ACA Members

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

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Know someone who would add great value to ACA leadership?  Could be you, could be someone else!  Each year ACA looks to add talent to its Board of Directors to keep the organization strong, growing, and evolving.  The board is now seeking nominations from the ACA membership at large of people whom you believe have great value to add to the ACA’s mission.  We seek members of the angel investor community who have demonstrated unusual ability to organize and lead others in angel investing activities.  We particularly seek nominations of people with experience in marketing, deal collaboration and syndication, building membership in angel groups, and in wielding political influence in high places.  We seek persons of high activity level, energy, and willingness to serve in order to advance the ACA’s mission.  Email your nominations to Dick Reeves, Chairman of the ACA Governance Committee, by February 22, and include your own comments about your nominee, along with the names and contact info of two others who know the person well and can attest to their value. You may nominate yourself, but please adhere to the two-person recommender formula if you do.

Over the holidays, I took a look at the “Member News” section of our website, where we catalog the media coverage of ACA member investors and organizations and found more than 250 stories in 2015 about exits, new investments, milestones, economic impact, investor features and much more.  ACA members are getting it done, and done well!

This post originally appeared on Forbes.com

Editor’s Note:  ACA’s annual Fall workshop, now called the Angel Insights Exchange, will be in New Orleans on November 9-10.  We picked New Orleans not only for its iconic activities and food, but because it has a growing entrepreneurial vibrance.  Here’s a taste of the city’s growth in the form of the NO/LA Angel Network.

Despite the devastation Hurricane Katrina caused 10 years ago, the huge disaster that hit New Orleans brought a silver lining. With a giant microscope on the area, young people were drawn to New Orleans and the surrounding region to help.

In the years immediately following Katrina, young people turned out in droves. They came to volunteer, to rebuild and to educate children, but then something interesting happened. Many liked the area and stayed. Their friends came too. Over time all these new NO/LA (New Orleans/ Louisiana) residents perpetuated an explosion of entrepreneurial activity—something the area desperately needed.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

ACA members are getting very good at working together to fund interesting deals.  The latest example:  six member groups from literally all corners of the US were part of a $12 million series B financing.  The investment in Cognition Therapeutics was led by Golden Seeds (New York and many cities), and included ACA members Cowtown Angels (Fort Worth), Maine Angels, PLSG Accelerator Fund (Pittsburgh), Tech Coast Angels (Southern California), and Ariel Southeast Angel Partners (Savannah), as well as additional life sciences investors.  Cognition Therapeutics (CogRx) is focused on discovering and developing disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s and related neurodegenerative diseases. Read the full press release below for all the details.

ACA started its new membership year on July 1, and along with that came a changing of the guard in chairmanship.  Our association has been blessed with great leadership from our Board of Directors, especially from our Chairs.

These men and women have put in more hours than our members know to make sure ACA is strong and delivering value to our member angels, and with no financial reward.  David Verrill has been one of the best Chairs.  He goes to emeritus status with ACA in great shape, and hands the reins to Christopher Mirabile – who is already showing his excellent leadership abilities.

ACA Membership Director Sarah Dickey interviews Jorge Varela as part of a series of profiles of ACA members

How and when did you get involved in angel investing?

I have been actively investing since before the word was popular. I made my first investment more than 15 years ago in TFB Corporation a company in which I later served as CEO.  I am still invested in the company and I am Chairman, but have been able to have two liquidity events and look forward to a third. I was involved in my first startup when I was 21, Braun Systems, which we sold a year later to ITT Systems in 1987.  I then moved to Silicon Valley before all the Valley excitement and became employee number three with VoicePlus, which we took public in a roll-up with Nhanced Technologies. These two early experiences gave me the bug for startups that I have not been able to shake. 

The 2015 ACA Summit in San Diego brought a great combination of professional content, networking among angels and thought leading speakers and sponsors – and let’s be honest, great weather and settings. More than 630 investors, sponsors and presenting entrepreneurs attended the program. Lots of great materials are posted on the event community app, but sometimes the best way to review what happened is in pictures. Below is my tour of the various events held on April 13-16, 2015 – with photos taken by Summit attendees on social media.

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