these issues. Present strategies and contingency plans for mitigating these risks.

By following these steps and tailoring your proposal to the specific interests and expectations of angel investors in Las Vegas, you’ll be well-prepared to make a compelling case for why your business deserves their investment.

Close the Deal and Secure Angel Investment

To successfully secure angel investment, it’s essential to seal the deal by effectively presenting your comprehensive investment proposal and demonstrating the strong potential for high returns. Start by focusing on developing trust with the angel investors. Show them that you are knowledgeable about your industry and have a deep understanding of your target market. Share success stories or case studies that highlight how your business model has worked in the past. This will help build credibility and reassure the investors that their money is in capable hands.

Once you have established trust, it’s time to employ effective negotiation strategies. Be ready to negotiate terms that are mutually beneficial for both parties involved. This may include discussing equity stakes, board seats, or other forms of involvement from the angel investor. Show flexibility and willingness to find common ground while still protecting your interests.

Remember, securing angel investment is not just about getting funding; it’s also about finding a partner who believes in your vision and can provide valuable insights and connections. Approach each negotiation with a mindset of collaboration rather than competition, and be open to feedback and suggestions from the angel investor. Demonstrating professionalism, knowledge, trustworthiness, and willingness to work together increases your chances of closing the deal and securing the angel investment needed to fuel your business growth in Las Vegas.

The Bottom Line

Finding angel investors in Las Vegas requires a strategic approach and thorough preparation. Understanding the local investment landscape is essential to identify aligned investors. A polished business plan and pitch, effective networking, and a comprehensive investment proposal increase chances. Strong relationships, transparent communication, and legal documentation are vital for a successful partnership and securing startup funding.

At StartUP NV, we are here to guide you every step of the way on your journey to securing angel investors in Las Vegas. If you’re ready to take your startup to the next stage, contact us today!

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What to Look For in an Angel Investor Near Me

Are you an entrepreneur looking for funding to bring your business idea to life? If so, you may be considering working with an angel investor. These individuals invest their money in startups and small businesses in exchange for equity. But how do you know which angel investor is right for you? 

In this article, we’ll explore what to look for in an angel investor near you based on their experience, expertise, and track record. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Find an Investor Who Shares Your Vision and Passion

To find an investor who shares your vision and passion, look for someone local who believes in your creation. It’s essential to have a common goal with your potential investor and a personal connection where they understand the value of your business. This way, they’ll be more invested in helping you succeed.

When considering potential investors, examining their network and possible resources is essential. A well-connected investor can help open doors for your business that may not have been available otherwise. They may also have access to valuable industry insights that can benefit your company.

While finding an investor passionate about your vision is crucial, don’t forget to consider their industry experience. An experienced investor can offer invaluable guidance based on what’s worked for them. By taking all these factors into account, you’ll be better equipped to find the right angel investor for your business needs.

Consider an Investor's Industry Experience

Evaluating an investor’s familiarity with the industry is essential before partnering with them. It will help you ensure they have the necessary experience and knowledge to guide you through potential challenges specific to your industry.

When considering angel investors, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Look For Networking Opportunities: An experienced investor who has been in the industry for a while is likely to have a robust network of contacts that could also benefit you. They may be able to introduce you to potential customers, partners, or suppliers, which can help grow your business faster.
  • Consider Personal Connection: Besides their professional background, evaluating how well you get along with the investor is essential. After all, this person will be involved in your business and decisions that impact your daily life. You want someone whom you can trust and feel comfortable communicating with openly.
  • Assess Their Track Record: Once you’ve evaluated an investor’s industry experience and personal fit, it’s time to research their track record. Look at their past investments and see if they’ve succeeded in helping other companies grow or achieve profitability. This information can give you a better idea of what kind of support they’ll offer when working together.

By considering these factors when evaluating potential investors, you’ll increase your chances of finding someone who shares your passion and has the experience needed to guide your company toward success.

