I like this: a new angel investor group built around new ventures related to “progressive political power.” It’s a bit new for angel investment, which is normally focused on interesting startups with good risk-return prospects. But why not?
I read about New Media Ventures last week on Read/Write Web, and then two days later at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com. And there was an initial announcement on the Huffington Post.
At the website, newmediaventures.org, founders make no bones about the underlying political purpose:
New Media Ventures is the first national network of early stage investors who are investing their time and money into new, cutting edge, start-ups focused on building progressive political power.
While political power is not exactly a traditional business objective, consider what “angel investment” is: individuals investing their own money.
I think it’s sort of funny that in entrepreneurship we call small-time individual investors angel investors. Return on investment is so rarely angelic. SEC rules require that investors be relatively wealthy individuals, but say nothing about halos, conscience, motivation, or doing good.
Maybe you don’t like their politics, but I hope we see more of this. I thought there were angel investment groups focusing on green business, although I just Googled, and couldn’t find any. I’d like to find some. And this kind of more-than-money motivation is at the very least quite common among local angel groups including the one I’m a member of, (Willamette Angel Conference) that focus mainly on local startups.
Can politically motivated angel investment be good business? Can it be a good way to invest money, with some reasonable hope of return? I think so. I hope so. And if you look carefully at founder Mike Mathieu’s bio here, it looks like he’s pulling that off already.
(Image: Vitaly Korovin/Shutterstock)