The first 48 hours since launching my AngelList syndicate

Wow, you guys. Wow.

I am still processing all of the wonderful feedback I’ve received.

Here are some of the stats:

  • 200+ new Twitter followers
  • 50,000+ tweet impression
  • 2,000+ Medium post announcement views
  • 50+ Medium post recommendations
  • 150+ email introductions
  • 50+ startup pitches
  • Countless RTs, tweets, favorites
  • 17.5 haters (there were several I’d consider “half a man” so…)
  • a half a million giddy texts from my mom, including an inquiry on whether or not Ellen would be contacting me shortly :)

I’ve got to thank Emily Peck at HuffPo for her article and everyone who has shared links and info about what I’m doing! You guys rock.

As of now, the syndicate has reached $27,000 in backing by 11 investors! My first goal for the syndicate is to reach $100,000 in backing very soon. Once I reach that milestone, I will announce my first deal which I couldn’t be more excited about. It’s a high-tech startup with an incredibly strong and skilled founder, groundbreaking technology, a ton of traction, and a dream team of engineers & designers. And its just one of the fantastic companies I’ll be backing!

Speaking of, I think its important that I clarify a big part of how syndicates work on AngelList: Backing my syndicate (or anyone else’s) costs $0 up front and there is no obligation. It’s just a way for accredited investors to set an amount they’d conceivably put into each deal that they like. They can decide on a deal-by-deal basis and back out of the syndicate at any time. Joining early is a really great way to see my awesome deal flow and be first in line to invest if interested. And in some cases, I can ONLY show deals to syndicate backers.

Another point I want to make is that none of the syndicate money goes to me, and I’m investing alongside the syndicate. I’ve had lots of questions about it, so here’s how it works:

  • I see pitches from dozens of companies every month,
  • A company that is raising capital has a product, team, traction, and valuation that fits my thesis and investment strategy and really stands out, so I decide to invest in the round,
  • The founders like me too, so together we decide on an amount that my syndicate would be able to invest (for example, they’re raising $500,000 total, and give me space to invest up to $125,000 of that),
  • I put in 1–2% of that allocaiton, and invite my syndicate members to put in what they’d like as well, on an individual basis, with as little as a $1,000 investment each (so same example, I put in $2,000 and 60 of my syndicate backers each decide to put in $2,000, the syndicate then is able to send the company a $122,000 check and have the equivalent ownership of the company),
  • Investing is risky, so there’s a chance none of us will make our money back on the investment. But if we do, everyone would get their money back plus any profit (minus my 15% carry and AngelLists’s 5% carry).

It’s important to reiterate that this isn’t only about me. It’s mostly about getting funding to some of the best founders and startups in the U.S. and in the world, and fueling innovation that will affect us all. As proud as I am for doing this, and as fun as the recent attention has been, I’m looking forward to really setting the spotlight on all of the brilliant people I’ve been surrounded by for the past 3 years.

If you work at a venture capital firm that would like to speak with me, feel free to get in touch at ARLANhamilton@gmail.com.

If you’re a founder, please send a BRIEF intro message. I’ve been getting some novels as the first email, and there’s just no way to read all of that. Hit me with a couple of friendly sentences and a deck, and if I’m interested, I’ll write back. (As you type out your messages to me, imagine that you only have the time between General Hospital scenes to get my attention:) )

I’ll continue to post updates. Please tweet, RT, post to Facebook, recommend, and email to anyone you think would be interested! Thanks:)

Oh and btw, more announcements to come;)

If you’re considering joining my syndicate, I suggest taking a look at angel.co’s FAQ’s for some really great clarifying info: https://angel.co/help/syndicates

Direct link to my syndicate:
http://angel.co/arlanwashere/syndicate

My original Medium post announcement:
https://medium.com/female-founders/i-want-to-invest-in-startups-with-underrepresented-founders-f9694692f16e

HuffPo article published on Friday, Sept 18th, 2015:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/arlan-hamilton-investing_55fc0a92e4b00310edf69c0a

I’m the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital, a seed investment fund that backs high-potential, underrepresented startup founders. I am also a tour manager, currently working with New Zealand Music Award winner Janine & the Mixtape.

For interviews or to set up one-on-one “office hour” sessions at your event, email ARLAN@BackstageCapital.com with the subject “interview request,” or “conference appearance request,” etc.

Venture Capitalist + Tour Manager for Janine & The Mixtape www.ArlanWasHere.com

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