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Sultan AlHokair and the Angel Investing Process

Sultan AlHokair is a retail specialist as well as an angel investor based out of Boston. He graduated from Northeastern University in 2009, where he studied financial accounting, business management and family business management. Mashable suggests he is currently Project Manager at Retail Group of America, where he utilizes his management knowledge and experience in leading fashion retailers in the areas of branding, merchandising, and sales. In addition to developing current brands, he is involved in seeking out new brands and new retail opportunities.

Sultan AlHokair is also a Venture Partner with Valia Investments. In his capacity there, he seeks out and funds new companies in various industries for the purpose of helping them grow and become the companies that the founders envision.

As Sultan Alhokair sees it, the most important thing a start-up company can have when it seeks angel funding is a plan: a well-thought-out, thorough, and above all, realistic plan. At he very least, a five-year plan is essential; plans for farther out than that can be useful but they are not critical at this point.

Preparation is also a key element that angel investors look for. If the founders and management team have very little business experience, the investment team will likely pass them by. Having business experience, even if it’s in an unrelated field, is something Sultan Alhokair finds to be essential for running a business, and investment firms are unlikely to waste their time on an untrained management team.

Sultan AlHokair also understands that the long term draw of a company is a huge factor. Angel investors won’t be interested in a “fad” business; they would much rather focus on a business that has built-in longevity, as opposed to a “flash in the pan” type of fad that will extinguish itself after a year or two.

Successful companies also have a story to tell; customers are often brought on board via a compelling story, one that engages them on a personal level and helps them to identify with the company, or the founders, or at least makes them feel as though they belong to a group among the other customers.

Mr. AlHokair feels the future is bright for start-ups, and that the business climate is likely to remain strong for the foreseeable future.

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