Accredited Investors

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 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.  

By Graeme Thickins, ACA PR Team

Did you ever wish you’d have had a chance to meet or chat with someone at the ACA Summit or any of our other events, but never had the opportunity to run into them? Well, now you can — via brief interviews posted on the new ACA video library. It’s your chance to get to know interesting people, with great insights, better. The full set of ACA videos are posted on our Vimeo channel. You can view these videos without a Vimeo account, or you can create a free account, and then follow any channels of your choice — which we suggest you do with the ACA channel, of course! If you do that, then you’ll be notified whenever there’s a new video posted on our channel.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Need compelling reasons to come to the 2017 ACA Summit?  Here are eleven reasons you need to travel to San Francisco on April 26-28.  Sure, ACA will share some of the content from the event with members afterwards, but there are many things you can only get by actually being there:

  • The vibe.  ACA members are loud – in a very good way.  They love to share real stories and best practices that make a difference in your returns.  The sound of voices at an ACA Summit reception is truly unique and well, loud.

By: Matt Dunbar, co-founder of the South Carolina Angel Network and managing director of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network.

This post originally appeared in Upstate Business Journal.

On Father’s Day weekend, I indulged a bit in watching the last round of the U.S. Open golf tournament and the last game of the NBA Finals. My lovely wife, who doesn’t exactly share my interest in sports (other than college football), opined that she found the sports to be boring — except right at the end when you find out who’s going to win.

Matt Dunbar contributed to this article. He is the co-founder of the South Carolina Angel Network and managing director of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network.

This post originally appeared in Upstate Business Journal.

Risky business

Investing in startups is not for the faint of heart. These businesses are just beginning to develop, and their expenses typically exceed their revenue. In fact, most of them will fail.

But you could find yourself sitting on a goldmine. Case in point: Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. He invested about $100,000 in Google just months after founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin created the tech giant in their garage.

Bechtolsheim is now worth about $3 billion. That could be you.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Ever wonder how your investment activity and background compares to other angels in the US?  Take The American Angel survey to put in your information and get early access to detailed reports to learn more. 

ACA is partnering with Wharton Entrepreneurship to develop the first ever large dataset of US angel investors to understand who angels are demographically, how they became angel investors, how angels make decisions, and what level and type of investment activity they have.  The project should benefit angels as an asset class as it brings more visibility to angels, supports a stronger early-stage investing environment, and lead to better public policies to support angel investing and innovative startups.  It just might refute a lot of assumptions about angel investors that are incorrect.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Are you an accredited angel investor?  We need ten minutes of your time to make a big difference for startup investing.  Please take this confidential survey to help us understand who angel investors are, how they became angels, and what factors influence their investing activity.

Today ACA and Wharton Entrepreneurship announced a partnership to complete the first-ever comprehensive demographic study of angel investors across the U.S.  We believe this study will help identify characteristics of angel investors that have never before been understood. It is critical for entrepreneurs, economic development entities, private market makers, regulators and legislators to understand who angel investors are, in order to drive effective policies to ensure a robust angel investing marketplace and for startups to better access equity capital.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Many angels, startups, VCs and the startup ecosystem have asked for more clarity about demo days for a couple years now.  These events seem to meet the definition of “general solicitation” and most investors don’t want to invest in companies that publicly advertise, but they have seen demo days as an important part of our world for decades.  The confusion may get clarity because of the work of a bi-partisan group of Members of Congress.

The Angel Capital Association supports HR 4498, the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups Act (HALOS Act) and want to thank Reps. Chabot, Sinema, Hurt and Takai for introducing this bi-partisan bill last week.  We believe the HALOS Act helps more job-creating startup companies raise the funding they need because it removes a barrier to funding.  There has already been discussed in a hearing of the House Financial Services and could be on a positive track.  A similar bill is also in the Senate, with bi-partisan sponsors as well.)

By: William Carleton, Counselor @ Law, and volunteer chair of ACA Public Policy Advisory Council

Yes, there's Title III under the JOBS Act, promising equity crowdfunding (think Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, just not restricted to awards or products, but instead offering ownership in the company); yes, there's Reg A+, also bequeathed by the JOBS Act; and there are a plethora, now, of state crowdfunding laws that lower the bar to who may invest in private companies.

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