Angel Investor Paul Lewis Answers Your Email Questions!


Hello Mr. Lewis,

I have eight concrete ideas for new products. I have sketches of the products and initial product development statements that I explain why each is an important product. I believe that my ideas will help the market that they are apart of and I am very excited about them! I want to get the products developed and put on the market before it's too late.

I have a lot of passion, excitement, and believe in the ideas, as well as a willingness to work hard to get the products to market. Could you please share with me your wisdom about what I should do next?

Thank you in advance for your advise Mr. Lewis,

Kathryn O., San Antonio, Texas

Paul's Answer:


Sketches and statements are a terrific place to start. You can share these with your closest and most trusted friends and BEG them for their honest feedback (not just friendly feedback)


and see which one or two look to be the most promising. Then, depending on the complexity of the invention , you can build a prototype.

Walk through The home Depot or Walmart on Saturday morning and you will see many soon-to-be inventors looking for the right parts to bring their dream alive. Try to find whatever pieces you can to simulate what it is you are trying to build from local stores or national chains. Do not worry about the production costs at this juncture.

Once you have a suitable, albeit not perfect, prototype, arrange for a focus group testing with people you know and people you do not know. If you are open and honest going through this process, you will know if you have a potential winner or not. If you do, it is time to figure out how to build a quality product for very little money. Packaging is perhaps as important as the product itself. When you get to this stage in the process, call me. You will be able to answer some of my very basic questions such as:

1. What does the product do?
2. What market does it fit into?
3. What is the potential of the market?
4. Does this product disrupt another type of product already in existence? (I love when this happens)
5. Is there a clear run at a business, or is this a one-shot shooting star?
6. What large company might at some point be interested in acquiring your company and for what valuation?

You answer Q1 and Q2, I will then help you answer Q3-Q6.

Good luck!

- Paul



Dear Paul,

What, as an Angel Investor, do you look for in a company? What advice can you give me to raise approximately $65,000. for the mold to begin production for my patented product, other than family and personal resources, please tell me what to do to gain an investors trust and investment. Thank you, with much gratitude,

- Colleen P., Fairfax, VA

Paul's Answer:


As an angel, I look for a few basic things.
1. Do I understand the product and the market?
2. Do I trust the founder is telling me the whole story?
3. Would I buy some and give them as gifts?

You can see a list of my TOP 5 must-haves and TOP5 deal killers on the CNBC website. The best advice that I can give you is to try to carry the company as far as you can on your own. Giving up equity is very expensive if you have a blockbuster product!


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