Planning, Startups, Stories

Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

True Story: My First Experience in Angel Investing

Today’s a good day to post on my angel investment experience, because this afternoon I’ll be speaking to a group on this subject in Corvallis, Oregon. What I want to do is just describe how it went for me, one set of eyes, one viewpoint, without making any generalizations about the rest of the world of angel investing.

Last February I joined Willamette Angel Conference (WAC), an angel investment group in the southern Willamette Valley, including Eugene and Corvallis. Here’s what happened.

From my point of view, as someone who’s raised VC money for my own company and been on the board of a company that raised VC money and went public quickly, has taught entrepreneurship and consulted to VCs, and has mentored a lot of startups, and judged business plan competitions, it was an extremely satisfying role reversal to sit on the investor side of the table. I enjoyed the meetings thoroughly. I read the business plans, paid attention to the pitch presentations, asked questions, and enjoyed meeting and working with the other investors. This was all good.

I liked this experience so much that this autumn I agreed to be investor chair for next year’s version.

If this sounds interesting to you, look for local angel investment groups in your area. Ask your Chamber of Commerce. Browse the Web. Go look at

(Photo credits: Willamette Angel Conference)

One response to “True Story: My First Experience in Angel Investing”

  1. Katherine Cleland says:

    Great story. I feel the same way, and I was more of a novice. I had never worked with VC’s or start up funding before. It was a very worthwhile experience. I learned so much about so many businesses and start ups in the area. Most of all, I learned the process of angel investing in a very accesible way, where I could ask a lot of questions, and see the questions others asked. Rather than just stopping with a small share in Centerspace, now I’ll do it again, since a diversified Angel portfolio is one of the important elements of getting superior returns, according to Rob Wiltbank, who’s done the most research in this area, and presented at one of our meetings last year.

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