By: Kevin Learned and Denise Dunlap, Boise Angel Alliance

Terms like “warrants, waterfalls and preferences” can be confusing and intimidating when attempting to understand a capitalization table (aka cap table); it is no wonder we are often asked for a simple way to understand them! This article will give a brief overview of why cap tables are important and introduce a simple model to use early in the due diligence process.

By: Ham Lord, Chairman of Launchpad Venture Group and Co-Founder of Seraf-investor.com and Christopher Mirabile, ACA Chair Emeritus, Managing Director at Launchpad Venture Group and Co-Founder of Seraf-investor.com

Note: This article is the ninth in an ongoing series for angels new to investing. To learn more about building an angel portfolio, download this free eBook today Angel 101: A Primer for Angel Investors or purchase our books at Amazon.com.

After a year or two down the path of building a diversified portfolio of angel investments, many individual angels are faced with some uncertainty about their path forward. The questions on many experienced angels’ minds are “Will I make a good enough return on my angel investments to justify the risk? Should I continue to invest?”

By Lucy Howell, ACA Director of Partnerships 

The seventh annual Innovation Showcase took place last week at the 2019 ACA Summit in Chicago.  This special series of events provides selected companies the opportunity to present their pitch to the entire ACA Summit audience over the course of the Summit.  The Innovation Showcase is by invitation only and presenting companies are nominated by organizations - ACA member angel groups, venture funds, accelerators, and universities government agencies or trade commissions - that underwrite the Innovation Showcase.  The “showcase” represents an incredible opportunity for these underwriters to showcase their best portfolio companies to the angel investors and startup ecosystem leaders at the Summit.

By Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

The Angel Capital Association had the very distinct honor of awarding Marianne Hudson the Hans Severiens Award at the 2019 ACA Summit in Chicago.  This annual national award recognizes one individual’s work in advancing the field of angel investing.  The criteria for this prominent award include depth of the individual’s impact on advancement of angel investing, leadership in bringing awareness of the field and contribution to the knowledge base of angel investing.  Marianne clearly demonstrates these qualities through her work in founding the association and growing it as ACA’s Executive Director.  ACA has become an important institution for angel investors and the startup ecosystem, providing education, data, smart practices and public policy advocacy for angel investors in every American state and five Canadian provinces.

By Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

Congratulations to Joylux, a Seattle based women’s health technology company, which was awarded the Luis Villalobos Award today at the 2019 ACA Summit in Chicago.  The Luis Villalobos Award recognizes outstanding ingenuity, creativity and innovation among startups backed by ACA members.

By: Ronald F.E. Weissman, Ph.D., Band of Angels and Member, ACA Board of Directors

(Editor’s Note:  Ron Weissman will present a session on artificial intelligence at the 2019 ACA Summit in Chicago, April 24-26.  Get a sneak peek of the “intelligence on artificial intelligence” ahead of the event.)

Artificial Intelligence is on the verge of transforming almost everything, from your medical diagnosis to the way you select your next home, to detecting an audience’s emotional reaction to an ad or TV pilot, to predicting, in silico, if a drug is likely to kill you.  Given the success and spread of AI, how should we approach investing in this technically complex and rapidly evolving field?

By: Christopher Mirabile, Chair Emeritus of Angel Capital Association and an early stage investor in Boston. He is the co-managing director of Launchpad Venture Group and the co-founder of angel portfolio management tool www.Seraf-Investor.com.

 “How do I find investors?” is a perennial question, coming up regularly in many entrepreneurial contexts. Local entrepreneurs ask it all the time and it is certainly one of the questions I get asked most on Quora. Fortunately, for higher potential businesses going after reasonably large markets, finding investors willing to speak to you is not all that difficult. Yes, it is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it is neither complex nor mysterious. Here’s how to go about it.

By Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

Three amazing companies funded by ACA members are finalists for the Luis Villalobos Award, honoring companies for ingenuity, creativity and innovation. The companies are:

  • Aquacycl LLC – San Diego (nominated by Next Wave Ventures and also funded by the San Diego Angel Conference)
  • GrandPad – Orange, CA (nominated by Tech Coast Angels and funded as well by Pasadena Angels and Harvard Business School Angels)
  • Joylux – Seattle (nominated by Alliance of Angels and also funded by numerous ACA member groups:  Golden Seeds, Houston Angel Network, Puget Sound Venture Club, Belle Capital, Keiretsu Forum Northwest, Keiretsu Capital Fund, South Coast Angel Network, Portfolia and Sofia Angel Fund)

By:  Ethel Rubin, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, National Institutes of Health

Editors Note:  ACA has entered into an annual partnership program with NIH, with an aim toward collaboration and getting to know early-stage companies funded through NIH funding programs such as Small Business Innovation Research grants.

Some wonderful new things are happening at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help the companies we have backed make further progress. Our angel investors should be aware of specialized funding and support programs that were reauthorized last year so that your portfolio companies can take a look and see if they qualify.  The three most relevant are the extension of the NIH Entrepreneurs in Residence initiative; SBIR Direct to Phase II grants; and the Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program.

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

ACA’s yearly Luis Villalobos Award provides recognition to ingenious and innovative ideas in the startup ecosystem by asking members of the Angel Capital Association to nominate their best portfolio companies recently funded.  Three finalists are selected each year and, with the nominating ACA angel, are honored at the ACA Summit where the winner is announced during the annual awards ceremony in front of 700+ angel investors. 

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Capitalization Tables Demystified by Kevin and Denise Ld  on  May 16
Angel Investing Exits: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by Ham and Christopher LM  on  May 09
2019 Innovation Showcase Introduces Technology and Life Science Startups to Angels by Lucy Howell (Angel Capital Association)  on  May 06