Richard Marencin, Executive Director Atlanta Technology Angels
Several years ago, I was asked “What does it take to make a million dollars investing in startup technology companies?” I thought for a moment and responded, “First you start with two million dollars and after a few years you’ll be down to about a million.” While I was kidding, there is a bit of truth in my response.
Is there is a way to be successful as an Angel Investor? Yes, but it requires more than one investment, a bit of hard work and some patience. It’s also not a solo sport.
Angel investing is the art and science of investing in early stage companies that have burnt through all their personal assets (and the assets of their friends and families) and haven’t been successful enough to operate at a sustainable profit or grown enough to attract the attention of the Venture Capitalists.
So, you are an investor. You see one of these early stage companies. They may have a prototype or a few customers, but they really haven’t hit their stride. It’s a couple of bright women or men who have a solution to a real problem that lots of people or businesses have. They believe lots of people will pay money for their solution and they’ve found a way to provide the solution at a profit.
You have hope – you see the possibilities. For sure it’s the next Google or Facebook or Amazon! That $10,000 investment will make you a bazillionaire in just a couple of years. Polynesian island here we come!
R. Lee Strasburger, Jr. Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
The U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming review of patent damages in Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Apple Inc. shouldn’t be dreaded by the startup community. Within the last decade, the Supreme Court has weighed in on more patent-related cases than it has in the previous four decades combined. These rulings have impacted the tech community in various ways, mainly that it’s now more difficult to receive utility patent protection for certain technologies (e.g., fintech, etc.). That being said, many of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions have transformed patent trolls into mere paper tigers by reducing the profitability of patent litigation.