My Top 10 Favorite Angel Investor Questions

early-stage investing, uncertainty, startup
Photo Cred: Steve Harris, CC

The only thing I know for certain about early-stage companies is that there will be uncertainty. Even the best opportunities often twist, turn and pivot thousands of times before they produce a return for their investors.

As an angel and the Chief Investment Officer at MergeLane, I focus most of my angel investing diligence on the team. I look for founders that are tenacious enough to break through walls and clever enough to figure out how to go around them.

When I meet with entrepreneurs, I rarely ask conventional questions. Sure, I look at the pro forma, review their business model, check out the competitive landscape, etc., but I typically send those types of questions by email.

When I talk with them, I want to learn how they think and what makes them tick. These are my favorite questions to that end:

  • If you had unlimited capital and resources, and could choose to do one thing to improve your business, what would that one thing be?
  • What would you try now if you couldn’t fail?
  • If you were an investor considering an investment in your company, what is the biggest hesitation you’d have to overcome?
  • What was the best compliment you’ve ever received?
  • What would your last employer say about you?
  • If you were your own mentor, what’s the most important advice you’d give yourself?
  • If we offered to invest a million dollars in your company, would you take it? Why or why not? If yes, what would you do with it?
  • In what ways might you be contributing to the challenges you are experiencing?
  • What are you currently tolerating or putting up with in your business?
  • How do you think this meeting went?

1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth Kraus
    Permalink

    My partner Sue recently came up with this question: What’s the single most critical value that forms the foundation for your company’s culture? How do you live that value daily in your business?

    This is fantastic. I guess I now have 11 favorite questions.

    Like

    Reply

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