Choosing the right investor for your start-up
  • Understand your investor’s personality. “I am very hands-on, but take a step back at a certain point. Founders need to do the work. I am not going to tell you how to run your company. I am here to mentor you and my personality is very encouraging and firm. Not everyone is this way. Determine what personality you work best with and seek them.”
  • Choose an investor who is knowledgeable and creditable. What types of companies is this firm investing in? What industries do they primarily focus on? What regions do they focus on? Are they showing up in the areas you need them to? What is their background? Are they engaged in the ecosystem you are a part of? How do they treat their founders? Do they have your best interest in mind? Do they want YOU to succeed? “Do your research, analyze their website and Twitter. If they say they focus on diversity, is it obvious? Does it start at home? What does their team look like? Our portfolio companies seek us out because that is our focus. We not only say we are investing d in diversity, but our investor team is also diverse.” Find an investor that has the necessary experience and expertise that would fit your company’s focus.
Sig Mosley, Godfather of Angel Investing in the Southeast
  • Check references. Investors do a lot of reference checks, you should do the same on potential investors. “Talk to CEOs they have invested in. How they will work with you if problems arise? Talk to one or two CEOs of companies that did not do well. How did the investor respond?”
  • If you already have an investor and are adding another to the team, understand the dynamic they are bringing to the team. “It is not the entrepreneur’s job to try to balance and keep the peace between the investors.” Be thoughtful and intentional with who you bring on the team.
  • Understand the value of the investor. What connections, knowledge, and resources does this person or group bring? Will I be able to learn and grow from this connection?
Stefanie Diaz, Voted Atlanta Startup Wonder Woman
  • Find someone who understands your vision. “Founders should look for someone who has deep knowledge of an industry or built a similar business model. Someone who has the reference points of where you are trying to go and can guide you on the next steps.”
  • Find someone who understands your lived experiences. “You want someone who can say I see you, I appreciate you.” “Initially you may feel like a fish out of water, but finding the right investor who understands where you are coming from makes all the difference. “A VC firm fit for me would be that they understand how being raised by a single mom, growing up in Puerto Rico and Spanish being my first language have shaped who I am as a person and can find a connection with that.”

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Zane Venture Fund

Zane Venture Fund

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We Invest In Early-Stage Companies Led By Exceptional, Diverse Teams Building Tech-Enabled Solutions.