Archive for March 2014

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

Jean Hammond has done more for women entrepreneurs and women angels than perhaps any other angel investor. We say this as we award Jean, a founder of the Boston chapter of GoldenSeeds and member of Hub Angels and LaunchPad Venture Group, our most prestigious honor - the 2014 Hans Severiens Award.

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

Look for EyeVerify to turn heads and open eyes in the future as more companies and consumers use its eye-recognition software to unlock their tech devices.

This Kansas City, Kan., company is the winner of ACA's 2014 Luis Villalobos award, recognized as the most ingenious and innovative idea recently financed by angel groups that are ACA members. The award is named in memory of Mr. Villalobos, the founder of Tech Coast Angels, and a true “leading light” in the angel field. The award was presented to EyeVerify by Dave Berkus, a member of Tech Coast Angels and Tim Ryan of ACA partner OTC Markets.

By: David Verrill, Hub Angel Investment Group, LLC & Chairman – Angel Capital Association

Noted New England entrepreneur and angel investor Ty Danco recently changed his method of angel investing away from the more traditional angel group process to AngelList. His thoughts were captured well in his interview on the Frank Peters Show in April entitled “Ty Danco, Throwing in the Towel”. Ty’s reasons were simple, he has his own growing startup that demands his time – making him more of a passive investor; he is happy to follow some of the most famous angel investors who are putting money to work on accredited portals in a highly curated fashion; and geographical diversification never hurts. By innuendo, Ty’s change cast a cloud on traditional angel investing through the group structure. It shouldn’t have.

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

I recently had the great experience to work with the judges for the Luis Villalobos Award and see many wonderful companies that ACA members are supporting. Three finalist companies were selected from the nominations, with the winner to be announced on March 27th at the 2014 ACA Summit in Washington, DC, during a special awards ceremony. The Luis Villalobos Award recognizes the most ingenious and innovative idea recently financed by an ACA member.

This year’s finalists are 7AC Technologies (Boston), EyeVerify (Kansas City), and Localytics (Boston). Each was nominated by an ACA member that has invested in the company. The award is named in memory of Luis Villalobos, who was known for actively investing in and mentoring ingenious, creative, and innovative startups.

By: Bill Payne, Vegas Valley Angels and Frontier Angels

It is an exciting time to start the journey to angel investing. For many there is nothing more rewarding than being able to invest in an early stage company, share your knowledge, insights and connections with entrepreneurs and have a hand in their success. At the same time, learning how to be a successful angel investor requires dedication. Naturally, most angels start the process with a myriad of questions.

2014 is a crucial time for angel investors. We’ve already made a big deal about the SEC’s new rules on verifying accredited investor status in generally solicited deals, but now there is a possibility of an even more existential issue for angels - many of us may no longer be accredited investors if the SEC follows the requests of organizations that want to increase the requirements for being accredited. Sometimes when it rains, it pours!

The potential higher bar could eliminate 60% of angel investors, reducing the pool of capital for startups. Currently to be an accredited investor, an individual must have an annual income of $200,000 or net worth of $1 million, not including their home (see the official definition here). If these thresholds were raised for inflation, they would go up to $450,000 income and $2.5 million in net worth.

By: David Verrill, Hub Angel Investment Group, LLC & Chairman – Angel Capital Association

I recently had a conversation with a “recovering” venture capitalist who has been out of the game for five years, and was reminiscing about the good old days. The conversation quickly turned to the ever changing early stage ecosystem, and the increasing slice of the pie that angels and angel groups were eating. He asked if there was still a rift with VCs. I told him we were getting along a lot better now, for a lot of reasons. Here are the five I cited:

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Tapping into America’s Biomedical Seed Fund by Ethel Rubin  on  February 12
The Seraf Method to Valuing Startups: Exit Practicalities by Ham and Christopher LM  on  January 16