We have an idea for a website. I am a software developer, but I don't want to spend all my time creating this site that won't sell or be marketable or popular whatsoever, and make us no money.
Would it be a smart thing to do to take my idea and present it to an angel investor for some capital and guidance?
Basically with this capital AND guidance, we would setup the LLC and pay for legal fees in doing so, market the product, and probably pay someone with a lot more technical talent than me to develop it. I'm hoping we would be able to still have control of the company in ownership % as well.
Why or why would I not do this? If so, how would I go about finding an Angel Investor and presenting him/her with my idea? Also, can I protect my idea by just having them sign something before our conversation?
Seriously, your pitch is: "this site will not make money. Plus it's too much work, so I don't feel like doing it".
And you expect to convince an angel investor to write you a check? Right now, you sound like you are in need of a quick lesson in how the real startup world works. I know it's a bit brutal, but check out how the pros do it and read all of http://venturehacks.com. That will give you the equivalent of a Ph.D in startup fundraising.
You may get lucky and get investment for just the idea but it is unlikely and if you do it will be expensive (i.e. higher % of equity for the cash).
At minimum you should start proving the idea before seeking investment. You do this to reduce the risk to the investor so stand a better chance and the investment will be cheaper for you.
There are a couple of ways to start down this route without building the product:
g soon and collect the email address). This will give you an idea of interest and the cost to acquire a customer.
I would suggest you do at least one of the above before approaching any investors.
The next stage (to get cheaper investment) would be to build a minimum viable product (see Eric Reis again) and get some customers.
Once you have customers (traction) you become a much better prospect to any investor.
Good luck with your product.
Why dont you pitch it here, and we will tell you if its a good idea? You might not need as much capital as you expect. Investors, angel or not, should be a last resort. They seldom bring anything to the table, and most web apps dont require much capital. With the right product you could continually reinvest your profits and avoid outside investors...
I don't have any experience dealing with investors, but they aren't going to give you money if they don't get a stake in the business, and they are going to voice their opinions and throw around their weight, and want you to sell for a profit asap.
If your idea is something that you really care about and you really can't do it with some old fashioned hard work, then I would suggest fishing around for a normal loan.
Ideas are abundant.
Angel investors do not pay for ideas.
I would not recommend you pitch your ideas to Angel Investors
P.S. If you want to know what level of information and product completion is necessary to pitch to angels I highly recommend you subscribe to the podcast, This Week in Start-ups. There are a number of episodes where startups pitch their ideas on the show and you can use that for a comparison of what makes a good presentation and what makes a bad one.
Another great podcast for learning about angel investing is the Frank Peters Show.
Best of luck. Cheers.