Hacker Angels Breaks Into Early-Stage Investment Scene

There’s another angel group out there looking for early-stage IT entrepreneurs. This one is called Hacker Angels, and consists of Joshua Schachter (Delicious), Jeff Miller (Punchfork), Gabriel Weinberg (Duck Duck Go) and Roy Rodenstein (Going.com).

I spent a few minutes on the phone with Rodenstein, to understand what they’re planning:

How do you define “hacker?”

Well, a couple of us are from MIT, so we definitely define it in a positive sense. Specifically, it’s entrepreneurs that can program and are taking the lead in developing the first prototype or whole product themselves… a lean startup model.

Is this a formal group? Informal group?

It is fairly informal still, but has been evolving. Most of us have been doing some angel investing, but not for too long. The guy who’s been doing it the longest and deepest is Josh Schachter.

We all know each other from a bunch of places, and have been having pretty active dialogues around our strategies and what we look for. So this is the beginning of a formalization of that.

Are you pooling your money?

We’re not pooling right now. We all have pretty good dealflow individually, but now can share our views and possibly do certain deals together. There’s one, maybe two, like that that we’ve already been working on. We’ve also gotten around 30 semi-interesting opportunities in the first hour since announcing our existence.

Are you concerned that there may be too many angel investors in the IT space?

I know there’s a lot more people doing it than there used to be, but I still think there’s a lack of connection. I do a lot of advising, and it seems that there’s at least five times as many people looking for funding as there are angels investing. Maybe it’s because there are a lot of first-time entrepreneurs — which is great, but they don’t yet have a enough of a network, so they need a bit more guidance…

Individual angels aren’t always active in helping to bring more angels into a deal. I think we’re a bit more active in that way.