Research an Investor’s Track Record

Researching an investor’s track record is essential in evaluating their potential as a valuable partner for your business. Here are some key factors to consider and steps to take when researching an investor’s track record:

  1. Identify Potential Investors: Begin by creating a list of potential investors who align with your industry and investment needs. You can gather this information from various sources, such as industry events, online platforms, and venture capital databases, or by seeking recommendations from colleagues and business networks.
  2. Gather Information: Once you have identified potential investors, gather as much information as possible about each investor. Visit their websites, read their investment theses, and review their investment portfolios to gain insights into their investment strategies and areas of expertise.
  3. Evaluate Track Record: Assess the investor’s past performance by examining their investment track record. Look for indicators of success, such as the number of investments made, the number of successful exits, and the overall return on investment (ROI) achieved. Consider factors such as the duration of their investments and the companies they have previously invested in, particularly those similar to your business.
  4. Reputation and Network: Assess the investor’s reputation within the industry. Look for feedback or testimonials from entrepreneurs who have previously worked with the investor. Evaluate their network and connections to determine if they can provide valuable introductions or support beyond financial investment.
  5. Meet and Interview Investors: Arrange meetings with potential investors to discuss their investment philosophy, vision for your business, and overall approach to supporting startups. It will allow you to gain deeper insights into their expertise, communication style, and alignment with your business goals.

Remember that while track record and financial capacity are essential, other factors such as the investor’s expertise, alignment with your business vision, and ability to add value beyond capital should also be considered. Take your time, conduct thorough research, and choose an investor who aligns with your long-term goals and can contribute to your company’s growth and success.

Assess an Investor’s Financial Capacity

Angel Investor Near Me

To determine if an investor can financially support your business, you should assess their past investment decisions and track record. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating an angel investor’s financial capacity:

  • Risk Tolerance: Every investor has a different degree of risk tolerance. Some may prefer low-risk investments, while others may be willing to take on more risk in exchange for higher returns. Understanding an investor’s risk tolerance can help you gauge if they’ll be able to handle the ups and downs of investing in a startup.
  • Network Connections: Angel investors often bring more than just money to the table – they can also provide valuable connections and introductions. It’s essential to identify whether or not an angel investor has a robust network and if those connections align with your business goals.
  • Geographic Location and Investment Portfolio: Where an angel investor is located can impact their ability to invest in your business. If they’re based too far away, it could make communication difficult or even hinder potential collaborations. Additionally, examining an angel investor’s existing investment portfolio can give insight into potential conflicts of interest.

Assessing these factors will give you a better understanding of whether or not an angel investor can provide the financial support your business needs. Once you’ve determined that, it’s time to evaluate their terms and conditions for investment before moving forward with any agreements.

Evaluate an Investor’s Terms and Conditions

When considering an investment opportunity, you should carefully scrutinize the terms and conditions set forth by the potential investor. It will help you ensure that their expectations align with your business goals. One factor to consider is negotiating power. Does the investor have a lot of leverage in negotiations? If so, they may be able to impose unfavorable terms on you, which could hinder your growth and success.

Another important consideration is the legal implications of the agreement. Are there any clauses that could put your business at risk or potentially harm it in some way? For example, if there’s a clause giving the investor too much control over decision-making, this could limit your ability to grow and expand as you see fit. It’s essential to have a lawyer review these terms and conditions before signing on with an investor.

Evaluating an investor’s terms and conditions is crucial when searching for angel investors near you. Make sure to consider factors such as negotiating power and legal implications before committing to any deal. By doing so, you can help safeguard your business interests and increase your chances of long-term success.

The Bottom Line

So, you’re on the hunt for angel investors near you. You know what to look for now: someone who shares your vision and passion, has industry experience, a solid track record, financial capacity, and favorable terms and conditions.

But remember that finding the right angel investor is not just about ticking off boxes on a checklist. It’s essential to build a relationship with your potential investor. After all, this person will invest in your business and you as an entrepreneur.

At StartUP NV, we offer expert guidance in finding the perfect angel investor for your business. Don’t wait; take the next step towards success, and contact us today for personalized support!

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