Frustrations of early stage investing

imgresI had a moment this past week.  I got angry and frustrated at investors who seem to come together as a group. I only shared that with two people involved in this particular raise and then one who I have known forever who happened to be my next call.  The most difficult part of early stage investing is raising capital.  Certainly some companies get quick momentum and raise rounds quickly while others find it a real slog.

I have been at this for about 9 years.  Everyone has their own thesis and sweet spots.  Many (although early stage investors) have a hard time making leaps into the unknown but want to invest in companies that are using formulas that they have seen work in the past.  I have found that there are few who like what I like or see what I see.  As my father says, that is why they make vanilla ice cream.  He prefers chocolate.

Many of the companies I invested in 4 years ago who slogged it through are now raising solid Series A from great investors.  After each closing my conversations with the founders usually start the same way…remember when you couldn’t get anyone to believe in your vision and essentially believe in you.

Someone asked me why I get up and do this every day.  What is it that makes you feel like you are doing something worthwhile.  It is those founders who had different visions that nobody else saw but for some reason I did and was willing to throw our capital and my force behind it that have gone on to raise that big check and are growing significantly month after month.  That is insanely rewarding.

With that comes the growth of economies and jobs which I really believe in.  One of Fred’s first investments was in a Buffalo company.  They grew to be the second largest employer in Buffalo at that time.  Creating jobs is powerful.

I am over my temper tantrum but it part of the journey as an angel investor.  Onward.