Why in person (not virtual or online)?
There are a few reasons why we prefer in-person angel groups over virtual or online-only platforms.
1) Pitch quality. It can be hard to judge an entrepreneur’s pitch based on a video, and hard for an entrepreneur to pitch effectively through video or writing because they don’t get the immediate feedback and response from people in the room.
2) Offline value. Some of the value of the groups come from in-person discussions, debates, and arguments; post-meeting one-on-one discussions and Q&A; and networking and idea exchange. Virtual and online groups typically lack those interactions.
3) Due diligence. We consider the “team” key to evaluating an investment opportunity. Meeting that team is critical in evaluating it!
Nonetheless, online facilities are important and we use them extensively across VentureSouth in areas like screening reviews and document storage. Wholly virtual and online platforms are popular and can be an effective way for people to be engaged, particularly in places that are too small to support their own local in-person group.