Nurturing the Next Generation of Angels

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

Engaging the next generation of investors is something that is becoming an increased priority for angel groups to focus their efforts.  ACA member groups are developing volunteer analysts or similar programs to incorporate and educate young people while engaging them in important work for the group.  Benefits of this type of activity include augmented practices, increasing support and empowering individuals for the future.  Here are two examples of ACA member groups that are utilizing volunteer programs to invest in the next generation of angel investors.

The Golden Angels Advisors (GAA) program through Golden Angels Investors works to cultivate new angels who are interested in becoming active investors in the future.  The program’s mission is to build a community of early to mid-career professionals with an interest in startups and investing that complements and extends the expertise of the Golden Angel Investors network.  GAA members assist with due diligence, participate in education and engage in networking opportunities.  This allows participants to gain knowledge of the venture investment process, strengthen connections and attend members events to see the process firsthand. 

Tech Coast Angels San Diego developed their Volunteer Analyst Program (VAP) to provide technically qualified professionals with exposure to the process, mechanics and community of early stage company investing.  This permits volunteer analysts to gain an insider’s view into the startup ecosystem and funding process by participating directly with Tech Coast Angels members and staff.  VAP members learn how to execute the due diligence process and production of the final due diligence report that is shared with TCA members and investors.  Volunteer Analysts also attend various educational opportunities, network with investors, entrepreneurs and executives in the San Diego community and develop skills to evaluate investment candidates through early stage investment opportunities.  Each year, TCA invites a group of volunteer analysts to become TCA Senior Analysts to gain additional benefits and take part in mentoring of the newer Volunteer Analysts.

Angel groups are creating volunteer programs like these because the benefits are clear – in addition to becoming more educated about angel investing, groups with volunteer programs are connecting startups with resources that help support the early-stage ecosystem.  Let me know, does your group have a similar program?  Were you involved in a volunteer experience before you started investing?  How has it benefited you as an accredited investor?  Please leave a comment below to share your experiences with volunteer programs!