Although the description ‘angel investor’ originally referred to backers of theatrical productions, it is now commonly used to describe private individuals who invest cash in unlisted companies and sometimes also invest time and expertise.
Angel’s motives for investing vary widely - some are looking purely for a financial return or to encourage entrepreneurial family and friends, others are interested to play an advisory and mentoring role which can on occasions grow into a management role, executive or non executive. Angels can act singly or in groups combining their resources to offer meaningful amounts of finance for emerging companies.
Because angels normally wish to take quite a close interest in the progress of their investment, most angel investing is done locally, within say a 50 mile radius.
Formal and informal groups of angels are found close to most universities which ‘spin out’ companies formed to commercialize their research.
There are significant tax benefits available for angel investors through the EIS scheme. www.eisa.org.uk
British Business Angels Association: see list of members which includes many angel networks www.bbaa.org.uk
Oxfordshire Investment Opportunity Network: www.oion.co.uk
www.businesslink.gov.uk search ‘business angels’
British Venture Capital Association www.bvca.co.uk
UK Business Incubation www.ukbi.co.uk
European Business Angel Network www.eban.org.com
Venture Capital Report www.vcr1978.com
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