ACA Members

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Three ACA member organizations have really put on their hiking boots with excellent adventures and exits in late 2016.  On top of some really great investor returns, they also include a couple of important social returns that I really like.  Let me tell you about them:

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.

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.

By Cheryl Isen, Media Relations for Angel Capital Association

EyeVerify 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.

Eyeprint ID, created by EyeVerify, transforms an ordinary selfie into a key that protects your digital life. One look opens mobile devices, logs you into apps and secures your mobile payments. The patented, software-only biometric solution is 99.99% accurate and extremely scalable. In less than one second, with no add-on hardware, employees and customers can experience password-free mobility. Several large Android device manufacturers and a growing number of notable financial institutions have deployed “Eyeprint ID,” delivering convenient, secure, private authentication to millions of consumers today.

By: Cheryl Isen, Media Relations for Angel Capital Association

Retrosense Therapeutics 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.

RetroSense is developing life-enhancing gene therapies designed to restore vision in patients suffering from blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa and advanced dry age-related macular degeneration. There are currently no FDA-approved drugs to improve or restore vision in patients with these retinal degenerative conditions. The company's approach to using optogenetics in vision restoration is based on pioneering, proprietary research conducted at Wayne State University and Massachusetts General Hospital. RetroSense has worldwide exclusive rights to the relevant intellectual property from both institutions. 

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: 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 Craig Mullett - President of Branison Group, a corporate finance firm based in Connecticut, USA. Craig is an active angel investor as a director of the Angel Investor Forum. He is also a founder of AngelHub, Africa's first angel group and helped in establishing Trident Angels, the first Caribbean angel group. 

(Editor’s Note:  We liked Craig’s notes from the ACA Summit so much that we thought other ACA members and investors would also get value from them.)

Smart money
Kay Koplovitz (USA Network/ Springboard Enterprises)

  • Be open to serendipitous moments where entrepreneurial solutions may be uncovered
  • Angels need to network where there are innovation pipelines to stay close to cutting edge startups 
  • Plan how your capital will be able to move startups "up the escalator" to the next capital raise and ultimately to exit

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