Angel Investing

By: Ethel Rubin, PhD, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, NIH Office of the Director Office of Extramural Research

Thank you for welcoming me, my National Institutes of Health colleagues, and our four sponsored companies to your Annual Summit in Boston last month! It was a pleasure to speak with many of you in person, to learn more about angel investing and your respective sweet spots. We hope you learned more about NIH’s seed investment fund. National Institutes of Health invests over $1B funding available to life science companies annually in the form of grants and contracts.

But, the Institutes and Centers that comprise NIH have services that go beyond funding. Companies have used these types of additional resources and services for further development of their technologies towards commercialization. The product development enabling programs highlighted below allow small businesses to apply for free services – why shouldn’t your company utilize them?

By: Emily Angold, ACA Marketing Manager

Collaboration with smart angels to enhance our ecosystem is a top priority for ACA and many other angel organizations.  ACA recently signed cooperation agreements with two of our colleague angel associations, one with the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) and the other with Business Angels Europe (BAE).  The two agreements are similar, with the goals of sharing knowledge and content, and cooperating on events, among other things. 

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

Note: This article is the first in an ongoing series on venture fund formation and management. To learn more about managing a fund, download this free eBook today Venture Capital: A Practical Guide or purchase a hard copy desk reference at Amazon.com.

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, I enjoy visiting ancient historic sites around the world. During a recent trip, I had the occasion to visit Byblos in Lebanon. This ancient city was first settled as far back as 8800 BC, and is considered the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Built as the first city of the ancient Phoenicians, Byblos thrived through many millennia under the rule of the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and was a wealthy city known for shipbuilding and trading. Entrepreneurship was alive and thriving in Byblos over five thousand years ago!

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

The Angel Capital Association had the distinct honor of awarding David Verrill with the Hans Severiens Award today at the 2018 ACA Summit.  This annual national award recognizes one individual’s work in advancing the field of angel investing.  The criteria for this prominent award includes depth of the individual’s impact on advancement of angel investing, leadership in bringing awareness of the field and contribution to the knowledge base of angel investing.  David demonstrates these qualities through his investing, regulatory policy work, advocacy for startups and the devotion of his time as Chair of the ACA board of directors.

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

This post originally appeared on Seraf-investor.com

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.

When I began making angel investments almost twenty years ago, I had no concept of what it meant to build a portfolio of early stage tech company investments. It wasn’t because I lacked financial savvy. I considered myself a fairly knowledgeable investor in the public markets. I understood key investing concepts like portfolio diversification, risk-adjusted investment return, market capitalization, and staging capital. However, I didn’t have a grasp on those terms in the context of making angel investments.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

One of the most important and effective things ACA does for our members is to represent you in Washington, DC. We do this to ensure you have the best possible environment to invest in and support interesting entrepreneurs.  This gives you the best possible chance to enjoy your angel experience and to help wonderful companies exit, leading to good returns for you.

Sometimes our work is aimed at creating new tax benefits or legislation allowing more investors in a fund, but other times our work is truly “do no harm.”  In fact, over the last eight years, our main public policy work has focused on ensuring the definition of accredited investor is not changed in a way that cuts the number of angels in half.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is lobbied all the time to raise the thresholds for net worth and income by inflation beginning in the 1980s, more than doubling the $1 million and $200,000 requirements.  Our past research with ACA members showed more than 30 percent of us would no longer be angel investors if that happened.  That’s what I call “existential!”

By Linda Smith, ACA Chair

Auckland’s ICE Angels are awesome!  As soon as you step into their innovation center (called the ICE House) which was previously a textile mill, the vibe is palpable.  Young entrepreneurs are collaborating in one corner, an  executive MBA program is housed within the facility, planning is proceeding for the next Innovation Showcase, an in-house Accelerator is over-subscribed, and one wall is completely covered with the logos of the more than 126 companies in the ICE Angels portfolio.

 This Auckland group of over 160 members has invested more than $80 million since its founding in 2003.  A lot of the dynamism behind ICE Angels is due to to Robbie Paul, the Chief Operating Officer for ICE Angels.  Robbie brims with enthusiasm as he talks about young companies like Crimson Consulting (helping secure admissions to the best universities in the world, now valued at $200 million), and Sunfed  Meats (a product that tastes just like chicken but made with pea protein ).

By Linda Smith, ACA Chair

Sydney Angels celebrated a 50th anniversary, of sorts—since their founding in 2008 they have invested in over 50 start-ups.  I had the opportunity to meet with several of their Management Committee members including Richard Dale, Karen Farley, and Adrian Bunter while in the exciting city of Sydney, Australia.

During our conversations, Sydney Angels (SA) credited Tech Coast Angels and the Kauffman Foundation as reference models and trusted sources of information and educational content that was helpful to SA in its formative years.  They also praised the work of Rob Wiltbank and would welcome sharing data about angel investing, including the new ACA data strategies report being developed by Rick Timmins and the Data Strategies Task Force led by Steve Flaim.

By: Ethel Rubin, PhD, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, NIH Office of the Director Office of Extramural Research

Looking for a deal in your backyard? The NIH is the world's largest investor in early stage life sciences companies. Over 1000 companies annually tap into NIH’s SBIR and STTR program for nondilutive funding to the tune of $980M in FY17. Did you know the NIH maintains RePORTER, an online database, of all funded companies and projects? This link will take you to what's been funded this fiscal year, but you can query the database yourself to look for companies specific to your interests. There are over 25 different ways to search and visualize the data with built in analytics (click on the Data & Visualize to create graphs and more you can export directly to PowerPoint and Excel).

By Lucy Howell, ACA Director of Partnerships 

After a 20-year career in financial services, I joined the Angel Capital Association as director of partnerships exactly one year ago this month. Over the past year, I have met hundreds of angels, entrepreneurs, community development leaders, bankers, sponsors and policy makers interested in this critical niche. Angels are the biggest funders of high-growth new businesses, which created nearly all net new jobs in last 25 years. Yet, I am surprised by how little is known about this unique angel investing world. I thought it would be fun to recap my top 12 takeaways from the year to shed some light on this amazing group of people and the impacts angels have had, not only on me, but on their local ecosystems.  

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