What are the top 5-7 questions a start-up CEO should ask of an angel investor to determine if they, you and your project are a potential fit?

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JASON LEMKIN

Your question suggest you have options.  I.e., there are more angels lined up to invest in you than you can fit in.

Then — congratulations!!  It’s not that common at such an early stage.

So you get to pick, early.

The key when you get to pick your investors, at different times and stages, is to pick who can help you the most at that stage.

In the early days, here’s what you probably need:

  • Help scaling from nothing to something.  An investor who’s actually done what you’ve done for real can help you here 10,000,000x more than someone that hasn’t.
  • Help getting at least 1 great hire.  Can the investor help?  Hiring is always impossible.
  • Help with the next round.  This should not be underestimated.  Is the investor someone VCs like to follow?  For real?  And will he or she be able to help here?
  • Help with PR and promotion.  Most investors can’t do this.  But some can.  This can help.
  • Help making you seem Hot (or at least, Cool) before you deserve it.  Few can do this.  But it’s super valuable.
  • Help being a true mentor.  Related to the first point.  Very few can really do this.  But if you can get someone to really help you be a better CEO — this is worth its weight in gold.

Then the question becomes — will they help?  Helping for real takes a lot of time.  A lot of time.

And the better the angel investor, usually, almost always — the less free time they have to help.

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Published on January 29, 2016
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