Where Angels Fear to Tread [Angel/Startup Connect]

We are big fans of literature – as some of you might have made out from the headline of this post. However like all posts on this forum, this will be related to technology.

As we have often covered, the Angel scene in India needs a much focused approach (than yap/yapping) and we strongly believe the need is for an ecosystem – where Gestalt will play its own role. The sum of parts is all there is today and we aim to make it a larger whole.

So here is introducing Codename Xerxes (we haven’t been able to think of a cool name yet – and are looking for suggestions), the angel-startup connect platform from us.

What do we aim to do here?

For Angel investors

Many of you have approached us in various capacities for curating lists of startups whom you can look at seriously. We think there is value in providing this information – for the sake of time and for making better investments. Again some of this is happening at different for a in different formats – but there is a LOT of scope to make it better.

So here is what you will be looking at –

  • According to your areas of investment interest, you would be sent a curated and periodic (depending upon your choice) list of startups.
  • These would include an expected pitch + typical questions that you might want answers to + almost face to face interaction with the startup.
  • This could also include comments / tips from Pluggd.in team – and very soon from the larger community.
  • We would also be providing professional help in understanding the technology (not all of us understand everything – unless you are Dexter).
  • If interested, we would facilitate the discussions and do the handshaking with the founders along with background about them.
  • We will also facilitate syndication of funding and in general share the effort in making and managing investments.
  • With a strong community (hopefully) we would also aim at influencing and lobbying for favorable terms for angel investments (fingers crossed).

This will help you –

  • Save time
  • Manage deal flow
  • Understand the underlying technology better
  • Gain access to early stage startups that matter.

And mind it, every angel performance will be tracked, in order to keep this initiative active and fruitful.

For startups

Again like many Angel investors, we have had startups, at various stages of development, ask us about getting introductions to investors. We want to be the nodal point of call for entrepreneurs where we ensure confidentiality of approach and also ensure the right points of connection in the network of Angels.  We also heard from some of you regarding “middlemen” in the whole process and this is a small step towards cutting out such inefficiencies in the process.

For you this will mean –

  • Identification of funding needs
  • Visibility to angels, angel networks and their interests
  • Handholding for identifying angels to pitch to (by facilitators)
  • Handholding for pitching to Angels (if needed)
  • Avenue to ask stupid questions without getting castigated (e.g. www.startupqna.com)
  • Vetting business ideas and plans with ecosystem without fears of confidentiality loss or plagiarism

We are getting the basic structure and the mechanisms in place (will be ready by next week). While we do that, we are looking to all our readers for inputs on how to make this a vibrant ecosystem where we can add a lot more value to each of the constituents – which is also the larger community apart from Angels and startups only.

So do let us know your thoughts – publicly here or privately (preferably) to Ashish@NextBigWhat.com and Pratyush@NextBigWhat.com (or simply use the embedded form).

Angels, if you are reading this, please connect with us (please use the same form).

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