Will angels dirty their hands?

I was speaking to a successful entrepreneur and angel investor yesterday about the evolving angel investment climate in India. He voiced a concern that seems to strike a chord – that while many successful entrepreneurs in India are involving themselves in angel funding, and even setting up early stage funds, there is a tendency to “rise above” building companies and a resistance to acting as a peer to budding entrepreneurs. Many successful entrepreneurs seem to graduate over, and consider it below themselves to roll up their sleeves with a rookie. Conference speeches take over garage whiteboarding.

In his view, this is a key gap in Indian angel ecosystem (to the extent it exists) and I agree. Perhaps too much of a class systems amongst entrepreneurs? Whats your view? How can we get the right mentors active in guiding new companies?

7 Responses to “Will angels dirty their hands?”

  1. Aalok Pandey says:

    I Agree with what Alok has to say. Certainly, even, i have come across some entrepreneur turned investor, who refuses to understand the nuances, that we as an entre. face right now, and the same, which all ‘would-be-entre’ faces. The reason for such a behavior could be calculative, given the nature of profession, that they are now in. Being Diplomatic, pays bucks – and being sophisticated, means progression in life. Perhaps staying away from the truth, is now what they feel, is ‘being there, done that’ types. Remember, even they had been in the phase, of hard earned money, now that they want to get it ‘soft-earned’, meaning at macro level support. Not everybody may like unscrewing the same nut, which they had screwed, while being an entre. themselves. 🙂
    But this is something, which is actually causing entre. dearer. They need to be more supportive and close.

  2. Shyam says:

    I have seen Angels, VCs and even PE guys getting deeply involved in the businesses they have invested in. It is all related to how confident they are about the team which they are backing. If the milestones are being met comfortably and the progress is as per expectation, I don’t see anyone trying to get into too much detail unless they really want to help.

    I have seen some investors interviewing potential hires, talking to customers and some going to the extent of getting deeply involved in running the company watching how each penny is being spent. The team may get irritated with this kind of involvement, but they went asking for it by taking the investment from that investor.

    Hence, my advice for entrepreneurs is to understand their investors well, before you decide to take their money.

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