The role of the exit in the initial screening of investment opportunities: The case of business angel syndicate gatekeepers

Colin Mason, Tiago Botelho

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33 Citations (Scopus)
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The exit process has been largely ignored in business angel research.. The practitioner community identifies the difficulty in achieving exits as the most pressing problem for investors. This has been attributed to the failure of investors to adopt an exit-centric approach to investing. The validity of this claim is examined via a study of the investment approach of 21 ‘gatekeepers’ (managers) of angel groups in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Most gatekeepers say that they do consider the exit when they invest. However, this is contradicted by a verbal protocol analysis which indicates that the exit is not a significant consideration in their initial screening process. The small number of exits achieved by the groups is consistent with the general lack of an exit-centric approach to investing. Only three groups exhibit evidence of a strong exit-centric approach to investing. The lack of exits may have a negative impact on the level of future angel investment activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-175
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • business angels
  • angel groups
  • exits
  • investment screening
  • verbal protocol analysis
  • co-investment funds

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