Finance & Business: Is angel investing right for you?
My assignment here with Golden Age of Gaia is to report on the “hard” news: Military, politics, and finance. And we also have the freedom to report on subjects and topics which we have a passion for (basically, if something outside these categories speak to us). Given my education and career path, I truly enjoy offering practical insights within the fields of psychology, education, self help, and small businesses. Hence, I’ll devote this commentary to those later categories… enjoy.
Such a beautiful concept: Angel investing. Of course, it’s still a business, so there needs to be profit for the investor, but the flipside is now we can lead the life we were born to live. It’s an opportunity to weigh the pros and cons: Be an angel investor or obtain an angel investor to manifest our dream career or …stay on the traditional route of working for someone else, which as we’ve all learned will never lead to us fulfilling our dreams. John May, founding chairman of the Angel Capital Association, describes nine types of angel investors, helping the investor determine how s/he wants to contribute …and helping the rest of us track down the kind of angel investors to pursue.
1. Family & Friends. “These are people who invest in someone they care about. They are investing in the founder more than the product or company.” 2. The solo angel. Likely the largest type of investor, who do not have deep pockets, but do invest their money but not their time. 3. Ad-hoc group of angels. “This could be three guys or gals on a golf course who talk about a deal and make a “hand-shake” agreement to invest. The group does little formal due diligence, may never do a deal again, has no formal partnership, and their involvement is generally money only.”
The remaining types that May describes are as follows: 4. Accredited platforms; 5. Accelerators; 6. Angel networks; 7. Angel funds; 8. Super angels & family offices; and 9. Active limited partner in a small venture capital fund. Please check this story if it helps your situation!
Education & Business: Turn your brilliant educational ideas into money.
This story is most fascinating to me, because it seems they have done exactly what was necessary to find valid answers and solutions to the inquiries they proposed for themselves. They used a research-based method to obtain practical answers pertinent to the industry.
“The Lean LaunchPad (LLP) class puts a formal methodology around the process for starting a new entrepreneurial venture. It assumes that all of the commercial assumptions are simply untested hypotheses. Students are exhorted to ‘get out of the building’ to test these hypotheses and do what experienced entrepreneurs have always known—you really need to understand your customers and your markets before you start building something. Products are developed incrementally, securing customer feedback at each iteration.”
As it turns out, going from idea to implementation and thus profitability within the fields of education and teaching is a very long process. Karl Smith an engineering professor at both the University of Minnesota and Purdue University said, “’The problem in education training is how to scale it up. It’s been an enormous frustration to me over the past 40 years that great ideas don’t get into widespread practice.’ Karl went on to cite Steve Blank when he explained that there are two aspects to innovation. First, you need evidence from the research. You also need a sustainable and scalable model for propagating it.”
This work has yielded many innovative “eurekas” and methods to assisting educators and students to transform their golden ideas regarding education into business ventures. While they have a great start and offer insightful advise from this story alone, the research crew is actually just beginning a ten week study group to learn more… once this latest info is released, I will be sure to bring you a follow up!!
Volunteering & Technology: How to give to non-profits who could use your tech skills.
Have you ever been involved in a group –or wanted to form a group– with the primary purpose of helping others …but neither knew how to form said group nor where to find those in need? Well, if you’re a techie, or are a nonprofit needing tech services, then look no further!
“’The overall launch of the project management platform, will be in late March. But in two weeks from now [24jan15], tech volunteers will be able to create their #Charity’s profile pages via a LinkedIn authentication. HashtagCharity’s SmartMatch algorithm will then match the profiles to the best-fitting NGO projects (nonprofits can directly sign up to the program through the homepage’s contact form).’ There are already some 500 volunteers on board,” said Head of Marketing Franziska Becker.
There will be various filters to assist with parties finding the right match, enabling both sides to get their needs met for all agreed upon projects. “It’s sad, but unfortunately there are many NGOs out there who waste donor dollars, and we don’t want the same thing to happen to our engineers’ skills. Our number one priority is impact, and we have to build a community who shares that priority.”
Wishing you all a blessed week’s end. If your current situation is heavy, please remember… this too shall pass!
We Are All One