angel investor
n. An individual who invests in a startup company or other venture.
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The joy, in short, came from what angel investors do every day in helping entrepreneurs make their ideas real. So Wolpert turned his attention to angel investing. So far he has 18 start-ups in his portfolio, including 14 launched since the first of last year, most of them entertainment-technology ventures.

"It's not about making money and being done with it," Wolpert says. "It's about coming up with an idea for a project or a product and seeing it through to the point where other people understand it. Building it is fun and so is the fact that people get the idea."

Angel investors like Wolpert are the swashbucklers of the capital marketplace. They take far bigger risks than venture capitalists in backing the start-up or the very early stage company, and they stand to make far more money than venture capitalists.
—Juan Hovey, “Trip, not destination, is angel investor's joy,” Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2000
President Clinton's proposal to exclude 50 percent of taxes on long-term investments in small companies could have a big impact on 'angel' investors — wealthy individuals, often entrepreneurs themselves, who invest their personal money in startup companies.
—Kathleen Pender, “Clinton Plan Encourages 'Angel' Investment in Startups,” The San Francisco Chronicle, March 01, 1993
1976 (earliest)
It is too early in the season to be sure that forthcoming productions will match the appeal of the shows now on. The boom, though, seems solidly entrenched. Producers claim that there is no shortage of "angels" — investors willing to risk money on a Broadway venture — a sure sign that the theatre is back in vogue.
—“On Broadway, black's the thing,” The Economist, October 23, 1976
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