I have received some comments from experienced Angel investors challenging whether the use of the word “training” is appropriate in the context of developing business Angel investment skills and knowledge.
It is suggested that the use of the word may actually be off putting to individuals who regard themselves as extremely successful business people.
However, the principal challenge to the use of the word ‘training’ relates to the impression it may give that on completion of a “training course” a novice will be fully skilled in all matters required to be a successful investor.
In practice the most significant impactful elements of Angel learning occur as a result of new Angel investors learning from experienced Angel investors while processing a live investment opportunity.
Angel investing is a practical rather than a theoretical activity. The term “training” often seems associated with learning that is done by rote and is somewhat prescriptive. i.e. There is a “right and a wrong” way of doing things. Such prescription does not apply to the Angel investment environment, where there are many areas of disagreement, even between the most experienced Angel investors.
When Angels gather together there will be frequent discussions, and disagreements, as to the most appropriate forms of valuation (and the extent to which valuation is critically important or not in the investment process) the key factors of due diligence (typically between business opportunity and management team) and forms of investment (convertible notes versus preference stock) to name just a few areas of potential discord.
A preferred term may be “education”, which has a connotation of a continuing (lifelong) process, where the learners are encouraged to think about the concepts presented, and where appropriate to challenge them. Any point is open to discussion.
In developing the skills and knowledge of the Angel community it might be that encouraging education on a continuing basis, rather than suggesting Angels undergo training, which may be seen as a relatively one-off activity, would be more effective.