Angels as in angel investors like Bill Payne. Outfield as in the suburbs like the ones near Austin. I maintain we need more angels in the outfield to step up…to get involved in entrepreneurship and private equity investing.
The tie-in between suburbs and angel investors?
Given there are as many as 84M people in the U.S. alone who self-identify as entrepreneurs, they don’t all live downtown and neither does a significant portion of their business and social network. Think about it…the guy (or gal) working at Dell in Round Rock is working 50 hours a week, hustling to keep up with his family and kids in swimming, soccer, baseball…you name it. I know these people and a lot of them want to do something different.
Imagine you’re this Dell person. Go to Google and entering “How do I raise money for my startup?” You’ll find articles from a host of reputable (and not so reputable) sources. Almost all of them are geared towards matching sophisticated startup leaders with sophisticated investors: Why Startups Should Raise Money at the Top End of Normal. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I couldn’t give you a clue what that title means!
What if it was different?
What if people could drop into a local coffee shop, campus, or other business location and tap into a network of people like them. People in the entrepreneurial game as co-founders, designers, developers, marketers, accountants, lawyers, and, yes, investors.
That’s what my business partners are doing at our new company, Cospace Ventures. We’re bringing an entrepreneurial ecosystem to people where they live or currently work. It’s a different business model with a focus on entrepreneurship and education. Think ‘on demand’ education workspace, education, and people — all for people starting, growing, or funding businesses. We’re standing them up in neighborhoods, at choke points along freeways, and, yes, even downtown via partnerships with incubators and accelerators.
You know what we need?
You. If you’re one of the 84M who has an idea or can serve a startup or is willing to change some of your investment focus from Wall Street to Main Street, give us a shout.
We need angels in the outfield. The world does. Your local community does. If you’re not interested, that’s fine too. Just don’t complain about the economy or that only the “fat cats” in Silicon Valley can get in on the hottest startups. That’s B.S. and we’re proving it.