Why should you become an angel investor? Hear from the AIS community!

A few weeks ago we published an article on What is Angel Investing?

However, before becoming an angel investor it is not only essential to know what an angel investor is but WHY you want to angel invest.

This is why we reached out to the AIS community and asked them why they invest. Here is what they said!

Craig Riviere

“Angel Investing for me is the chance to be a part of the future, to shape what my world and my family’s world could look like. Every company started out small and the initial efforts, energy, investment, belief and support are what made some companies so impactful that they became a part of our everyday life. There is beauty in helping a founder take their idea from thought to manifestation, one of the greatest things we can each offer to the world as individuals is bringing our ideas to life and not letting them die with us.

In addition, the connections we make with the founders as Angel Investors vs just typical Stock / Index Fund Investing is special, to be allowed to join the founders’ journey is a blessing worth paying for, telling people you helped on their journey, owning a piece of that company and just seeing your money go to something that lives beyond the initial “dopamine” we get from buying useless items, it definitely feels priceless.

Angel Investing is about putting your money behind something you believe will be impactful to not only a founder’s world but the world that surrounds us too.”

Katharina Wodenitscharow

“Angel investing is not just another asset class for me. It is an opportunity to be challenged every day and learn from people who are shaping the future for the better and in a way it allows me to make a small contribution to this exciting future. Whether it is about learning how to market direct to consumer brands, how to acquire new customers or selecting the correct business model for B2B SaaS products, angel investing allows you to never stop learning. 

I have a tremendous amount of respect for founders who choose the road of entrepreneurship over certainty and comfort and I consider it to be a privilege as an angel investor to join these founders on their journey. Learning about an industry and what it takes to build a business is one part of this journey but what I enjoy the most is learning about by working with founders how to develop a winning mindset, learn from mistakes and keep going even if your back is against the wall. 

Angel investing also allows you to meet like-minded individuals. Many other angel investors share a similar passion and reason why they angel invest and as a result, you meet many exciting and interesting people who shape how you think. I have also had the opportunity to meet many new friends through angel investing due to our shared passion.  

Of course, I think it is important to assess startups based on future returns and potential growth, however, if money was the main motivation to be an angel investor then I believe there are less riskier ways to make a good return on an investment. Angel investing is much more than about returns. I believe it is about feeding your curiosity and collaborating with interesting people who want to build something great. 

If you are somebody who is a life-long learner, loves being challenged and is looking to join an ecosystem full of interesting people then this is the industry for you and if you are looking for individuals who share this passion then the Angel Investing School is for you.”

Nithin Bopanna

“Everyone’s personal approach to learning is different, but mine was always amplified by having skin in the game.

My early career was working within the sell-side of Investment Banks around product and technology. Despite being hugely enriching in terms of gaining a broad skillset and being around some amazingly sharp minds solving complex problems, often I felt disconnected from the nuances of ‘real-world’ businesses and their broader value and risk.

There were outliers amongst my IB colleagues who left this environment and went on to found startups. Many times, these departing friends would come from underrepresented backgrounds and would (naturally) go on to build successfully diverse teams  – a huge difference from the uniform profiles I was familiar with seeing in an IB C-suite.

I became intrigued by this ecosystem, its breadth of opportunity and the ‘worldly’ type of problems that motivated people were looking to solve.

The curiosity led to me joining a startup, finding jewels from Andy and ultimately Angel Investing School, where I gained a much clearer understanding of the ground rules for this brave new world with some great teammates in my cohort to support me into my first deals.

Investing has allowed me to feel a greater connection and above all, agency. In building a portfolio, I get to learn from – and around – some incredible human beings on a regular basis. Being familiar with new technology, business models and approaches all help to make greater sense of the world and its complexity.

The dynamics of this past year have really sharpened the motivation for me to continue to improve and be as diligent an Angel Investor as I can be. My recent strategy has been to narrow the focus to founders who are tackling some of the most significant problems the world is facing. As this often involves high-tech innovation in engineering or significant scientific discovery; yes, the risk is multiplied, but I guess the learning is exponential!”

Finally, we wanted to hear from one of the co-founders themselves at the Angel Investing School and why they angel invest.

Andy Ayim MBE

“I am in the business of changing lives, for me purpose is when I can be a full expression of myself doing meaningful work in service of value-aligned people who care.

At a young age, I learned about saving clubs that my parents and other Black British families were doing called Susu or Pardner saving schemes. Susu is a rotational savings practice where a group of family members or friends contribute an equal amount of money into a pot every month to save together. 

When I was 20, I wanted to do something similar with my family and friends. So I rounded up 7 family and friends and we saved £250 a month together for a few years. Whilst saving I was immersing myself in property investing communities, listening to podcasts and learning from other investors. I took all that I learned and shared it with the group. Looking back that was like AIS 1.0. 

We got to a stage where we saved up £40,000 then one by one each member of the group grew impatient and withdrew their money. I learned three vital lessons during that experience. 

  1. I lacked the leadership skills at the time to inspire everyone to trust the journey
  2. I love leveraging my network, skills and knowledge to teach others
  3. I love going on life-long journeys with incredible people where I can learn and add value

All three reasons are core to why I angel invest. Angel investing enables me to trust the journey and support entrepreneurs in unlocking their potential and scaling their impact. It provides me with a platform to add value through introductions, supporting my skills and coaching entrepreneurs from my personal experience as an investor and serial entrepreneur.

My one word of encouragement to anyone reading this is to start from where you are and realise from all these stories above that your primary motivation will be personal and meaningful to you. That’s ultimately what matters most.”

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