When we started SpeedInvest about 18 months ago, we were a startup ourselves. A very well funded startup, but still, we were a team of people who had some experience in building companies and no experience in building a Business Angel fund. We are still learning an awful lot, because you can profit from other people’s wisdom, but there is no way around doing things yourself, making mistakes, trying again and again, learning from what you’ve seen so far. That is the spirit that we like to keep, a positive and pro-founder type of attitude, because the truth is: we love what we are doing. It is fun and exciting to meet visionary people, who have drive and enthusiasm to change whatever tiny bit of their world, step by step. However, there are those rare events where we sit across the table in our office and are having a facepalm moment. When one of us gets an email from a startup or reads a piece of news about our industry that just makes you go “WTF?”. For your reading pleasure, but also to offer you the opportunity to learn, we open up our treasure chest of awkward moments and give you our top WTFs, of course with all due respect to those contributing to them.
The WTFs of a Business Angel: #6 RTFW
Yes, we sometimes get supermotivated founders with crazy valuation expectations presenting us bullshit metrics. All bearable. Because: many people do this the first time, including us, and there is no other way of learning than putting yourself out there, trying and failing. But there are things, that even the first time founder in his/her first week could do, to increase the likelihood of not wasting your and our precious time: read the f***ing website.
There are the strange cases, where people call and want us to create a personal investment strategy for them, as we “must be into investments” due to our name. Yes, right, but – ahem – not that type of investments. There are clear cases, where people pitch us their investment fund, looking for “up to 100 million” asking us for a “ticket of 7 – 10 million” – from a fund of 10 million euros in total. There are edge cases, where people pitch us their powerpoint deck (yes, common in the US) although we are very clear on that on our website.
It is not that we don’t like you reaching out to us or that we are misanthropic or anything, it just makes no sense! And taking this whole notion to another level: carefully reading the information available about the investor you are pitching (Interviews! Website! Facebook Page!) gives you a head start in any conversation, because you might be able to understand how that particular investor works! We are all humans, we like if people talk about stuff we can relate to, so by exposing all kinds of stuff on different media, we give you opportunity to find a piece that could trigger a conversation between you and us.
And frankly: we wrote all that stuff on our website so that someone reads it, so please, do. End of rant.