Every experienced angel investor has a slightly different investing thesis. In other words, we each have our own way of doing things. Some of the best angels out there invest based on gut instinct alone. They might know next to nothing about a business, and throw fifty thousand dollars at it anyways. Other folks prefer to dig deep into every prospect’s financials, looking for golden eggs with snowballing revenue. Still others pick a niche – say, digital marketing software – and invest in anything falling under that umbrella, thinking that at least one of them is sure to dominate the space. Personally, I like to use a combination of strategies to tackle my portfolio. I like to switch it up sometimes, too. After all, the startup world is changing faster than we’re keeping up with it. The perfect strategy today may not work tomorrow. But there is one factor that I always, always, ALWAYS take into account when I’m considering an angel investment – no matter what. That, of course, is the track record of the founding team. I’ve said it before – I invest in founders, not startups. You should, too. That’s because great ideas are everywhere. Skilled, efficient, motivating entrepreneurs with the talent and drive to execute on those ideas? Much rarer. That’s why I always check to make sure that the founding team of any startup has seen success in the past. Like this startup that’s changing the way we buy home furnishings with its interactive product discovery platform. Not only have the founders of this revolutionary new business worked together on three different projects… they even have a successful exit in the rearview. And it’s pretty well-established that a founder who’s made it to an exit in the past is much more likely to get there again in the future. That’s why I’d be willing to hang my hat on this particular team’s success. Heck, a founder who’s made an exit in the past can get my vote even if I know nothing at all about the business! Still, to get in with the best entrepreneurs out there, you’ll need to build and maintain relationships with them. If you do, you could find yourself on some very important people’s speed-dial lists – and get into bigger and better deals. Check out the video above for some of my favorite ways to do exactly that. Until next time,

Neil Patel