What are the first steps to become a startup investor?

Have roughly 10% of your wealth available as completely piss away money. Make sure that’s enough to make at least $100k investments in 10 or more startups.

There you go.

If you don’t have that, don’t invest in startups; please. You are VERY likely to lose everything – I can’t even stress that enough because people get a gambler high on startups or something and think, “hey! I’ll be the one that ends up in Uber!” – No, you won’t: you will lose MOST of your money and likely ALL of it.

Startup investing is best suited to the people or funds that work within the industry and startup stage. They’re investing BECAUSE there are other benefits… investing in failed startups drives talent, customer development, innovation, and partnership that can be leveraged in other ways.

When they have that experience, passion, and broader potential, and can throw away AT LEAST $1,000,000 by investing $100k at a seed stage in 10 startups (they can capably evaluate), they MIGHT hit one success and break even… MAYBE better.

When investors lack those means, that experience, or that broader potential, they tend to give founders crappy advice; perpetuating failures.

Startups won’t likely deliver ANY return for at least 7 years. IF they are successful. Startups typically don’t make any meaningful revenue, if any, for a few years. Investors who aren’t experienced with, or capable of funding that, tend to pressure founders to chase Said Investors’ priorities inappropriately timed and focused upon.

By the way… that’s the minimum advice to start. Being an “Angel Investor” at that Seed Stage, where you’re only putting in $100k means you are MUCH MUCH MUCH more likely to lose it all.

If you want to speculate, look at Equity Crowdfunding or an Angel Group to join.

If you want to let those that know what they’re doing get you involved, put your money in a VC Fund.

If you decide to go it alone, good luck!