Do Angel Investors Invest in Ideas, or in Execution?

Published on
January 25, 2023
Do Angel Investors Invest in Ideas, or in Execution?

Angel investors are individuals who invest in startups in exchange for equity. They are often wealthy individuals who have made their money in another business and are now looking to invest in early-stage companies. But do angel investors invest in ideas, or do they look at execution?

The answer is a healthy mixture of both. While having a great idea is important, it is not the only thing that angel groups will look at when considering whether to invest in your startup.

They will also want to see a well-developed business plan that includes a detailed analysis of the market and the competition. They will also want to see a management team in place that has the experience and skills to execute the plan.

Do angel investors invest in ideas? Let's take a look at some of the things that help you get that startup funding.

Angel Investors: Get Access to Deal Flows

Ready for your next investment? Gain exclusive access to the best companies that Angel School has vetted. Our investors see success through our excellent deal flow and world-class diligence. We source hundreds of companies and invest selectively, with a fully transparent process. The best part? You are 100% in control, and Angel School is 100% with you. Invest only with full conviction. And with our 20% carry, we only profit when you do. That's right--no annual capital commitments. So join our growing global community, and see what a diversified deal flow and a talent for choosing good deals can do for you.

What Is an Angel Investor?

An angel investor is typically defined as an individual who provides financial backing for startup companies or small businesses. Angel groups usually give money to entrepreneurs at the early stages of product development or market entry. 

How do angels differ from venture capitalists?

One key difference between angels and venture capitalists (VCs) is that VC firms often have more money than angels. This means that VCs often want a larger share of the company compared to angels.

Angels also tend to have more flexible terms when it comes to their investment, which can be appealing to entrepreneurs seeking funding.

In addition, while VC firms often focus on investing in companies with high growth potential, angels are willing to back companies with more modest growth prospects. They may also be more willing to take risks on unproven ideas, while venture capitalists tend to be more interested in later-stage companies with a proven track record of success.

Angel investing differ from venture capitalism in that angel groups are typically more interested in supporting early-stage businesses with high growth potential, and they often invest their own personal funds rather than using institutional money.


Many angel investors are motivated by the possibility of making a large return on their investment, as well as the satisfaction of helping to grow a new business. This means that angel groups may be more hands-on in their approach, and they may be more interested in the personal story of the entrepreneur.

If you are able to convince an angel investor that your idea has the potential to be a successful business, they will likely invest in your startup. If you have a great business idea but are having trouble finding funding, an angel investor may be a good option for you.

However, keep in mind that they will also be taking a risk, so don’t be surprised if they ask for a higher equity stake than you initially anticipated. They are also looking for high-growth potential businesses, so make sure you can demonstrate this before approaching them.

In order to convince an angel investor to fund your idea, you will need to have a strong business plan and be able to demonstrate the potential for high growth.

Do Angel Investors Invest in Ideas? Yes, But...

As an entrepreneur, it's important to make sure your idea is worth investing in before trying for angel investments. After all, you'll want to be confident that your idea has what it takes to interest them.

Here are a few things that angel investor networks will look for when considering whether or not to invest in your idea:

  • The Problem: Is there a real problem that your idea solves? Is it a problem that people are willing to pay to have solved?
  • The Market: Is the market for your solution large enough to support your business?
  • The Customers: Do you have a clear understanding of who your target customers are?
  • The Team: Do you have a team in place that has the skills and experience necessary to execute your idea?
  • The Plan: Do you have a detailed plan for how you will bring your solution to market and scale your business?

If you can answer these questions in a way that makes angel groups confident in your ability to succeed, then you're well on your way to getting their angel investments.

Angel Investors Also Look for Execution (and Potential)

There are other important things that most angel groups look for before deciding whether or not to invest in a startup. 

First and foremost, they want to see a great team in place. A strong team with a proven track record is always a good sign for investors.

