Erica Duignan Minnihan knows what investors like to see in startups, and she knows the difficulties founders face meeting those expectations. She has more than 10 years of experience in early-stage startup investing, and now she’s out to help both investors and entrepreneurs be better at their jobs.

Minnihan is currently the Managing Partner at 1000 Angels, a digital venture investment platform that helps independent investors around the world assess potential deals and build their personal portfolios. She also runs the CoFoundersLab Virtual Accelerator, a six-week online program that teaches founders all the basics of starting up with fewer constraints than brick-and-mortar accelerators.

Minnihan was kind enough to invite me into her New York City apartment and let me pick her brain on all things investing and starting up. In our interview, she lays out the basics of the CoFoundersLab accelerator program, explains how to draw up a roadmap for building your business or product, and shares some of the most important things that investors look for in founders and their startups.

My thanks go out to Minnihan for taking some time to educate the community on the important topics of business planning and investing. Connect with her on Twitter @ericaminnihan, or check out the virtual accelerator if you’re interested in jump-starting your business, and enjoy this episode of Powderkeg: Igniting Startups.

In this episode with Erica Duignan Minnihan, you’ll learn:

  • How 1000 Angels is unique from other angel groups 
  • Why you need to have a marketing plan for your product
  • Why investors like founders with empathy
  • How to draw a roadmap for building a new business or product
  • The easiest way to determine if you have product-market fit
  • Why you need to have a sound financial model for your business
  • What you should and shouldn’t include in your investor pitch

Please enjoy this conversation with Erica Duignan Minnihan!

This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Erica Duignan Minnihan Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

“I think that in order to be a viable advisor, mentor, investor, you need to have gone through the experience yourself.” — Erica Duignan Minnihan

“It doesn’t really matter what you think. All that matters is what your customer wants.” — Erica Duignan Minnihan

“It’s great to believe in yourself and to have faith, but there’s no law that says everyone is allowed to create whatever they want and have it be successful.” — Erica Duignan Minnihan

“A great founder has the ability to convince other amazing people to come onboard and help them realize their vision.” — Erica Duignan Minnihan

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:










Venture Capital and Angel Firms:

1000 Angels


Tribeca Venture Partners

Tribeca Angels

Brooklyn Bridge Ventures

Golden Seeds

Startup Accelerators:

Dreamit Ventures


Y Combinator



Columbia Business School

Cornell School of Hotel Administration

Harvard Business School






CoFoundersLab Accelerator


Harvard Business School’s YouTube Channel


Running Lean

The Lean Startup

Zero to One


Charlie O’Donnell

David Olk

Brian Hirsch

Micah Green

David Ronick

Peter Thiel

Elon Musk

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Erica on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Erica Duignan Minnihan know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Erica on twitter!


What stood out most to you about what Erica shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s how to draw a roadmap for building a new business or product.

You? Leave a comment below.


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