Hacker Angels announced their formation last week, nabbing what is arguably the best name for an angel investor group. The group was formed by Going Inc. founder and current AOL executive Roy Rodenstein, Delicious founder Joshua Schachter, Duck Duck Go's Gabriel Weinberg, Hotornot's Jim Young, and Punchfork founder Jeff Miller.The
Describing themselves as hackers "in the good sense," the group aims to "provide startups with targeted advice on technical questions, implementation issues, perhaps even do some coding here and there."
The group's website makes clear that they're not a fund per se: "This is an informal association and not a fund. If inclined, we may provide feedback, advice, mentorship, hacking, investment and/or serve as advisors or independent board members, on an individual basis."
The group hopes to make up for what Rodenstein described in a peHUB interview as a "lack of connection" between first-time entrepreneurs and the angel investor community. Weinberg echoes this when announcing the group on his blog, saying, "I believe that there are many good hacker entrepreneurs who are not getting the funding or advice they need to get traction for their startups. I also believe hackers relate well with other hackers, which is why I think the concept of hacker angels is so compelling."
In an interview with Mass High Tech's Galen Moore, Rodenstein described the Hacker Angel strategy: "We do focus on people that are hackers and are really pushing the product forward rather than just pure concepts or people looking for co-founders to execute. The ideal scenario for us is getting in very early because we can provide a lot more support and advice. We're comfortable with a little more high risk."