Even without a pandemic, entrepreneurs can feel exposed. Many of the young companies we work with are wondering how the current health crisis is affecting the way they should approach raising capital.
In a recent Quick Chat conversation, Teresa Esser, Managing Director of Wisconsin-based Silicon Pastures Angel Investment Network, said her group continues to be active. In the past five months, they have made four new investment deals and have another one pending.
When asked for her advice to entrepreneurs at this moment in time, Esser responded, “Everyone knows small businesses need help right now. This is a great time to reach out.” To differentiate themselves, companies should be working their existing relationships and building new ones. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask members of the investment community for a short phone call to see if they are willing to provide strategic advice.
Esser recommends that companies do their internal homework to prepare for these conversations and beyond. One example of this is to have a one-page teaser ready. This document shows the merits of your business at a glance – location, proprietary technology, revenue, leadership and more. Getting the team involved in putting this document together will have the added advantage of ensuring everyone is driving toward the same goals.
Esser also mentioned that entrepreneurs might be interested in an upcoming presentation offered by the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. David Villa, Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of Wisconsin’s aggregated pension fund (SWIB), will discuss how the fund is used to support entrepreneurship in Wisconsin. You are invited to join the live stream of this presentation on May 19 at noon using this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqR0922Dvk0.
Additional COVID-19 era advice from angels can be found at the Angel Capital Association (ACA) Knowledge Center. Among the resources provided here are blogs, FAQs and newsletters.