Angel Angles

There are about 4,000 "angel" investors in the US. These are private individuals who invest their own money as seed capital in early-stage companies that catch their interest, and help to accelerate them to market leadership.

Who are these "angels"? And why do they invest? You might enjoy the poem I wrote for the UCSD CONNECT newsletter, published May 14, 2002.

Angel Angles

By: Jim Pinto
May 2002

The inventor is getting pretty close to the end
All tapped out and in need of a friend
The prototype is already built
The home is mortgaged up to the hilt
The market is big
For this thingamajig
But they’re out of money and the plan disentangles
What they need is some angel angles

The idea’s great, but still only a gleam
Cash flow is crunched, no money, no team
Family and friends have pitched in their share
The bank just doesn’t seem to care
Before we crash
We must get some cash
Where do we go while our future just dangles?
The answer is clear - we need angel angles

The startup has an excellent team
The product is ready, it works like a dream
The margins are good, the growth has been charted
All they need is cash to get started
The team is pumped
But the startup is stumped
Too small for the VC, with their hassles and wrangles
For the bridge to big funding - they need angel angles

The business plan’s done and the product is ready
The market is huge and growth will be steady
We’ll be a success if just given a chance
But how do we know whom to take to the dance?
With a little cash flow
We’re ready to go
But the wrong kind of partners the company strangles
We need startup funding with some angel angles.

Who are these Angels? Whence comes their cash?
Will they really help? Or will we soon clash?
How much do they invest? What share will they claim?
Are they just VCs with a different name?
Will they put in some money
And then turn all funny?
What is their game? Will they bring twists and tangles?
Tell us some more about angel angles.

Angels are people who have money to spare
Who invest in your plan and take a small share
Entrepreneurs who’ve done their thing
Business execs with experience to bring
Some are retired
But still very wired
After fools, friends and family, good angels bring spangles
They help fund good startups with their angel angles

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