At Technical.ly, we have a reputation for starting with the entrepreneurial viewpoint. We got our start by highlighting founders and early employees. But businesses are made by a whole array of other company builders who help economies thrive.
Among those company builders are investors. They are the people and firms that make bets on entrepreneurial dreams and fuel those that aim to grow at a speed that revenue alone can’t sustain.
The best known of these are the venture capital firms that deploy vast sums of money to maximize returns as a high-risk, high-yield asset class. There also are angel investors, the individuals and loose confederations that put $25 billion into 71,000 young companies last year, according to The American Angel Campaign, an in-depth study led by the Angel Capital Association.
There are 200,000 angel investors in the United States, half of whom have been entrepreneurs themselves. They can be among the most seasoned investors, or people who are just getting their start in early-stage company investing. It can begin relatively modestly; many entrepreneurs have a story of an early $10,000 angel investor check.
Unlike the boys club reputation of VC, nearly a quarter of angel investors are women — and 30% of those who made their first investment in the last two years were women. If company ownership can be a major contributor to wealth inequality, we have many more reasons to care about who invests in, and grows, companies.
But unlike the entrepreneurial journey, there are less open and accessible conversations about the investor journey. That might mean money that could explore ideas, experiments and products is left motionless.
To change that, in partnership with Project Entrepreneur, a program by UBS, we at Technical.ly are launching the pilot season of “Off the Sidelines,” a new podcast and editorial series in which we speak with investors and experts about how to get involved in startup investment.
Project Entrepreneur is on a mission to change the status quo for female founders and accelerate their growth through increasing access to capital and building ecosystems to advance women entrepreneurs.
They want to improve the enabling environments for female founders and advance inclusive capital, with a targeted focus on investment readiness and building bridges to funders — all with the goal of diversifying the pipeline of investors and supporters.
Each weekly episode will feature an interview with a notable active investor giving real advice about getting your start. We’ll explore topics like conducting due diligence, navigating the investor-entrepreneur relationship, making a social impact with your funding choices and much more.
Check out the trailer for the series below, and make sure to subscribe to keep up to date.
Off the Sidelines — Trailer
It can’t be said enough that early-stage company investing is seriously risky. To outperform a garden variety index fund, you need serious industry insight and plenty of luck. You might rather contribute to an existing venture capital firm’s next fund to maximize your shot at returns. Instead, if your interest is in creation and learning and shaping the kinds of entrepreneurs and companies you see in the world, you might consider investing.
This is made easier if you’re a high net worth individual. (For context, the federal government defines an accredited investor as someone who has earned $200,000 in the last two years or has $1 million in assets excluding a primary residence). But whether you’re able now, or not, early-stage investing is an important corner of our economy to understand.
The investor journey needs its own scrutiny and spotlight. We hope you’ll follow along this first season.