David Verrill Honored with Prestigious Hans Severiens Award

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.

The award is named after Hans Severiens, whose love of startups and mentoring led him to form one of the first angel groups in the United States, the Band of Angels, which continues to be one of the most active angel groups in the world.  Hans understood the value of angel groups and investing, and highly prioritized sharing his experience to help others. 

David accepted the award in his hometown of Boston at the 2018 ACA Summit.  David has been a tireless and selfless advocate for angel investing across the United States on behalf of the Angel Capital Association.  His service has made him a leading voice of advocacy for all angels to legislators, state governments and regulators.  David’s passion for practical policy to benefit angel investing is evident to all who have the privilege of working with him.

“Angels have quietly grown into a $25 billion industry, yet politicians weren’t aware of the critical role angels play in the innovation ecosystem and directly on the economy.  That needed to change.  ACA has engaged a lobbying firm in DC and we’ve organized a steady stream of visits for our constituent members to meet with their Members of Congress, key committees, the White House and the SEC.  We now punch above our weight, with several of us testifying in Congressional hearings and authoring bills to benefit and expand the angel ecosystem.  I feel a great sense of pride in helping to build ACA’s capability in public policy,” David says.

After completing his education at Bowdoin College and master’s degree from the Sloan School of Management in 1987, David spent a decade at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology raising capital and facilitating technology transfer.  David currently still holds a partial appointment at the MIT Sloan’s Initiative on the Digital Economy – the fourth initiative at MIT that he’s had a hand in starting. 

Following his education, David joined Xerox as Manager of International Sales and Business Development for the Adaptive Products Division in 1996.  In 1998, David became the Managing Director for Winchester International Group, before collaborating with Winchester to found Hub Angels Investment Group in early 2000.  Hub Angels is now one of the oldest angel groups in the Boston area, specializing in early stage tech and life science investments.  David has been a pioneer of the fund model of angel investing and has been an integral part of making Boston one of the most sophisticated and active angel markets in the United States. 

“David is deeply committed to inclusive investing and has organized and spearheaded programs in this area. For example, he has driven programs supporting entrepreneurs who are military veterans and organized MIT’s Inclusive Innovation Challenge, which supports entrepreneurs using technology creating employment opportunities for disadvantaged workers.  He also spearheaded the addition of inclusion and impact investing tracks in our Summit this year,” said Christopher Mirabile, Chair Emeritus of the ACA, and current Chair of the ACA’s Public Policy Committee; and Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group.

David also sits on the board of several startup companies and has been an essential member of the Angel Capital Association, serving as Board Chair from 2012 to 2015.  He currently serves as ACA’s Chair Emeritus, helping the organization to grow and serve the angel community.

“I don’t consider myself to be the most provocative or smartest person in the room, but I am a good blocker and tackler, and I have shown up and put my time in.  I think collectively these are the reasons that I have been given this great honor.   I can’t think of a more compelling industry than seed stage investing, and it is a space where angel investors can make a real difference.  For nearly 20 years, it is something I have passionately pursued and invested my time, energy and heart to further the success of my group, the Hub Angels.  And, serving ACA has been an honor and a privilege,” David explains.

This accolade is well deserved. Congratulations to David for his outstanding work on behalf of all angel investors and the startup ecosystem.


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