After starting and running a Retail/Ecom startup for 4 years, I got interested in the Startup and the Investor Ecosystem. That experience exposed me to the startup community, investor ecosystem, and acceleration programs. I took this knowledge when I returned to my career as a tech executive and continued to widen and expand my engagements with the Ecosystem not only in Africa but also in the Middle East and the US. I became interested in investing.
My desire was to be an angel investor; I have always wanted to go beyond rooting for or supporting various startups but to also invest. I have always struggled with how best to determine which startups to invest in. For years, it was mostly a family and friend activity. Where someone passionate and experienced about solving a problem would reach out to the people within their close circle to invest.
I needed a better approach to investing: a framework that allows me to both qualitatively and quantitatively assess opportunities, assign a risk value and make a decision. One that can support me to track it and confirm that the startup is on or off track. I knew it had to be beyond Founder-Market fit or using my sales experience to access startups for market intelligence and analysis only. That did not give enough breadth to consider factors like their ability to raise funds. Also finding a community of investors I can learn from and Network with was also a plus.
In the past year or so, I decided to take angel Investing seriously and started doing research, acquiring knowledge about this. I have always leaned towards tech and tech enabled startups. So the All-One Podcast was one of my first great finds. Then, I found the Tekedia Capital Investing group and recently the Angel Squad Network (a spin-off from the Hustle Fund).
A great source for deal flows is by joining a syndicate or mentoring at an accelerator. I found all the aforementioned platforms insightful. Tekedia gave me access to deal flows on the African Market, while Hustle Fund’s Angel Squad is mostly US and Asian Startups.
Some books have also helped my investor journey. I just finished reading “Venture Deals” and it explains many venture terms from both an entrepreneur and investor perspective.
At the end of this quarter, I invested in some startups. A big shout out to the Angel Squad of the Hustle Fund. The Hustle Fund Investment framework was a great structured frame for deal assessment for me. Also, I have learnt so much from the team Elizabeth Yin. Brian Nichols and Eric Bahn and investor community; they truly have democratized investing in startups. Reach out, if you are interested to Angel invest or in any of these communities. I am happy to share some more.
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