I joined the Angels & Entrepreneurs Network (www.angelsentrepreneurs.com) 6 months ago and I must say that it is not living up to my expectations.
The Angels and entrepreneurs network ads are found all over the Internet lately. But are their promises true?
“All Americans Can Start Investing Like a ‘Shark’ with just $50,” touts one of the ads. This is true, but most of the startups highlighted in the A&E network have a minimum $100 or more investment.
“Luckily, Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec and successful angel investor Neil Patel are evangelizing this brand-new investment strategy across the country,” is another quote from their advertising.
However, I have never once seen or heard of Robert Herjavec after joining the network.
many assertions were made when I joined the A&E network. And many of them are true, sort of.
Pro: I was very interested in the “Free” yearly retreat they offered if I became a lifetime member. 3 or 4 days of workshops, information, sales pitches, and networking sounded intriguing.
They assured me that, if I could make my own way to where the retreat was, I would have a free ticket to get in every year.
Con: They did not tell me there were only 50 free tickets available and it was first come, first served (to put it into context, I believe that the A&E Network has several thousand members). Every member after the first 50 must pay an admission fee.
They do offer a highlight video of the retreat, but you have to pay for that also.
Pro: You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to invest in startups anymore. “Crowdfunding” has taken on a whole new meaning.
Con: Unlike what the ads say, you can’t really invest only $50. The lowest investments are currently $100.
Pro: Neil Patel supposedly vets every startup that joins the Angels Network. Maybe he does and maybe he doesn’t. But there are certain things he is supposed to do, like:
Con: First, why would we need a “Neil’s Take?” Isn’t he already promoting the company? And, although the “Hot Seat” and “Deep Dive” sessions are usually filled with good facts, they sometimes aren’t available until weeks after the startup shows up in the network.
The startup was sold out at least once (they can only ask for a certain amount of money) before either the “Hot Seat” or “Deep Dive” had been published. So, they are sometimes “too little, too late.”
Pro: I like that I get emails whenever a new startup is listed and when the “Hot Seat” sessions are live on the network.
Con: They are now sending out 5X as many spam emails as they do real ones.
Pro: There are many forums available for people to post questions and answers and talk about investing in general. They’ve even started local forums for many areas of the country.
Con: The forums don’t seem to have much real information.
Pro: I’m not a professional investor, so I was very happy to learn that we would have the help of the A&E team with questions we might have about investing.
Con: That seems to have been hype. I had a question about a stock they recommended that was time-sensitive and nobody got back to me (let alone got back in time).
Pro: They do have some good information about the startups. Investors usually get to see the startups current revenue and other stats.
Con: One vital piece of information they do not show is the company’s valuation. This is so very important, but you have to go to searching for it on the Internet if you want to know what it is.
Pro: The startups they recommend seem to be stable companies with good founders and a solid business platform. Only time will really tell, though.
Con: There is a LOT less support than they say there is. You still need to do your own due diligence and vet the companies yourself. Some companies looked good until I saw that they weren’t actually selling any products yet, but they valued their company at $20 million (because they could was their answer when I asked). Another company, valued at $20 million, was currently grossing $5 million a year in sales, however.
The Angels & Entrepreneurs Network is not for someone that thinks they can sink a couple thousand dollars into a startup and be a millionaire in a few months without doing any research (that won’t happen even with research). I got into it when they offered the lifetime membership, and I am glad I did. I don’t think it’s worth the monthly fee (I’m not even sure it’s worth what I paid).
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