By: Angela Jackson is an ACA Board Member and Chairs the “Grassroots Group” for ACA members interested in interacting with Members of Congress.  Want to join?  Shoot Angela an email.

Exciting things are happening in Washington, DC relative to advancing the ACA legislative agenda - and we're requesting your immediate help.

Call to Action - by Monday January 9!

ACA just got word that the House of Representatives plans to vote on the HALOS Act next week.  HALOS (Helping Angels Lead Our Startups) exempts demo days from general solicitation rules, meaning that companies that participate in any type of demo day would no longer need to worry about taking extra steps to verify investors are accredited – unless they are going the solicitation 506(c) way.  And angels who prefer to invest in private deals would have better assurances that companies had not tripped the general solicitation trigger.  The bill, HR 79, has great bi-partisan sponsors:  leads Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and co-sponsors Andy Barr (R-KY), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), John Delaney (D-MD), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Jared Polis (D-CO), Pete Sessions (R-TX), and Ann Wagner (R-MO).

I have to admit that while I have really enjoyed being an angel investor and meeting such interesting people, but the real fun didn’t start until I had an exit.  I was lucky enough to be one of 40+ investors in EyeVerify, which was acquired in September by Ant Financial, a subsidiary of Alibaba for more than $100 million.  There’s nothing like getting that return check – or hearing the ins and outs of the acquisition from the entrepreneur and angels on the board!

This made me wonder how many other ACA members also had this kind of fun.  In a quick bit of website research, I found an incomplete list of acquisitions and IPOs for portfolio companies of ACA members in 2016 below.  These ACA members are from throughout North America, not just the usual venture hotspots.  I don’t know how many angels were involved in these exits, but congrats to them and the entrepreneurs who led those companies.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

This post originally appeared on Forbes.com

One of the best parts of being an angel investor is supporting companies after you invest.  And now angels have a new support tool in our pockets for portfolio companies – a new federal tax benefit that can add up to $250,000 per year for these young businesses.  This is real money for startups – and better yet, it is totally non-dilutive to angel investor equity!

I learned about the Federal Research and Experimentation Tax Credit and how it will change for qualified startups at a recent meeting of the Angel Capital Association and I think it is important to get this news to as many angels and entrepreneurs as possible, so they can benefit as soon as possible.  Cash is short for angel-backed companies, so finding extra money – especially of this size - is really important.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

The Angel Capital Association has been very active in educating policy makers in Washington, DC for six years, and I am proud to say that this Fall ACA has ramped up our activity and effectiveness even more.  In case you missed it:  here’s what the association has done to advocate for startups and angels in the last two months, and providing insights to our members:

  • Wrote a letter to the Trump transition team – ACA’s memo highlights the importance of new businesses to job creation in the US and the need to promote policies that free up capital and minimize regulatory burdens.  The focus is on what President Elect Trump can do immediately, during his first 100 days, and also in his first year in office on everything from appointing SEC commissioners who understand early-stage investing to keeping the current accredited investor definition the same to tax policy that catalyzes investment in high growth, innovative startups.

By: Dave Berkus, Dave Berkus, ”Super angel” investor, tech futurist 

This post originally appeared on Berkonomics.com

Well, it had to happen.  Originally created in the mid 1990’s to help with the imprecise problem of how to value early stage companies, especially those in technology, I developed what soon became known as “The Berkus Method” when published in the popular book, “Winning Angels” by Harvard’s Amis and Stevenson with my permission in 2001.  But a lot of time has passed since then.

There is a universal truth: fewer than one in a thousand start-ups meet or exceed their projected revenues in the periods planned.  So how do you use financial projections as valuation metrics when you know the odds of those being accurate predictors of the future are so very unreliable?

By: Elizabeth Usovicz, Principal of WhiteSpace Consulting, as part of a series she writes for ACA aimed at entrepreneurs, "Your Pitch is Just the Beginning." 

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once quipped, “Power is like being a lady... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't.” The same could be said about a startup. If people have to ask if it’s a business, it isn’t one - yet.

I recently heard two different founders pitch their concepts for the first time. One spoke at an open pitch event, describing a broad social media platform that would unite people of different backgrounds and tell their stories. The second founder presented a next-generation technology/entertainment concept to a small advisory group, in preparation for approaching investors.

By: Ham Lord, Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group and Co-Founder of Seraf-investor.com

This post originally appeared on Seraf-investor.com

The handyman’s toolbox… whether you use it for small home improvement projects or just minor repairs, no home is complete without a few essential tools. At Seraf, we feel the same way when it comes to investing in early stage companies. You need a good set of tools to do the job right.

Sometimes the task at hand is overseeing due diligence on a potential investment. Other times, you need to advise a CEO on how to run a great board meeting. Or maybe you need some guidance on where to look for key data in the investment documents you receive from company counsel. Whatever the task is, we want you to have the right tools to get the job done, so we’ve collected a great set of early-stage company checklists and templates for everyone to use as a reference. Bookmark it, link to it, share it and keep your eye on it - we’ll add additional handy tools every so often.

By David Verrill, Managing Director of Hub Investment Group 

Many angels have noticed the unique capabilities of entrepreneurs from outside the US to build great companies. Now, finally, so has the American federal government (noting that our colleague Canadians have been all over this for some time).  The Department of Homeland Security released rules that would allow more foreign born entrepreneurs to stay in the US longer to grow their companies.  One of the main requirements is for angels or VCs to invest in their companies.  The rules will become final after a review of comments to the first public draft. 

The following is part of our periodic ACA Blog series highlighting ACA member expertise and insights on resources for angels.  The topics will vary and include ways ACA angels are making best use of their time – and often ACA benefits – to make smart investment decisions.  This tip is how Women’s Capital Connection engages their members in educational discussions based on ACA webinars. Thank you Aviva Ajmera for sharing! 

We look forward to more member tips for angels.  When you have a resource to share with angels please contact Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director to learn more. 

By: Aviva Ajmera, Women’s Capital Connection

I used to take the ACA webinar emails for granted—just another email in my inbox— but what I found is they could help us learn. As Vice Chair of the Executive Committee one of my responsibilities is group education. Although every member in our group is a subject matter expert in something, we aren’t all experts in every aspect of angel investing. We have members that are veteran investors and we have investors new to angel investing,  ACA Webinars have been a great addition to our group development. 

By: Cheryl Isen, Media Relations for Angel Capital Association

Assurex Health is one of three companies that won the Luis Villalobos Award for innovation that also had an exit within one month in 2016.  Details on each of the exits are included in three blog posts on October 10.

  • Company: Assurex Health founded 2006; won Luis Villalobos Award in 2012

Assurex Health is a personalized medicine company dedicated to helping healthcare providers get the genetic information they need to determine the right medication for individual patients suffering from neuropsychiatric and other medical conditions. Assurex Health’s proprietary technology is based on pharmacogenomics— the study of the genetic factors that influence an individual’s response to drug treatments—as well as evidence-based medicine and clinical pharmacology. The “GeneSight” test was developed in the Assurex Health clinical laboratory and is based on patented technology licensed from two world renowned medical centers, Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which continue to be research collaborators.