Members

By: Linda Smith, ACA Chair

Last week, I made a very special announcement at the ACA Leadership Workshop:  after an incredible 14-year run, our esteemed Executive Director, Marianne Hudson, told us she intends to take early retirement.  When she told the ACA Board about her wishes quite recently, Marianne also graciously offered to stay with us until her replacement is brought into the organization.  The Board respects her decision and especially appreciates her dedication to continue leading the association until a new leader is with us.

By Dr. Ethel Rubin, Entrepreneur in Residence, National Institutes of Health.  (NIH is an ACA Annual Partner)

You don’t need to read these sobering stats to know that Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is decimating the aging population, quite literally. One in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s, and nearly two-thirds are women. Today, there are 5.5 million people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRA) in the US alone and the numbers are only rising. The burden to healthcare and care providers is likewise huge: $200 billion USD. At NIH, we are doing our part by using both the SBIR and other grant funding mechanisms to tackle the problem. It’s not just a focus area whose time has come, it’s mandated by law (Public Law 111-375 The National Alzheimer's Project Act of 2011). 

By: Linda Smith, ACA Chair

ACA’s members are the most important asset to our organization.  It is through your participation and involvement that we are the world’s largest and most experienced community of angels, with more than 13,000 members.  Your continued support makes it possible for ACA to deliver new benefits and programs and achieve important changes in public policy that affect your investing.

I want to thank you for your membership and also thank ACA’s board and staff for a year of significant accomplishments.  Here’s a summary of key achievements over the past year:

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

As the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) went in to effect on May 25, 2018, you may have received many emails regarding the privacy policy of different websites and services.  Unclear on what GDPR is or what changes are being made?  Here is a quick overview from eugdpr.org.

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

The Angel Capital Association is delighted to announce the four finalists for the Luis Villalobos Award, a highly regarded, North American-wide award that honors ingenuity, creativity and innovation among startups backed by ACA members: Catalyst OrthoScience, CNote, Oculogica and PhotoniCare.  “These companies are at the top of their game and represent the pinnacle of startup innovation and ingenuity,” said ACA Executive Director, Marianne Hudson.  The finalists will be honored and the winner revealed on April 19, 2018 at the world’s largest gathering of angel investors, the 2018 ACA Summit in Boston, MA. 

This award is in honor of Luis Villalobos, who in 1997 founded one of the largest and most respected angel organizations in the world, Tech Coast Angels.  Luis was a leader in the angel investing arena by making 57 personal angel investments, educating angels and always looking to invest in and mentor the most innovative companies.  Luis was a true “leading light” in the angel community. 

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

As we celebrate the beginning of 2018, the Angel Capital Association celebrates a good 2017 for many of our member angels, groups, and platforms.  Many of you had awesome exits, which is always something to celebrate!  Media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Xconomy, and Forbes covered your milestones, great years, and recommendations to investors for great best practices or to entrepreneurs on raising equity capital.  And with #MeToo making big news in 2017, we especially appreciate our many members who provided true action to bring more women and people of color to angel investing.  Here are just some of our favorite articles about and by ACA members last year:

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: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

I’m so grateful for the insights, wisdom and guidance we hear from ACA members.

We are in the midst of a robust strategic planning process that many ACA Board members have put in an unbelievable amount of time into.  I’ll spare you the full process, but a key piece was a survey of members and the extended startup support community.  You told us you value ACA education programs and public policy work, and wanted us to provide even more education, data-driven insights, and guidance regarding smart practices in angel investing. 

It’s a “ta-da” moment. ACA is announcing two new strategic initiatives that provide what you asked for.   

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

One of my favorite parts of working with ACA members is attending the Regional and Special Interest Meetings where angels gather to learn about investing trends and encourage collaborative investing. ACA Regional Meetings connect new and experienced angels to each other for investor education, networking, and to syndicate angel deals in real-time. There is no substitute to the momentum that can be created by having angel investors in the same room debating smart investing practices and sharing investment opportunities. And sometimes, angels themselves become the innovators for getting deals done.  

Such is the case of the recent ACA Midwest Regional: Best of the Midwest – planned and hosted by Nebraska Angels in Omaha last week.  Held in a turn of the century warehouse turned community art and innovation center – Kaneko – the meeting began with a view of the Nebraska Angels history after turning near collapse in 2008 to a thriving group of nearly 70 investors with a Midwest-wide syndication portfolio – and recent exits. In her welcome Laura Classen, Executive Director of Nebraska Angels, encouraged the attendees to use the meeting to make networking among fellow investors and syndication a priority in order to support the innovative companies, create strong investment portfolios and overcome geographical barriers.

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.

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