aamir virani

30 October 2008

Which angel should I talk to?

Crunchbase is a TechCrunch property that has a bunch of information on companies and startups. It’s user-edited (and based on a lot of TC’s posts). They also have an API, so I decided to work with the data to come determine who to talk to when you’re looking for money or feedback regarding an idea/company/startup.

Angel Suggestions covers some of the initial research. It uses data on people, companies, and investing groups to determine the angels you may want to talk to. There are three key questions it asks to get you started:

  • What industry are you in? Obviously you’ll want to talk to someone who is in your area, like web, services, biotech, etc.
  • What round are you looking for? If you’re just starting, there are three possibilities.
    • seed – Seed funding – you’re looking for something to get off the ground and want a minimal investment.
    • angel – Angel funding – you’re looking for a medium sized chunk along with the connections and expertise an angel can provide. He/she may ask for various things like a seat on the board or pictures of you naked.
    • a – Series A funding – you’re looking for a large chunk from a venture capital fund and will likely have to cede some control over your company

  • How much money do you need? Obviously, this depends a lot on your industry as well as your underlying costs.

I used Ruby on Rails 2.0 to get going with this. It was awesome picking up some Ruby again and the Rails team has added some amazing functionality over the past year. The caching capabilities are much improved. Along with that, going through this helped me learn a bit more about Git, a relatively new version control system (like Subversion and CVS), and Capistrano, a gem for Rails deployment. Cool stuff.

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