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Synopsis

What’s the biggest problem most entrepreneurs face? Raising money: Without cash, you can’t get a
business off the ground or keep it running.

However, many entrepreneurs have a problem. On one hand, the traditional sources of financing—family, friends, personal savings, the local bank—are often inadequate. On the other, the venture capitalists who have played such an important role in the high-tech industry are interested only in investing much higher sums than most entrepreneurs need.

Enter angels: a new type of investor looking to invest between $100,000 and $1,000,000 in a company. There are about three million angel investors, and there’s a huge market of entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs who want to learn how to attract angels’ interest—and their money.

John May and Cal Simmons are at the forefront of this trend. Not only do they have years of experience in advising, managing, and investing in early-stage companies, they are also the originators of The Dinner Club, a Washington, D.C.–based group of successful businesspeople who hear pitches by entrepreneurs seeking funding and then decide whether to invest their own or the club’s money in those entrepreneurial ideas.

Every Business Needs an Angel offers a fly-on-the-wall look at how angel investors evaluate new entrepreneurial ideas, and provides a wealth of practical advice and insight for the countless entrepreneurs seeking help in their quest to find investors for their businesses. The book covers all phases of the process of finding angels and persuading them to invest, drawing on many examples of real-world companies that have pitched angels successfully—as well as unsuccessfully. These entrepreneurs are in a broad range of industries—from high-technology companies to more traditional businesses as diverse as breweries and concierge services—some quite well-known, like Nantucket Nectars and Preview Travel, whose founders had their own guardian angels.

For entrepreneurs who need money and advice on how to find it, the authors offer enormous insight into this new breed of investor. As the title says, every business needs an angel; this book tells you how to find one.

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