Another thing that investors look for is a well-thought-out business plan. They want to see that the company has a clear vision and knows what it takes to execute that vision.

Finally, most investors also want to see some early traction. This could be in the form of early customers, positive media coverage, or even just a strong social media following.

If a startup can show that it has a great team, a solid business plan, and some early traction, then it is much more likely to get angel investing.

How Can You Convince an Angel Investor to Fund Your Idea?

One of the biggest advantages of approaching business angels for seed funding is that they are often more flexible than other types of investors.

They may be willing to invest smaller amounts of money over a longer period of time, which can be helpful for startups that are just getting off the ground.

Another advantage of angel investing is that it can provide valuable advice and mentorship. Many angel groups are successful entrepreneurs themselves, so they can offer valuable insights into starting and growing a business.

So, how can you convince an angel investor to fund your idea?

1. Have a Well-Thought-Out Business Plan.

Your business plan should outline the potential for growth and profitability. Be sure to do your research and include market analysis and financial projections.

2. Be Prepared to Answer Questions.

An angel investor will want to know everything about your business idea. Be prepared to answer any questions they may have.

3. Be Confident in Your Ability to Execute the Plan.

The investor will want to see that you have a solid plan and that you're confident in your ability to execute it.

4. Be Prepared to Give Up Equity.

In exchange for funding, you will likely have to give up a portion of the equity in your company. Be prepared to negotiate this with the investor.

If you can convince an angel investor that your business idea has potential, you may be able to get the funding you need to get your business off the ground.

What Happens If An Angel Investor Turns Down My Pitch?

As a startup, you may be wondering what happens if an angel investor turns down your pitch. While it can be disheartening, there are ways to recover and move forward.

First, it's important to remember that not every pitch will be a success. Just because one angel investor turns you down, doesn't mean that all will.

It's important to keep this in mind and not get too discouraged.

There are a few things you can do to try and salvage the situation.

First, see if the angel investor is willing to give you feedback on why they turned down your pitch. This feedback can be invaluable in helping you to improve your pitch for future investors.

If the angel investor is not willing to give feedback, don't be afraid to ask other people for their opinion on your pitch. Getting outside perspectives can help you to identify areas that need improvement.

Once you've taken the time to improve your pitch, you can then start reaching out to other angel groups.

Don't give up just because one investor turned you down. There are many other investors out there who may be interested in your startup.

To Conclude: Do Angel Investors Invest in Ideas?

Yes, angel investors invest in ideas but they also look for potential and capacity to execute. They want to see a clear path to how the idea will make money and a management team that is passionate and committed to making the business a success.

Why do angel investors invest in ideas? It's because they believe in the startup itself. Ideas alone are not enough to attract angel investment.

So go and hone your startup, and create that fund-winning pitch!

And if you are an angel investor, take your skills to the next level by building and scaling your own syndicate. With Angel School, we offer structured resources to help you get investments into your own thesis and deploy capital at $100k+ scale. By becoming an Angel School fellow, you get access to our blueprint which takes away all the guesswork in building syndicates.

Our comprehensive curriculum takes you from 0 to 10. We start with the basic principles and you get actual hands-on experience in the process. You work on real deal flow, decide which deals to invest in, and get shares of up to 4% carry out on every syndicate with program fellows. So don’t wait--apply for our Syndicate Program or schedule a call with us.

Related category:
Jed Ng
Jed Ng

“Jed is the Founder of - a program dedicated to helping emerging investor build and scale Angel syndicates.

He has a track record of exits and Unicorns, and is backed by 750+ LPs.

He previously built and ran the world's largest API Marketplace in partnership with a16z-backed,".

Get exclusive access to Angel School deals. Invest alongside our community of 750+ LPs
Join Deal Flow Newsletter
Ready to build your own Syndicate? Join the Angel School Fellowship program.
Apply to Cohort 3
Are you a startup seeking investment from Angel School?
Apply here