Perk up, entrepreneurs! Have you been working on a brilliant idea for a start-up that needs to find its financial footing in order to grow? AngelList is a website that allows start-up hopefuls to initiate contact with, and pitch to, knowledgeable and fund-laden investors who may just decide to invest in their project.
How does it work?
AngelList is like Twitter for entrepreneurs, where both entrepreneurs and investors can establish and manage online profiles. The entrepreneurs can search the profiles for like-minded investors (investors who have backed similar projects in the past) who they'll have the best luck pitching to. Once the entrepreneur has made a request for a meeting, the investor can scan the profile of the start-up hopeful to decide whether or not they want to back them. Investors can also "follow" eachother and try to get in on deals that are being brokered between start-ups and their fellow investors.
How is AngelList different from similar sites?
There are a lot of sites out there claiming to connect entrepreneurs and investors, but on AngelList all of the "Angels" (Investors) are accredited, so you don't have to worry about wasting a pitch on someone who isn't actually equipped to help you. To give you an idea of the calibre of the Angels on AngelList, here are some key names: Mitch Kapor (Mozilla), Marissa Mayer (Google), Ashton Kutcher, Keith Rabois (PayPal/LinkedIn) and Steve Case (AOL). For a complete list of Angels, see the investors section of the website here. It's worth it just to see Kutcher's profile picture (do it).
Anything else I need to know?
One important thing you need to know about AngelList is that while it helps you connect to Angels in order to pitch your start-up, AngelList does not broker any deals. All meetings are conducted online, but any deals emanating henceforth are between the Angel and the entrepreneur. For in-depth information on how to negotiate the website to your advantage, see this article written by two active Angels.