Founders Guide on Investor Alan Glennon16 Jun 2021
- Name: Alan Glennon
- Lives in San Francisco, California
- Former technical co-founder and CEO of NSF-funded Arogi (geospatial analytics)
- Former academic researcher from University of California, Santa Barbara (Ph.D. Geography 2013). Master’s in Geoscience, specializing in cave hydrology
- Former park ranger at Mammoth Cave, Jewel Cave, and Great Basin Nat’l Park
- Accredited angel investor in 23 technology startups since 2017, including Lambda School, Stilt, and Teampay
- Step 1: Send an email with a memo or short deck. I love playing with demos. Be aware that I evaluate a lot of pitches. I write approximately five checks per year, and I invest in about 1 out of every 500 pitches. I may not be able to answer every email (I will do my best), but I certainly will read it.
- Step 2: Discuss your company with me in a one-hour video meeting.
- Step 3: I will send you an email within 48 hours with an answer. A ‘no’ will come fast. Sometimes the response will be that I want to double check details or require additional diligence. The more money committed, the more likely I will need additional conversations.
- Step 4: We both sign a YC SAFE, and I write you a check.
I invest in super-early high-growth potential, technology-enabled startups. My investments tend to be in companies that: have discovered something unexpected in a market or are experimenting with new business methods. Any industry is fine, but as a former park ranger, natural resource mining companies are not interesting to me.
Who I invest in
Anyone. If you are the type of person or people that Silicon Valley underestimates, I especially want to hear about what you are building. My last seven investments average 2.1 founders per company, and six of seven have a woman founder. They are all working full-time, exclusively on their startup.
Micro-angel checks: $5,000 on a $2,500,000 YC SAFE: Valuation Cap, No Discount. Checks come from my personal funds. You do not have to be incorporated, but you must be willing to form a Delaware C Corporation fairly rapidly--like within six months of signing. I also consider startups from Canada, India, and Singapore. If you have never raised venture capital before, you should also consider FirstMoney.In—a program I helped create where underestimated startup founders can apply for a modest, standardized investment from vetted, experienced angel investors.
Angel checks from $10,000 to $50,000 with a strong preference for investments in Delaware C Corporations on the most-recent YC SAFE Valuation Cap, No Discount. Depending on the deal, I may negotiate the addition of a pro-rata side letter. Checks come from my personal funds.
Checks up to $250,000 with me as an AngelList Syndicate Lead. These are rare for me to do because I am bringing other investors into the deal. If this is the instrument I would like to use, it will be in close consultation with you the founder. With a syndicate, two investors are added to your cap table: me and an AngelList LLC that represents the syndicate investors.
What you get from Alan
- Other than the cash itself, much of my job is to get out of your way. You will not need to teach me how various investment documents work, and I understand that many startups are a mess at the beginning.
- Especially if I am the first money in, the check from an experienced Silicon Valley investor signals an initial minimum price for future investors.
- There are many more brilliant and famous investors. However, it still is prestigious to receive money from me. It is validation that an investor believes you will be successful, your idea is worth pursuing, and that the potential market could be spectacular. I am optimistic that someday your efforts will make us both a lot of money.
- When your company is ready, I will make introductions to the next stage of investors and help prepare you for what to expect. I am most able to assist at the earliest rounds.
- I will answer any questions you have, and point to potential resources when I am clueless.
I ran a startup too. As your company encounters problems, there is a reasonable chance I have experienced something similar. That being said, every startup and founder is different. Your company is yours, not mine. Even solutions that worked for me may be a terrible path for you. It is your job to weigh the options and make the decisions that work for your startup.
Even for ambitious, capable, and smart people, running a startup can be overwhelmingly stressful. I expect you to work hard and fully commit to the company, but not at the cost of your emotional or physical safety. Your life and well-being are more important than any startup or my investment.
Founders usually communicate with me by email. Linkedin is a reasonable way to make initial contact, but I do not use its messaging. It is pretty common for my portfolio founders to text when something fast-paced is happening.
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Replace mylastname with my last name. It is the same as my Twitter username
- twitter: @glennon
- text: I'll send you my number post-investment