By: Charlie Brock, ACA Member, Launch Tennessee

Over the last five years as the CEO of Launch Tennessee, too often I’ve seen founders raise angel or seed funding, develop a product line and a small customer-base, but not gain any real traction.  

By: John O. Huston, ACA Chair Emeritus and Ohio TechAngels

Like most ACA member groups, the Ohio TechAngel Funds (OTAF) conduct postmortems after our exits, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.  From our positive exits, we’ve gleaned that even our best entrepreneurs have always fallen woefully short of their revenue projections.  From the autopsies of our losing investments, we’ve realized that rarely had we missed major risks, but often grossly underweighted their likelihood, impact, or both.  And, we had insufficiently discussed them with management to ensure all possible efforts were being taken to mitigate them.

By: Tim Keane, ACA Member, Golden Angel Investors

This post originally appeared on Tim's blog.

Preparation: Key to Successful Private Transactions, especially in Hot Markets

For leaders of private, closely held companies, selling the company is an important and critical event in their lives.  There are several important considerations in managing the sales process to maximize results, avoid both delays and failure to close, all centered around preparation for the entire selling cycle.

In mid-2018 private equity transaction prices are at very high levels. This is good news for well prepared sellers who are able to execute on best practices when selling. 

Even in hot markets, however, a lack of preparation will produce a less than optimal outcome. 

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

This blog post first appeared on the Mainstar Trust blog.  

Being an angel investor has a certain cache. You’re sought after by entrepreneurs and assess the value of their ideas. You choose whether or not to invest, and how to make those investments – whether it is a self-directed IRA or with non-retirement funds.  And when things go well, you make money and you are a part of getting a business off the ground. In this light, who wouldn’t want to be an angel investor? 

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

The 2018 version of a US Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant competition may be just the ticket for multiple ACA members.  The Regional Innovation Strategies program offers a total of $21 million for locally-devised strategies to help more businesses start and grow.  As the program’s director, Craig Buerstatte, put it recently, the program is a “funding opportunity for business accelerators and incubators working to support job creation and economic development, and for venture fund managers, or angel groups working to address funding shortages in startup communities.” 

By: Ham Lord, Managing Director 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. 

This post originally appeared on Seraf-investor.com

Note: This article is the thirteenth in an ongoing series on valuation and capitalization. To learn more about the financial mechanics of early stage investing, download this free eBook today Angel Investing by the Numbers: Valuation, Capitalization, Portfolio Construction and Startup Economics or purchase our books at Amazon.com.

How to understand stock options and restricted stock

The first time you receive stock options as an employee is a magical moment. You feel suddenly part of something bigger than just earning a paycheck. You daydream about how various financial scenarios might play out. You take a sudden interest in the wellbeing of your company and the factors which affect its stock price.

By: Mark Graffagnini, Cara Stone, LLP, ACA Public Policy Advisory Council Member

The Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “ICA”) defines an “investment company” as any issuer which “is or holds itself out as being engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities.” This definition generally includes angel funds, venture capital funds and other types of private equity and hedge funds, unless an exemption applies.

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

Engaging the next generation of investors is something that is becoming an increased priority for angel groups to focus their efforts.  ACA member groups are developing volunteer analysts or similar programs to incorporate and educate young people while engaging them in important work for the group.  Benefits of this type of activity include augmented practices, increasing support and empowering individuals for the future.  Here are two examples of ACA member groups that are utilizing volunteer programs to invest in the next generation of angel investors.

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

Note: This article is the twelfth in an ongoing series on valuation and capitalization. To learn more about the financial mechanics of early stage investing, download this free eBook today Angel Investing by the Numbers: Valuation, Capitalization, Portfolio Construction and Startup Economics or purchase our books at Amazon.com.

Mix of a winning startup portfolio

How do you define success as an angel investor? Are you successful if you invested in one grand slam like Amazon or Google?

By: Linda Smith, ACA Chair

ACA’s members are the most important asset to our organization.  It is through your participation and involvement that we are the world’s largest and most experienced community of angels, with more than 13,000 members.  Your continued support makes it possible for ACA to deliver new benefits and programs and achieve important changes in public policy that affect your investing.

I want to thank you for your membership and also thank ACA’s board and staff for a year of significant accomplishments.  Here’s a summary of key achievements over the past year:

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