They deliver more capital to entrepreneurs than any other source. And they often receive an incredible return on their investments. They're angel investors, some of the most important--and least understood--players in business today. The United States has close to three million angels, whose investments in startups exceed $60 billion per year. Some of our most successful companies were funded by angels--companies like Ford, AOL, and Amazon.com. But until now, little has been written about these angels, due in part to their preference for anonymity. Angel Investors provides an inside look at who these angels are and how they operate. It also shows would-be angels and entrepreneurs how best to find each other.
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According to Robert J. Robinson and Mark van Osnabrugge, so-called business angels--those generally unheralded private investors who usually specialize in high-growth fields and often involve themselves directly in the endeavors they fund--now provide 30 to 40 times more financing each year than their more famous counterparts, venture capitalists. In Angel Investing, Robinson and Van Osnabrugge use personal interviews, anecdotal evidence, and more than 300 research studies to show exactly who these financiers are, how they operate, and where they can be found. Robinson, an international management consultant, and Van Osnabrugge, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, also compare various financing options, explain precisely how angels and venture capitalists function differently, describe proven ways to attract them, and provide relevant resources. "The vast size and power of the business angel market in the United States is not well understood but is of incredible importance to our entrepreneurial sector and, indirectly, to maintaining our economic growth and standard of living," the authors write. They pack their book accordingly with valuable information for serious fund-seekers who have exhausted the traditional three F's (founder, family, and friends), as well as those who are considering entrepreneurial investments of their own. --Howard Rothman
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