By: Swati Chaturvedi, Medium/ @propel(x)  

This blog initially appeared on Dissected by propel(x) blog on Medium.  It shows how one angel investor thinks about valuations.  Other angels may have different thoughts or calculations, but it is a resource for entrepreneurs to learn about the equity raising process.

Putting a value on your visionary idea — you know, the one that’s going to change the world — can be tricky. To you as a founder, your idea is priceless. To investors…not so much. In reality, it’s investors’ job to think about it differently and press down on valuation. Understanding their perspective with regard to valuation will help your fundraising efforts go smoothly and net you the investments you’re after.

So, how can startups bridge the gap between the investors’ thought process and theirs? A good place to start is by understanding how angels and VCs think about valuation and their portfolio as a whole. Then, startups should consider some basic data and work backwards to arrive at an implied valuation.

By Chris McCannell, Partner at Eris Group

Editor’s Note:  ACA wants to share with our members our progress in Washington.  It’s an important use of member dues, and we believe it is worth every penny.  We work with Eris Group on American public policy issues, and have had great results in the last year – from a 100% exemption on investment gains to House passage of bills that would ensure that demo days are not included in general solicitation and increasing the number of investors in an angel fund or syndicate from 99 to 249.  With Eris Group, ACA has also helped move the conversation about the definition of accredited investor to a more positive one (in angels’ view), and we are now regularly sought out by Members of Congress and other organizations for input and support of legislation and policy issues.

ACA learned in 2010 that Congress and regulators could have a huge impact on angel investors and the startups angels support.  ACA was able to ensure Dodd-Frank didn’t increase the financial thresholds for the accredited investor definition then, but the association learned it needed help from DC professionals to protect angels through that experience.

By: Christopher Mirabile, ACA Chair, Launchpad Venture Group, and co-founder of Seraf-investor.com

This post originally appeared on Seraf-investor.com

Note: This article is part of an ongoing series on Early-Stage Deal Terms. To learn more about navigating term sheets and investment documents, download this free eBook today - Understanding Early-Stage Deal Terms.

Active angels work with term sheets regularly, but not every investor fully understands the sometimes arcane language in these highly-specialized documents. What are term sheets, what do they signify, and why are they so important?

If you will walk through this short series on deal terms with us, we can explain. Although it is a fairly complex subject, we have a relatively simple framework we can use to help all angels understand term sheets better and retain and apply that understanding in real life deals.

Non-Binding; Summary Instructions

By: Elaine Bolle, ACA Board Member and RTP Capital

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.  The first tip is how RTP Capital provides their members direct access to ACA benefits as part of the group’s member onboarding process. Thank you Elaine Bolle (link to profile) 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: Catherine Mott, ACA Board Member and BlueTree Allied Angels

Today ACA announces Angel to Angel Tips, a periodic ACA Blog 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.  The first tip is how BlueTree Allied Angels build interactive member education around ACA Angel Insights webinars during in-person investor meetings.  Thank you Catherine Mott 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 Elizabeth Usovicz, Principal of WhiteSpace Consulting, as part of a series she writes for ACA aimed at entrepreneurs, "Your Pitch is Just the Beginning."  

Do you remember your first Aha moment? Mine was in kindergarten.

I got a new lunchbox to start the school year, called a “Kaboodle Kit,” that pictured a girl and her friend walking to school.

One day, I noticed that the girl on my lunchbox was carrying a lunchbox with something written on it. The text was small but I could just make out the words: Kaboodle Kit. On that girl’s lunch box was another girl carrying a lunchbox...and on and on.

I didn't know what an Aha moment was at the time. But I vividly remember realizing that these girls carrying Kaboodle Kits on my lunch box went on forever. Lunch time would never be the same.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

While I was preparing our ACA Member eNews this morning, I was especially struck by how much ACA member angels have helped create a great library of education and insights on ACA’s website.  Here are just of few of these resources for your investigation:

If you are looking for content on the building blocks of angel investing, go to ACA’s education resource center. There you can find videos, webinars, and articles on critical angel processes from portfolio building to valuation to due diligence and more.  The latest video is Introduction to Cap Tables, by ACA Board Member Kevin Learned, and he has also provided a model basic cap table to experiment with.  These programs are done in partnership with the Rising Tide Education Program, with support from the Kauffman Foundation.  In addition to Kevin, ACA member instructors include Victoria Barnard, Brigitte Baumann, Barbara Clarke, Marcia Dawood, Angela Jackson, Bill Payne, and Wendee Wolfson.

By: Christopher Mirabile, ACA Chair, Launchpad Venture Group, and co-founder of Seraf-investor.com

This post originally appeared on Inc.com

It’s almost time for a pat on the back. You’ve found investors, agreed to terms, and have a few more yards to reach the fundraising touchdown. Getting to closing has been a ton of hard work. It would be a shame to fumble at the one-yard line. One sure way to fumble is to forget your Form D filing with the federal and state securities regulators.

Not every entrepreneur realizes this, but even if you do a completely private and exempt offering in the U.S., a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission is required. In fact, these filings are how many journalists hear about the obscure private startup fundraises they cover. In fact, many publishers of startup lists and databases get their data directly from the U.S. government.

By Tom Walker, CEO of Rev1Ventures (parent organization of ACA member group Ohio TechAngel Funds)

As every entrepreneur knows, it’s not enough to have a good product—you must also have customers who want it.  In fact, more than four in 10 startups say a lack of market for their product was the reason their company failed, according to a study by CB Insights.

While inking the first deal can be one of the most challenging, gratifying, and defining experiences for a new company, it’s importance is too often minimized during initial first phases of development, compromising future opportunities and even causing avoidable difficulties when the customer relationship and terms aren’t set out right at the start. Having invested in hundreds of early-stage companies, I wish more of them had had more ready opportunities to learn the best ways to approach first customers. That’s why the Rev1 team is sharing its top advice for selling, so that more startups can benefit from this unique approach to closing the first customer and beyond. 

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Equity crowdfunding for all Americans is now more than two months old, and with that come some new stats on investment activity.  Among the key tidbits:

  • 70 companies registered offerings, requesting more than $35 million.
  • Nearly $5 million in capital was committed