I see a lot of people online asking questions about investors for their business and get a lot of questions asked of me about Angel Investors.
Basically they fall into four categories:
1) Financial - investors who are the true "money" people. There interest is strictly financial, and they have little if any interest in providing any "hands-on" help with the business.
2) Operations - investors who are often retired executives from large corporation that bring money and management experience to early-stage companies.
3) Industry - value-added investors who put their capital to work in companies that are in industries where they have specific experience. Often they are executives with long-careers in a single and they may be retired executives.
4) Entrepreneur - investors who started their own companies, made good money and use some of it to invest in early-stage companies. Often they learned the "ropes" from an angel investor that put money into their start-up(s).
Where do you find them?
Unless you have a very strong background and/or a high-growth significant business opportunity that you've got past the "idea" stage ... your best bet will be to look for an angel type investor that is close to you geographically and more of an "Operations/Industry/Entrepreneur type like I outlined above that has interest in your area and the industry you chose. The reason being is, let's say for example you are in Alabama and you contact an angel investor in California. They probably are not going to give you much of a chance to pitch them on your idea unless you can give them something compelling and of size and scope to catch their interest. "Financial Angels" may feel the same way.
Small deals just don't travel well.
If your venture is smaller scale or more narrow in scope; your best bet will be to locate and contact angel investors in your area or work the sources and prospects in your area that may 'become" an angel type investor for your company. One way to approach this type of an effort for smaller ventures or businesses is to do the following:
Make a list of every one you know that is an either a retired business owner, or retired executive or manager. If you don't personally know anyone, then begin to work the people that you do know and see if they know anyone retired with that type of background.
You can also use an industrial database or directory to search for companies in specific industries and specific geographic areas outside your own immediate area or area you plan to service (I use several but like Thomas Register, http://www.thomasregister.com/ the best). Look at the profiles you find on the companies and find the executives/owners or management team.
By doing the above, build up and develop a list of names and contact information of retired managers, executives and business owner's in your area or industry executives/business owners outside your planned area of service.
Your plan will be to call or email them and briefly introduce yourself. But NOT to solicit them to see if they are interested in investing money in your business! There is a "right" and "wrong" way to do this. By doing it the "right" way you may be able to line up interest in your venture at a couple of different levels that will be of benefit to you!
If any of you are interested to learn about the "right" way and how to use this approach successfully ... feel free to contact me and I will reply to you with some further guidance on this and an example of my own "contact" email/phone script that I use. I can also help you with determining if your venture is one that would have broader appeal to a wider range of investors and sources of funding. If you have a larger deal or venture with significant growth opportunities I can give you some direction on how to conduct a successful investor search for that as well.
My profile on this site has my website address and contact info. Since this is the business classified section I'll also put my website and email address below as well so that you can reach me if you have interest in the above.