While many innovations are developed inside existing organizations with their own sources of funding, there nonetheless remains a great need to put innovators & entrepreneurs together with sources of capital. Today I will introduce you to a resource that has my respect in this regard. That resource is called GUST, the self-described platform that "… enables skilled entrepreneurs to collaborate with the smartest investors by virtually supporting all aspects of the investment relationship, from initial pitch to successful exit."
In short, GUST is a place for innovator/entrepreneurs seeking capital to more easily connect with so-called "angel" investors looking to deploy capital. Great ideas without access to capital (as well as planning and discipline – but that's for a different post), are like unharvested fruit that is destined to wither and die.
As a professional investor, I've always marveled at the ease with which someone with a good idea can raise capital here in the United States. Say what you will about how bad things are right now, or aren't, there is no denying that this country's capacity to raise and provide capital remains one of our most powerful, if not unparalleled, assets. GUST's innovative platform only adds to that capacity.
I like GUST. I'm a member myself. Through GUST I am exposed to some phenomenal ideas and innovations. For entrepreneurs and investors it's simply awesome and worth checking out. For sure, a huge hat-tip goes out to the guys who started GUST! If GUST is something you want to learn more about go to their website at www.gust.com.
From the About Us at the GUST website —
- "Gust provides the global platform for the sourcing and management of early-stage investments. Gust enables skilled entrepreneurs to collaborate with the smartest investors by virtually supporting all aspects of the investment relationship, from initial pitch to successful exit. Gust is endorsed by the world's leading business angel and venture capital associations, and powers over 1,000 investment organizations in 65 countries. More than 160,000 start-ups have already used the platform to connect and collaborate with over 40,000 individual accredited investors. The company was founded in 2004 under the name Angelsoft and is privately held. Gust is based in New York, New York, with a development center in Vancouver, British Columbia, and European office in Paris, France."
From time-to-time in future postings I'll share some of the data GUST publishes in their newsletters. I already shared some of it below. GUST tracks excellent front-line data on trends in angel investing, what kinds of deals are out there, and where the funding is going.
The following three graphics give of a taste of the quality of data GUST published in their latest newsletter. Note: The following three graphics are entirely the work of GUST. I only copied them here for your convenience. The editorial comments are mine.
1. GUST tracks the funding applications across industries. By a wide margin, funding applications appear quite strong in the web development space.
2. GUST tracks where the applications for funding are coming from. I find it interesting to note that the five states listed in the table below also happen to be where the vast majority of investment professionals live in the US, with the exception of Massachusetts which is not on the list but also has a large professional investor community.
3. GUST also tracks data on a company's stage. I found this especially interesting as it shows the vast majority of companies seeking funds are well beyond the white board or back-of-the-envelope stage in their development. These companies have a clear vision for what the product is and either already have it ready for market or are developing it.