While the merits of each investment will vary, we evaluate your venture according to the following criteria.
We look for teams of high-quality entrepreneurs with a track record of leadership and performance, either in the company’s specific industry or in prior entrepreneurial ventures. We also look at your team’s passion for and commitment to the new business idea, and your ability to inspire confidence among future stakeholders, including employees, potential customers, and investors. As we will be working together as partners, your team’s credibility is essential. In addition, your team must be open to and comfortable with receiving input provided by angel investors.
Your company must demonstrate a strategy to claim significant share of the target market. There are plenty of great business ideas, but not all businesses will generate returns that justify angel investor and venture capital financing. Therefore, providing a solution to a problem with a large potential market is essential.
Use of Proceeds
Funds must be used to accelerate your company’s achievement of key milestones that increase the company’s value. We generally fund activities that include product development, building a sales and marketing infrastructure and hiring key executives.
We look for companies that have demonstrated that they can grow quickly and manage the scale necessary to succeed. Your company must demonstrate a plan to generate significant profits beyond the initial product idea. Do you have a strategy to achieve multiple sources of revenue? We also require well-conceived financial projections, based on sound assumptions, demonstrating consistent profits and cash flow growth.
Your company must have some proprietary features that distinguish you from potential competitors or provide barriers to entry that prevent other companies from capturing your customers with a similar offering. Attributes that convey competitive advantage include intellectual property protection, exclusive licenses, exclusive marketing and distribution relationships, strong brands, scarce human resources (i.e. knowledge and skills), and access to scarce raw materials.
TAP members have significant executive experience in a variety of fields. One of the benefits of working with angel investors is the active coaching and contact network that our member investors can provide. As such, there must be a fit between members of our group and your idea. Your company should be within a reasonable day’s drive of The Research Triangle Park to take full advantage of our resources.
We prefer to invest in first-of-a-kind new ideas, rather than incremental enhancements to existing products and services. However, we approach highly complex, esoteric technologies with caution. The concept behind the technology must be proven and verifiable. Further, we avoid science projects that don’t demonstrate a clear path to commercialization. Any breakthrough innovation must be accompanied by a strong business plan.