Entrepreneur

By: Kevin Learned and Denise Dunlap, Boise Angel Alliance

Terms like “warrants, waterfalls and preferences” can be confusing and intimidating when attempting to understand a capitalization table (aka cap table); it is no wonder we are often asked for a simple way to understand them! This article will give a brief overview of why cap tables are important and introduce a simple model to use early in the due diligence process.

By Lucy Howell, ACA Director of Partnerships 

The seventh annual Innovation Showcase took place last week at the 2019 ACA Summit in Chicago.  This special series of events provides selected companies the opportunity to present their pitch to the entire ACA Summit audience over the course of the Summit.  The Innovation Showcase is by invitation only and presenting companies are nominated by organizations - ACA member angel groups, venture funds, accelerators, and universities government agencies or trade commissions - that underwrite the Innovation Showcase.  The “showcase” represents an incredible opportunity for these underwriters to showcase their best portfolio companies to the angel investors and startup ecosystem leaders at the Summit.

By: Christopher Mirabile, Chair Emeritus of Angel Capital Association and an early stage investor in Boston. He is the co-managing director of Launchpad Venture Group and the co-founder of angel portfolio management tool www.Seraf-Investor.com.

 “How do I find investors?” is a perennial question, coming up regularly in many entrepreneurial contexts. Local entrepreneurs ask it all the time and it is certainly one of the questions I get asked most on Quora. Fortunately, for higher potential businesses going after reasonably large markets, finding investors willing to speak to you is not all that difficult. Yes, it is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it is neither complex nor mysterious. Here’s how to go about it.

By Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

Three amazing companies funded by ACA members are finalists for the Luis Villalobos Award, honoring companies for ingenuity, creativity and innovation. The companies are:

  • Aquacycl LLC – San Diego (nominated by Next Wave Ventures and also funded by the San Diego Angel Conference)
  • GrandPad – Orange, CA (nominated by Tech Coast Angels and funded as well by Pasadena Angels and Harvard Business School Angels)
  • Joylux – Seattle (nominated by Alliance of Angels and also funded by numerous ACA member groups:  Golden Seeds, Houston Angel Network, Puget Sound Venture Club, Belle Capital, Keiretsu Forum Northwest, Keiretsu Capital Fund, South Coast Angel Network, Portfolia and Sofia Angel Fund)

By: Sheldon Hamburger, RTP Capital Associates, Inc.

Editor’s Note:

ACA member, Sheldon Hamburger of RTP Capital Associates, Inc. shares his opinion on creating the pitch-perfect pitch deck for entrepreneurs seeking capital from investors.  The article covers many key issues most angels would like to see addressed in a pitch deck, but the order of the topics may vary for other angels.  

Help Me Help You

I’ve lost track of how many pitch decks have come my way over the years and it still amazes me how often these requests for money are incomplete and missing even the most fundamental information such as: What is your product?  What are you asking for?  Why would anyone buy what you’re selling?

By: Charlie Brock, ACA Member, Launch Tennessee

Over the last five years as the CEO of Launch Tennessee, too often I’ve seen founders raise angel or seed funding, develop a product line and a small customer-base, but not gain any real traction.  

By Lucy Howell, ACA Director of Partnerships 

The ACA Summit is the largest gathering of accredited angel investors in North America and the event’s “Innovation Showcase” provides selected companies the opportunity to present their pitch to the entire ACA Summit audience.  It represents a tremendous opportunity for angel groups, economic development agencies and accelerators to showcase their best portfolio companies and attract capital. 

Twenty-three sponsored entrepreneurs delivered their Showcase speed pitch to the audience throughout the Summit.  Sponsored entrepreneurs also hosted a table throughout the Summit to tell their story and hold private meetings.  This year ACA partnered with Gust Launch as a sponsor, which offered winning underwriters complimentary licenses to help their entrepreneurs incorporate and grow.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

ACA members have known for years that people from other countries make AMAZING entrepreneurs.  This is one of the main reasons ACA has supported policies like startup visas and the International Entrepreneur Rule to ensure that more of these entrepreneurs from other countries can stay in the US and create innovative and job creating companies.

Now we have a new source of data on international entrepreneurs – Immigrant Founders of the 2017 Fortune 500 – by the Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE).  The report comes amid the ongoing debate about US immigration policy – and, most immediately, debate regarding the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

The Angel Capital Association joins the National Venture Capital Association, Center for American Entrepreneurship and many others in thanking Congress for dropping a proposed tax on equity compensation of startup employees that would have devastated the way many high growth companies pay their employees.  The proposal was in both House and Senate bills for tax reform.  The experience of watching many organizations form a coalition and explain to House and Senate leaders how the proposal would have damaged an incredibly important part of our economy also showed us how much power we can have in Washington, DC when we work together.

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.

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Capitalization Tables Demystified by Kevin and Denise Ld  on  May 16
Angel Investing Exits: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by Ham and Christopher LM  on  May 09
2019 Innovation Showcase Introduces Technology and Life Science Startups to Angels by Lucy Howell (Angel Capital Association)  on  May 06