Angel Investment Network - Mike Lebus on Who Hub

Angel Investment Network - Mike Lebus on Who Hub

Angel Investment Network - Mike Lebus on Who Hub

• What is the business idea that you are working on right now? How did you come up with it?
• I run Angel Investment Network, which connects entrepreneurs and investors. The whole concept behind the business is to provide an online and offline platform for 1) Entrepreneurs, business owners and inventors to find the funding they need to get their business off the ground. 2) Investors to find investment opportunities.

• Is there a website, blog or social media link where we can see more about your project and/or yourself?
• The UK website is at Angel Investment Network. In the top right corner, you'll find a drop-down list with all our other networks (we have 30 around the world). Here are links to our Facebook group, Twitter page and LinkedIn group

• What is your professional background? What were you doing before?
• I set up the company straight after leaving university, where I studied French and German.

• How did the entrepreneurial spirit rise up in you? Were you exposed to entrepreneurship in your family or your social environment when you were a child?
• Everyone has a bit of entrepreneurial spirit in them, because everyone has an idea for a business or an invention. Fortunately when I set my business up, I was young enough to have nothing to lose as I didn't have a mortgage, a family, or any of the other responsibilities that put a lot of people off starting their own business.

• Do you have partners working with you on this? How do you split the work with them?
• I co-founded the business with my best friend. We know each other’s strengths (and weaknesses), so know who would be better at which roles. It's important to put together a team with complementary skill sets so there aren't any gaps.

• Describe your business plan as briefly and simply as possible.
• We connect entrepreneurs and investors.

• What have you achieved up to now? What have you yet to achieve?
• We've already become the world's largest angel group with over 23,000 investors, but we still plan to set up new angel networks in more countries/regions and launch our events in more cities around the world.

• Are you looking for investors? What are you offering in exchange for what?
• Not at the moment. Also, our business is raising capital, so fortunately we've got that base covered!

• Do you have employees or people that you outsource tasks to? What do they do?
• We have quite a few people who help us run the networks. We have an events team. We have a technical team (web development, SEO, etc). It's a combination of in-house and outsourced.

• Entrepreneurs have a reputation as "control freaks." How do you avoid that?
• As your business grows, there obviously comes a time that you can't do everything yourself. The key is employees that you can trust enough to delegate work to.

• How do you balance work with relaxation?
• By spending as much time with family and friends as possible.

• What is your main motivation: being your own boss, adventure and discovery, getting rich, doing good for others, or is there something else?
• I love the flexibility of working for myself. Also, a lot of the entrepreneurs and investors I meet are genuinely interesting people. Making money obviously comes into it as well (like any business).

• What do you think of big corporations? Would you work for one?
• Never say never, but I do think I'd find it hard to go into that sort of office environment.

• When you need guidance or advice, where do you find it?
• My business partner, colleagues and friends. And quite often on the internet!

• Which well known entrepreneurs/enterprises do you admire? Why?
• I love the fact that Google still tries to maintain a small-company feel even though it's a huge corporation. I went to the Google office in London as was amazed at the relaxed atmosphere - everyone eats together, pool tables, free drinks, comfy chairs, video games...

• Are these times of crisis good for beginning a business?
• It's hard to get a job at the moment, so why not start that business you've always had in the back of your mind?

• How important have PR and social media been for you?
• Social media's been a great way of increasing awareness about our business, especially because we mainly operate online.

• What skills would you advise a want-to-be-entrepreneur to acquire?
• Listen to other people, especially your customers. Listening to your customers' feedback is the best way to improve your business.