If you don’t know what it means to be an angel investor, don’t be one

I got an email from a founder about being held over a barrel by a few male investors who are egregious, took advantage, are disrespectful and have zero clue what being an angel investor means.  I have been in this movie before and it sucks. There seems to be a romantic myth that if you have access capital to invest in a start-up be it a bakery, a restaurant, a software company or a hardware company that miraculously without being helpful and being unresponsive that somehow your money will be worth several times more than when the original investment was made in less than a year.

A founder who has started businesses that are not your classic tech start-up tend to have a much harder time raising capital.  Many times they end up with assholes just like the ones I have described above.  Interesting enough, many of those angels have been financially successful but are clueless what it means to be an angel investor.  They tend to be so arrogant that they take advantage at every angle just because they think they know more than everyone else in the room.  They prey on founders who needed cash and poured their hearts and souls into a business without any care in the world about how difficult it is for them to get to where they got.  I honestly abhor these investors.

Angel investors generally provide extremely favorable terms.  They are focused on helping founders get their businesses off the ground.  They tend to be informal investors, ready to help but not pushy.  They believe in the founder sometimes more than the business.  Angel is the term used to help not hinder.

So if you are looking to become an angel investor in 2018, do your homework and understand what being an angel investor means before destroying another founders business.  And founders, do yourself a favor, do diligence on these type of angels, if it smells funny before you sign the paperwork, it generally stinks afterward.