Jumpstart New Jersey is Big in New York Mobile and Internet


Meet ACA Member Katherine O’Neill - ACA Board Member and New Jersey Angel Network Executive Director

Editor’s Note: Welcome to a new periodic feature – ACA Member Profiles. We want to help you create the connections you need and get to know ACA angels and groups with this glimpse into membership.  If you have any questions about this feature and/or have an idea for a future member profile please contact Sarah Dickey

How and when did you get involved in angel investing?
In 1998 and 1999 I was doing consulting for early stage bio-companies and was offered stock as payment. I still have some stock papers for companies that are no longer in business These were my first investments in early stage companies. I started to become active as a check-writing angel in 2003 when I joined Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network. Jumpstart had just formed with a total of 12 members.

Tell us about Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network?
When Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network started, we sometimes struggled to put together $150,000 for deals, but now we regularly gather as much as $1,000,000 among the now nearly 50 members. Since our founding we have contributed at least $48,000,000 in deals across the Mid-Atlantic states. We actively invest in opportunities from Virginia to Connecticut.

In fact, our angel group based in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey was recently named one of the top 5 angel investors in mobile and internet in New York.

Our members are generally C-level executives or cashed out entrepreneurs who want to actively direct their investments. They come from a number of sectors and our group is generally eclectic in our investing and are open to any sector in which we have member expertise. Our favorite kind of deals are Saas B-to-B platfoms and mobile, but recently we have also invested in an automatic welding robot, internet retail subscription for babies, internet travel hotel play, as well as the New Jersey TechLaunch Accelerator and an accredited investor crowdfunding platform. The commonality for us is a high growth opportunity and interesting management team.

What has recently changed in the way angels in your area are investing now?
We are doing more syndication. Most of our deals are syndicated and that is a big change from five years ago. We also find that some groups prefer to follow others in deals and we are happy to lead a syndicated deal.

What is the most important issue or trend for your member angels to be aware of in the next year?
There is a lot of activity going on and deal options available so it is very important for entrepreneurs to be able to differentiate themselves. Our biggest challenge right now is that we have trouble keeping up with deal flow. We have a growing membership as more investors want to invest in the early stage technology companies.

Connect with Katherine or Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network at jumpstartnj.com.

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