Business angels and business angel networks are changing … and it is for the benefit of both the angel investors and the entrepreneurs!
Further evidence this week is that business angels that truely enjoy mentoring their companies are getting involved in business accelerators at NW England’s super business angel David Atherton has committed his time to Manchester’s new business accelerator – run by Idea Alive .
At the same time, this month saw Ian Merricks of White Horse Capital commit his time and business to launching and education, funding and development programme – the accelerator academy. Again, the list of mentors for this programme reads like a who’s who of London based business angels with Michael Blakey and Maria Dramalioti-Taylor leading the business angel roster.
Regardless of the business angel, Atherton in Manchester or Blakey and Dramalioti-Taylor in London, they all share a history of starting, leading and mentoring companies.
These business angels are not bankers or financiers by trade – they have built companies and want to help others (with their money) do the same again, and again, and again.
Hence, the mentoring business angels – that is, those that enjoy being involved in their startups, are focusing on the accelerators for two key reasons.
Firstly, they recognise that starting up businesses is a skill that can be developed through practical education (ie doing it – in a supportive and reflective environment) and second, the success rates rise exponentially when investors and angels take this more enlightened route.
Of course, success breds success, so expect more business angels to make more money by working with their local or regional programmes, whilst the traditional business angel networks shrink and focus on less knowledge and more asset based investments such as clean tech or, in the UK, wind farms.