Startup Day Across America – Opportunity for Angels and Startups to Engage Your Members of Congress


By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

In recognition of the importance of innovative startups, several Congressmen and Senators have established Startup Day Across America, as a way to celebrate and meet with startup companies while they are in their home states and districts. This is a great time for ACA members to contact their Congressmen and suggest they visit a portfolio company or attend an angel roundtable. The official day is August 5th, but any day in August will work.

More and more Congressmen and Senators understand the importance of innovative startups to America’s economy, and some are also noting how angel investors support these job creators. I believe it is important to grow that understanding in our legislators and encourage ACA members to reach out to your US Representatives and Senators to meet with you and your portfolio companies during their August recess – many of them really enjoy talking with their constituent entrepreneurs and investors! Such a meeting can also bring local media attention to your angel group and portfolio companies, if you choose to promote it.

Here are some easy ways to set up a meeting with your Congressman and/ or Senators:

Write them to request a meeting

During the meeting, educate them about angel investing and discuss key policy issues for angels and startups

This can be a fun activity for portfolio companies and/or angel investors – and it is easy to do. Last December, I got to be part of a roundtable on startups and angel investing when Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) was home in her district for the holidays. Members of the Women’s Capital Connection and Mid-America Angels met with her for about 90 minutes to describe the startup ecosystem in the area. A startup CEO and innovation leaders from the University of Kansas were also important contributors. It was a chance for Rep. Jenkins and her local staff to ask questions about how angel investing works and for all of us to discuss a variety of policy issues that are important to the health of the startup ecosystem. Rep. Jenkins has become a tremendous supporter of angel investors through this and other initiatives.

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