“Do not give up!”
MIHAI DÂRZAN, Procesio, Founder and CEO
During what phase of your startup development have you started to work with angel investors? Did you choose your angel investors? What were the thinking and criteria behind?
Back in 2016, I was looking for a mentor that would help me better understand what I needed to do next, how to do it, and help me gain the confidence in myself that I lost in a previous experience. I did not know how to find this mentor, so I searched for a business angel that would have the experience I was looking for, but also that would be a good fit in terms of personality and approach to life in general.
I was lucky enough, and fortunately, he, somehow, found me at a pitching event, seeing through the insecurities and inexperience that I had and decided to invest. I consider him my friend, my mentor, and a role model. I think that having this experience is the reason I got to this point.
Did you choose to work with one or with more angel investors?
In time I started to know many Tech Angels members, and as our mission at PROCESIO became known, I started working (and still do) with other angels who dedicate their time and money to help us achieve our vision. Now we have 10 angels that invested in our company and that actively help us push through challenges every day, get advice, get introductions to other investors, to partners, to clients, and many more.
If it would be to start all over in this relationship, would you do the same? What would you change?
If I were to start over, I would still follow the same path, but I would do it sooner than I did.
Would you say that the angel investors supported you in a significant way, or it was difficult to gain access to them as a resource?
The angel investors are open to discussions and empathetic to entrepreneurs since they are themselves in those shoes. It is just a matter of asking and synchronizing calendars (as they are busy people). Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs do not seek advice from angels, thinking they might be considered too pushy by the angels, without realizing that helping others is in the DNA of the angel investors.
Do you have now a preferred way to work with an angel investor?
My preferred way of working with angel investors (and I think that is their preferred way also) is to state the problems/challenges we need to solve as an organization and ask them to think if they can help somehow. They generally come up with ways of helping that I couldn’t have thought about.
What advice(s) you could provide for a startup looking to find angel investors?
Make sure your startup solves a relevant problem for someone (preferable to many people), and when you need advice, help, or maybe just someone that believes in you, then for sure you will find someone in the angel investors community. Do not give up!