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January 18, 2010

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It's a scandal by this point and what makes it worse is few deliver the goods to the companies once the fees have been paid.

I applaud this article and totally agree. Having been involved in bringing a number of start-ups to maket and having been successful in raising millions of dollars over the years from both angels and VC's I cannot recall of ever having to pay a fee to present before any group of angels. I have as the CEO paid fees only after the company made the selection review process to large VC venues with board approval and the support of our angel investors.

I am again involved in bringing a new start-up to market and I have turned down more than one so called angel networks fee for privileged of just submitting our executive summary and with no guarantee of talking much less actually presenting before a warm body.

When I see these groups or networks charging fees I am left asking do they really know their audience, what is their reall agenda, is this their buisness model for making a profit so the real question becomes who is pitching who? Let us all be honest here these groups/networks are preying on entrepreneurs and should get out of the business and find some other pursuit, those of us who have put everything on the line have enough to deal with instead of dealing with such charlatans.

The angel investors I have known are involved in this type of investing in seed/early stage companies because of the opportunity of finding and being part of a new hot growth idea with the goal of achieving better than market average returns, it is high risk but the angels I have known thrive in this space. They also have provided guidence and advice along with their money which in many cases proved to be of more value. Also if you are an entrepreneur remember angels the good ones are as the name implies, they bring so much more to the table than just their investment.

Good success,
WS

I have found that many experienced and savvy angels have shunned most of the pitch platforms.

Many of the savvy angels flock to a particular private membership group out there. It's the oldest and largest in the world, with members in over 140 countries and a solid track record of success of over two decades.

It's really not what the article is about because it's so much more than a business going to get funding. In addition to funding, are distribution channels, legal advice, Joint Venture Partners, Advisement, hiqh quality indivduals in which to put together a team, and contacts, contacts, contacts.

The angels love it because of several factors.
1) The membership fee keeps out those who are not serious.
2) The investors have anonymity amongst the group of entrepreneurs.
3) There is MBA - level entrepreneural education from other members who have had success and are simply there to tythe their brain. This insures the investor that the company has ongoing help.
4) Investors are taught how to get on multiple paid boards which will provide added revenue stream.
5) There are more quality companies in one place than any other investment forum.
6) There are former SEC prosecutors who are members that will sit down with both an investor and a check-writer at the same table to help make it a win-win.
7) Some of the biggest stories in business has come through this exclusive "Country Club" for businesses.
8) The organization only accepts those willing to suspend their own agenda in order to help others (taking in consideration, the Law of Reciprocity).

The downside is that they do not advertise and that it is by invitation only. If one does receive an invitation, they have to be ready to recognize the opportunity and to be able to prove that they have something to add back to the network.

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