How many angels can fit in a conference room?

IT'S start-up heaven - a room of angel investors happy to open their wallets for a bright idea that takes their fancy.

IT'S start-up heaven - a room of angel investors happy to open their wallets for a bright idea that takes their fancy.

Affluent individuals who provide capital to new ventures, angels can be a perfect match for IT entrepreneurs; the one offering an insight into the next big thing, the other bringing the cash to make it happen.

This week will see the Gold Coast play host to about 200 angels from Australia and overseas for a three-day talkfest on the ins and outs of putting financial muscle behind someone else's dream.

Heavyweight high-tech attendees will include Pipe Networks founder and BRW rich-lister Steve Baxter, who established the incubator River City Labs in 2012, and John Mactaggart, Technology One backer and Brisbane Angels founder.

From further afield, the event is expecting representatives from the Mumbai Angels, some of whom have hitched wildly profitable rides on the coat-tails of India's rapidly emerging digital economy.

There's only one catch: start-ups looking to get some face time with the money men will need to hang round the car park or crash the event. Inside the conference, pitching is forbidden.

The angels aren't flying north to hear from young hopefuls; they're coming to share war stories and swap tips on picking the often elusive winner from a string of also-rans.

"It's a time for angels to spend time with other angels - it's not a time to be bombarded," says Jordan Green, chair of the Australian Association of Angel Investors, which is organising the event.

Mactaggart agrees. "It's not a place where deals are done," he says.

"Investing in early-stage business is fraught with danger. We're learning new and more interesting ways to lose our money."

Getting to rub shoulders with their peers can be a boon for new chum investors and may help keep some in the game for the long haul; an outcome that ultimately benefits the start-up sector, Mactaggart believes.

"We want to make sure if someone wants to become an angel, they don't lose all of their money on their first deal," he says.

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