As a follow on to Rich`s points, I`d like to add:
1. Except for the "professional" venture investor types (VC firms, hedge funds, etc) most investors prefer to maintain a low profile. Most of the Private Investors I`ve met don`t talk about their investments in "public". Furthermore, entrepreneurs prefer to keep the identity of their private investors confidential. So what we read or hear about are the big deals involving the aforementioned professional investor community.
2. The investors I have met, who have chosen to support early stage enterprises, say that the people/ person was an important (the key) factor in their decision. It`s difficult to get to "really" know someone from a web interaction alone and many private investors are hesitant to "declare" their interest because they feel it "changes" the entrepreneurs behavior. In fact, I know of several situations where the investor decided to participate after spending several days (at a seminar) "watching" the entrepreneur and getting to know them.
3. My opinion, based upon experience and observation, is that web sites where you can "connect with investors" - deal in quantity rather than quality. There is little (if any) review or vetting of situations and thus, a large percentage of the "opportunities" posted are not capital ready. This means a low success rate - which is often perceived (by the posters) to be caused by a lack of investors present.
Although I can`t be specific (see above) I have connected through StartupNation with some people who are open to supporting the "right" situation and I have connected with entrepreneurs (who became clients) and who have successfully acquired external capital. However, I am not personally aware of anyone who made a connection here that directly led to an investment.
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