Angel investing

By: Ham Lord, Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group and Co-Founder of Seraf-investor.com

This post originally appeared on Seraf-investor.com

This article is the first in an ongoing series on valuation and capitalization. To learn more about the financial mechanics of early stage investing, download this free eBook today Angel Investing by the Numbers: Valuation, Capitalization, Portfolio Construction and Startup Economics or purchase our books at Amazon.com.

In the sport of Major League Baseball, the greatest hitters are those who get a hit just one out of every three times at bat and a home run 5 or 6 times out of 100 at bats. In the world of startup company investing, the best-known investors are those who invest in the tiny percentage of companies that make it big. Think Facebook, Google or Amazon. If you invest in one of those enormously successful companies you will find your name in the equivalent of the Baseball Hall of Fame… it’s called the Forbes Midas List.  

By: Ham Lord and Christopher Mirabile, Co-Founders of Seraf, who have written comprehensive articles and eBooks on all aspects of angel investing, including a new series on exits and reasonable returns.

Note: This article is part of an ongoing series on Exits. To learn more about how to plan for exits and maximize returns, download our free eBook today Angel Exits: Perspectives and Techniques for Maximizing Investment Returns​ or purchase our books at Amazon.com.

With our discussion on key deal terms, we introduced some of the many issues investors and management teams face when it comes to the topic of alignment. In the case of a startup company, alignment means that investors and management agree on key corporate development issues such as strategy, team, financing and exit planning.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

There has been a decidedly female focus to a flurry of news and announcements about angels, startups and challenges for women entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, disturbing accounts of sexual harassment and gender bias dominate the headlines. But there’s another tier of good news featuring women (and men) investing in and supporting women-led startups.

Many of those good news stories start with ACA members, women and men, who are actively working to eradicate gender bias, harassment and discrimination.

By Solomon Brenner, ACA Member (Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic).  This post is adapted from an original post on Startup2Angel.

Whether the patent process is worthwhile and beneficial depends on the inventor, the opportunity and the timing. Deciding to go through with the process can be intimidating, costly and time-consuming. That’s why I decided to call Danielle Williams, an attorney at Winston & Strawn who has handled dozens of patent cases.

Some of the benefits of patenting an innovation include:

Anna deTiege, ACA Membership Consultant

The Angel Capital Association is pleased to announce the three finalists for the 2017 Luis Villalobos Award, a national award recognizing ingenuity, creativity, and innovation among startups: DesignMedix, Magnetic Insight, and Peloton Technology. These were among many companies nominated by ACA’s membership of angel investors.

The three finalist companies will be honored and the winner announced April 27 at the 2017 ACA Summit in San Francisco. The award is named in memory of Luis Villalobos, whom angel investors admired nationwide for his active investing and mentoring truly innovative companies.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

This post originally appeared on Forbes.com

On my mission to get smarter and smarter about angel investing, I think it’s important to read as much as I can from leading investors and experts in entrepreneurship.  There were some really great articles last year that made a difference to my own investing and thinking about trends and policies.  Here are 25 top articles that caught my attention in 2016.  I think they’re worth another read, or a first read in case you missed them.

By: Angela Jackson is an ACA Board Member and Chairs the “Grassroots Group” for ACA members interested in interacting with Members of Congress.  Want to join?  Shoot Angela an email.

Exciting things are happening in Washington, DC relative to advancing the ACA legislative agenda - and we're requesting your immediate help.

Call to Action - by Monday January 9!

ACA just got word that the House of Representatives plans to vote on the HALOS Act next week.  HALOS (Helping Angels Lead Our Startups) exempts demo days from general solicitation rules, meaning that companies that participate in any type of demo day would no longer need to worry about taking extra steps to verify investors are accredited – unless they are going the solicitation 506(c) way.  And angels who prefer to invest in private deals would have better assurances that companies had not tripped the general solicitation trigger.  The bill, HR 79, has great bi-partisan sponsors:  leads Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and co-sponsors Andy Barr (R-KY), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), John Delaney (D-MD), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Jared Polis (D-CO), Pete Sessions (R-TX), and Ann Wagner (R-MO).

I have to admit that while I have really enjoyed being an angel investor and meeting such interesting people, but the real fun didn’t start until I had an exit.  I was lucky enough to be one of 40+ investors in EyeVerify, which was acquired in September by Ant Financial, a subsidiary of Alibaba for more than $100 million.  There’s nothing like getting that return check – or hearing the ins and outs of the acquisition from the entrepreneur and angels on the board!

This made me wonder how many other ACA members also had this kind of fun.  In a quick bit of website research, I found an incomplete list of acquisitions and IPOs for portfolio companies of ACA members in 2016 below.  These ACA members are from throughout North America, not just the usual venture hotspots.  I don’t know how many angels were involved in these exits, but congrats to them and the entrepreneurs who led those companies.

By: Dave Berkus, Dave Berkus, ”Super angel” investor, tech futurist 

This post originally appeared on Berkonomics.com

Well, it had to happen.  Originally created in the mid 1990’s to help with the imprecise problem of how to value early stage companies, especially those in technology, I developed what soon became known as “The Berkus Method” when published in the popular book, “Winning Angels” by Harvard’s Amis and Stevenson with my permission in 2001.  But a lot of time has passed since then.

There is a universal truth: fewer than one in a thousand start-ups meet or exceed their projected revenues in the periods planned.  So how do you use financial projections as valuation metrics when you know the odds of those being accurate predictors of the future are so very unreliable?

By: Elizabeth Usovicz, Principal of WhiteSpace Consulting, as part of a series she writes for ACA aimed at entrepreneurs, "Your Pitch is Just the Beginning." 

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once quipped, “Power is like being a lady... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't.” The same could be said about a startup. If people have to ask if it’s a business, it isn’t one - yet.

I recently heard two different founders pitch their concepts for the first time. One spoke at an open pitch event, describing a broad social media platform that would unite people of different backgrounds and tell their stories. The second founder presented a next-generation technology/entertainment concept to a small advisory group, in preparation for approaching investors.

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