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Finding Startup Talent on AngelList

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April 26, 2021

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Ever heard of AngelList?

If you run a startup, AngelList can make it easier for you to raise money, recruit talent, and launch your company if you haven’t done so already. After you finish reading this article, you should have a better understanding of the following three points:

  • How to find startup talent on AngelList
  • Other ways AngelList can help your startup 
  • How to become a featured startup on the platform

What’s AngelList?

AngelList was initially created for angel investors. These are wealthy people who offer cash to startups in exchange for equity. To become an angel investor, an individual must be an accredited investor with a net worth of at least $1 million or have an annual income above $200,000.

AngelList is also a site for startups and job seekers looking to work at early-stage companies. Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi founded the company in 2010 by creating a list of 25 investors with whom they would share information about companies to invest in. 

They decided to name it “AngelList,’ and found 50 investors who pledged to invest $80 million.  

AngelList grew out of the blog Naval and Babak started called “Venture Hacks.” Venture Hacks explained in minute detail how (among other things), venture capital works. This is something every startup should know about when considering an influx of investment capital.

Before the debut of AngelList, most of the information found on the site was only accessible to founders and investors who were part of "the old boy's network." 

The genius of AngelList is that it democratized all that knowledge, making it infinitely easier to become an angel investor as well as a startup founder.

In the ten years since it launched, AngelList has helped millions of job seekers and hundreds of startups fundraise and hire talent. The platform has over 35,000 recruiting companies, more than 2,000,000 candidates, and five million registered users. 

Business Insider calls AngelList “the Match.com for investors and startups.” Among the enterprises spun off the parent company are AngelList Venture, AngelList Talent, and Product Hunt.

How to find startup talent on AngelList

The company launched AngelList Jobs in 2012. AngelList founder Naval Ravikant says, "We noticed that people were using AngelList profiles to vet people and companies as well, so we just launched [the portal]…" 

In the last few years, AngelList Jobs has become an epicenter of startup talent looking for new roles. That's why it's essential to ensure your Angel List profile is not only up to date, but also perfectly represents your employer brand. 

You’ll find a lot of potential employees for your startup on AngelList Jobs. There are over $2 million active candidates looking for new roles. Connecting with them by posting a job is completely free. 

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to find startup talent on the platform (If you're using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that syncs with AngelList, you won't have to follow these steps because it'll be done automatically):

  1. Click the “Recruit” tab on the AngelList site. This brings you to the Talent dashboard.  Click the “Post Job” button in the sidebar.
  2. Fill in the job details. Be realistic about needed skills and thorough about explaining the responsibilities. By being specific, you'll weed out poorly matched applicants. When choosing skills, select the ones with the most followers. It's a balancing act trying to write a posting that has broad appeal while still targeting the right candidates. Don't post nonspecific details that apply to too many people—only the things that explicitly apply to that role.
  3. Add salary range and equity data. Unless you have a premium account, you’ll have to add at least one. If you’re not a premium member, postings that omit salary and equity data will not appear in job searches.  Set a wide range if you’re not sure what the compensation is going to be yet.
  4. Click employees from the dropdown list to set the correct recruiter contact information. Their email address must be their work email. Lots of users created accounts before they started recruiting for their organization. This means their personal email addresses are still attached to their accounts. The listed address is the one that’ll receive updates and notifications when someone applies for a job.
  5. Submit your job posting.

What other ways does AngelList help startups?

AngelList is a terrific way for brand-new startups to connect with potential investors. However, fundraising on the site takes a lot of research, time, and energy. Here are the eleven steps you need to take if you want to succeed with fundraising on AngelList:

  1. Clearly state your fundraising goal. Be transparent about how much cash you want to raise in your current round. Don’t waste your or the investor’s time by asking for something they don’t want to give.
  2. You can select up to four markets to describe your startup. Investors who follow those markets can find your startup more quickly, so it's wise to choose all four.
  3. Choose a geographical location that's not too large but large enough to attract a more significant investor pool. For example, “Florida Panhandle” will generate more possibilities than “Pensacola.”
  4. Ask current investors to back you on AngelList. By having them support you, you show other investors that individuals have already found your company worthwhile. Companies with an existing investor base will do much better than organizations that nobody follows. 
  5. Create a list of target investors. These should be investors in your sector that have invested in similar companies in the past. They should also have experience in areas you lack and the resources you need.
  6. Randomly contacting investors will reflect poorly on your company. Instead, show that you’ve chosen them precisely because of their experience and interests. This will make you stand out.
  7. Contact investors. You can only communicate with investors on AngelList that have followed your company or contacted you first.
  8. Send them a description of your company. Keep it as short as possible. In your first communication, give them enough information to pique their interest without drowning them in a plethora of details. If they want to learn more, they can always visit your website.
  9. Tell them why you believe they would be interested in your company. Remind them if they’ve invested in similar companies before.
  10. Tell them why you need their assistance. Be clear about what you think they can bring to the table. This will show them you have a reason for making contact.
  11.  Make sure you mention why their investment in your company would be good for them. Highlight your startup’s strengths and successes when doing so. 

How to become a featured investor on AngelList 

AngelList is exceedingly selective about the startups they feature. The company has algorithms that track a startup’s traction and momentum. The more introductions, views, and followers a company gets, the faster it rises to the top of a queue.

AngelList is always watching the queue, and every week the company holds a meeting to review the top 20 startups. That way, they can choose which ones to feature.

Suppose you’re one of the 2% of startups that get featured. In that case, AngelList will generate a list of recommended investors based on your market, stage, and location. You select investors from that list you're interested in speaking to, filtered by attributes like fund type and activity.

Every investor you express interest in gets information about your startup, along with a recommendation from AngelList administrators. If the feeling’s mutual, they can begin their investing journey with you. 

If your startup is decidedly offbeat, that’ll help. As the company’s website says: “We look for weird things. Obscure markets. Awesome founders. Freaky corners of the internet where magic happens.”

Getting featured on AngelList can be an incredible boon to your fundraising efforts. It’s like having your app featured on the App Store. Developers who are lucky enough to achieve this luminous honor can find themselves on the top downloaded charts.

When it happens on AngelList, startups get the kind of traction they only dreamed about. Being featured worked out for Dash, the app described as "Fitbit for cars." 

The company was featured by AngelList, which led to 100 new followers and a coveted spot on the “Trending” section.

Dash's owners contacted their new followers and ended up having calls or meetings with dozens of them. 10 to 20% expressed interest in investing.

The best way to find startup talent

In today’s highly competitive executive talent market, you’ll need to search multiple networks to find leaders who can lead innovation, empower employees to perform to the best of their ability, and add a visionary dimension to your company.  

Hunt Club does just that. By scouring the networks of hundreds of top leaders in the industry you’re recruiting for, we deliver a pool of highly qualified executive candidates to our clients. 

Call us today to find out what we can do for you! 

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