Dealing in Deal Flow
Dealflow. Where do you get it? How can you trust it? How can you make sure it’s highly curated to fit your needs? These are just a few questions that impact investing service providers are looking to address.
In the early-stage impact investing space, direct investments into social ventures are usually a high-risk, high-reward endeavor. So, make sure your appetite for portfolio risk is aligned with the inherent uncertainties of innovative startups. Whether you are looking to make your first investment or your 20th direct investment, you want to make sure that you’re connected to the companies and entrepreneurs that fit your investment thesis and criteria.
Dealing in Dealflow
Let’s remove some initial barriers by sharing some common places to go for early-stage investment deal flow.
Investor Groups - Aligned investor groups are a great place to go to find applicable deal flow. Investor groups vary widely across geographies, sectors, themes, and investor demographics. Typically, investor groups will provide additional resources to curate deal flow – like education, workshops, retreats. Early-stage impact investment groups to explore include Investors’ Circle and Toniic. Other investor groups have specific geographic or sector focuses and you can find them here in the Angel Capital Association directory
Accelerators - Accelerators are advanced-stage incubators; they assist the commercialization and launch of new ventures. Accelerator programs exist to ensure that entrepreneurs are given the essential tools to successfully run their ventures. One of the elements of success includes providing mentorship opportunities for investors and/or hosting demo days for angel investors to attend and consider investment in a member of the accelerator cohort. Accelerators can be seasonal, regional, sector, and even gender specific. Most accelerators areas of focus range from health care, to education, to poverty, economic opportunity and access to technology - so investors can usually find one or more accelerators focused on the kind of impact in which they wish to participate. Popular social impact and enterprise accelerators include: Boomtown, Fledge, GoodCompany Ventures, Haylcon Incubator, Mergelane, Uncharted, and Village Capital to name a few. Check out the accelerator programs near you or reach out to us for more information.
Online Platforms - Ah, the beauty of the internet and technology. We can connect with others and have access to information in a matter of minutes. Sites like AngelList, Crunchbase, Gust and many more allow you to filter and access a larger mix of entrepreneurial ventures. Platforms like InvestorFlow, allow you to engage with like-minded peers regarding targeted deal flow.
Conferences - Networking opportunities like events and conferences are still one of the best ways to find entrepreneurs and ventures that meet your thesis. Often conferences will have extracurricular activities or events that will allow you to mingle and get to know ventures in a more social setting than a boardroom, expo setting, or ask a question from the stage. Take advantage of conferences like SOCAP, Opportunity Collaboration, or Big Path Capital to name a few - where investors and entrepreneurs make sure to attend gatherings for both educational content and the ability to engage in formal and informal networking.
Peers - Ok, we’re going to let you in on a not-so-secret-secret. Referrals from early-stage impact investors to other early-stage impact investors tends to grease the wheel in increasing the likelihood of investment. Let your peer investors know what kind of deals you’re looking for. Share companies you are interested in with those who have similar investment objectives. We guarantee your inbox will be filled with pitch decks and requests in no time.
Increasingly there is more activity in the early-stage, impact investing space. This is a good thing! Peak Impact sees the gap in feeling comfortable pulling the trigger to make an investment or having the right tools and resources to manage the post-investment experience. Don’t reinvent the wheel every time. Let us know how we can help you turn on (or up) your deal flow and curate your experience engaging with the greater impact investing community and ecosystem