Bill Grierson is the best-known startup investor you’ve never heard of, although last year he was recognised as the country’s most active angel investor in Techboard’s Australian Angel Awards.
Grierson earned the accolade with 22 investments in 16 companies in 2018. Four were new deal investments, with the remainder follow-ons. Over the past five years, the angel investor has made nearly 80 investments in 48 companies in Australia, New Zealand and other countries.
Startup ecosystem analysts Techboard will recognise the importance of angel investors in the sector’s growth with the second annual Australian Angel Awards in Sydney on September 27.
The awards recognise and celebrate people and companies active in the angel investment community, the role they play in the Australian startup and tech ecosystem and its broader impact on the economy and community.
Individual angel investors, and angel investment groups can enter the awards, which are judged by an expert panel who’ll look at the level of investment activity as well as its impact and contribution to the ecosystem.
The categories are:
- Most active angel group, for the highest number of confirmed angel investments.
- Most active angel investor for highest number of confirmed angel investments.
- Angel investor of the year for an angel investor who has made a significant contribution to the Australian angel investment community, taking into account their as well as their positive impact on the angel investor community, through education, support, promotion or other activities.
- Best angel exit of the year for the most financially successful exit in FY 18/19 of an angel investment.
- Most active regional angel group, for those based outside of a capital city.
So what does it take to be a good angel investor?
We asked Bill Grierson and in between meetings with startups seeking investment, he shared the three most important things you need to do as an angel investor.
Here are his top 3 rules for investment success
1. Don’t run out of money!
Follow-ons are certain, bail-outs will be needed, and exits are unpredictable if not completely mythical.
Start with an amount of money you are prepared to invest into the ecosystem and multiply it by the square root of your age – that what it is really going to cost to go the distance.
2. Hunt wide and hunt often
Great deals do not just come to you – you have to find them.
My investments come from nine Angel Groups in four different countries. Get to know more than just the local Angels – they do not have a mortgage on deal flow.
Move around – be physically present at the interstate or overseas Pitch meetings and conferences, get to know them and their sweet spots, co-invest with them.
3. Be kind to your founders – always!
There are many worse things that losing a bit of Angel money.
Founders go through existential crises about seven times a day. What they need is support and a lot of positive noises, tea and sympathy, or even better, beer and bigheartedness.
No one likes a smart-ass investor. Be kind
- Startup Daily is pleased to be sponsoring the National Angel Awards.