Bernie Rudnick, cofounder of MidAtlantic Diamond Ventures, likes to speak in aphorisms.
Take, for example, his wisdom on angel investors:
“We tend to bet on the jockey,” he said, “not the horse.”
Or: “We don’t go to casinos, but we bet on companies.”
But our favorite line from Rudnick’s Q&A session at yesterday’s Coffee & Capital event at the University City Science Center‘s Quorum centered around how hard it is to find the perfect investor — but how entrepreneurs should press on and keep searching. The entrepreneurs he’s seen get funding did it by networking furiously and always working the room, Rudnick said.
“Maybe when they kissed that frog, it didn’t work,” he said. “So kiss another.”
If only the funding game were always this poetic.
Rudnick, a member of four angel investment groups including another he recently founded called MidAtlantic Bio Angels, specializes in life-science angel investing. He said he’s location-agnostic when it comes to investing, adding that he had just invested in a company in France.
Here are three more takeaways from Rudnick’s talk:
- The problem with Philly’s investment scene isn’t a lack of money, it’s a lack of opportunities for exposure. In response to a tweeted question from the Philadelphia Game Lab’s Nathan Solomon, Rudnick said: “I believe good businesses go unfunded, but it happens almost everywhere.” He stressed the importance of networking and making connections, saying that entrepreneurs should take advantage of every chance they get to get themselves noticed.
- Find a cheerleader. Get an investor who will be your champion and “get the ears of other investors,” Rudnick said. That investor might not even necessarily be funding your company at that time, but if she believes in you and can get the word out, she’ll be invaluable.
- An angel group’s due diligence process might be a headache, but it’s worth it for the feedback you’ll get. When it comes to angel groups versus individual angel investors, Rudnick said that “individual angels are usually a better trip for entrepreneurs if you can find them” since angel groups discuss things to death. But that can be a great way for a startup to get whipped into shape, he said.