The often-misunderstood term 'angel investor' refers to individuals who invest in businesses in the very early stages. The investors, according to Angel Investor News, often seek a higher return than they would see from more traditional investments.

In return for their investment, they often are highly involved in the business.

Angels usually dole out cash to a business after founders have exhausted their self-funded coffers. The investors typically offer money that serves as a bridge until a company can acquire venture capital.

While funding estimates vary, angel investors generally spend anywhere from $50,000 to $1.5 million.

Ñ Andy Giegerich

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