Members

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

Every day, ACA members ask us for ideas on how they can improve everything from deal flow to impact to liquidity.  Other members have fantastic ideas and experience in solving those same issues.

So let’s say you are part of an angel group that has lost some of its mojo and you’re losing out on the very best entrepreneurs because of newer players in your startup ecosystem.  These investors have innovative ways to fund companies and have deep connections into the leading entrepreneurs, innovators and follow-on investors.  What do you need to do to be innovative and not only bring a fresh take to your entrepreneurial community, but also regularly help great startups grow with these investors?

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

The Angel Capital Association has some wonderful member angels and organizations and I’m glad so many of them actively share their knowledge and deals with other ACA members.  If you haven’t taken a tour of media coverage of ACA members this year, it is worth your time. About 60 media stories about ACA members were published in the first ten weeks of 2017, and here are a few of my favorites:

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Three ACA member organizations have really put on their hiking boots with excellent adventures and exits in late 2016.  On top of some really great investor returns, they also include a couple of important social returns that I really like.  Let me tell you about them:

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: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Recently I had the chance to check in with ACA members in detail on their preferred investment structures.  This all started in June at the ACA Pacific Northwest Regional Meeting, attended by more than 200 investors.  One of my favorite sessions was a debate on deal terms, with Angela Jackson of the Portland Seed Fund arguing for convertible notes and Bill Payne of Frontier Angels speaking for priced rounds.  It was a lively discussion and you could tell the audience was into it. 

The 2015 ACA Summit in San Diego brought a great combination of professional content, networking among angels and thought leading speakers and sponsors – and let’s be honest, great weather and settings. More than 630 investors, sponsors and presenting entrepreneurs attended the program. Lots of great materials are posted on the event community app, but sometimes the best way to review what happened is in pictures. Below is my tour of the various events held on April 13-16, 2015 – with photos taken by Summit attendees on social media.

Each year the Angel Capital Association and Angel Resource Institute shine a spotlight on one individual whose collective body of work brightens the advancement of the field of angel investing. This year we honor Susan Preston.

Like many angel investors, Susan brings a depth of passion to her work which currently includes General Partner for the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund, which focuses on seed/start-up stage investments in clean energy technology. She is also the Managing Partner for the new Seattle Angel Fund, committed to fostering entrepreneurial growth in the Pacific Northwest through early-stage investments.  Susan teaches in the MBA program and is the Buerk Endowed Fellow for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington. She also serves as co-chair and lead instructor for the Angel Resource Institute, a global investor and entrepreneur education organization. She has been named as one of the Managers for the new Element 8 Angel Fund and is a board member for Element 8, a Seattle-based clean-tech investing angel group. In 2014 Susan received the Small Business Person of the Year award from the Small Business Council of America and the Senator Cantwell Women of Valor award.

ACA Membership Director Sarah Dickey interviewed Ellen Weber recently as part of a series of ACA member profiles.

Meet Ellen Weber – ACA member angel investor, Executive Director of Robin Hood Ventures and Executive Director of the Temple Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute. Ellen provides insight into how the 16 year old angel group maintains its edge for investing in dynamic markets.

How and when did you get involved in angel investing?

Robin Hood was founded when two long-time friends attended a local pitch event with little structure and no follow up.  They wanted to create an angel group that would not only get deals done as effectively as possible, but would also work closely with the entrepreneur after investment.  I agreed to help them start this new angel group with an initial role of serving as the back office to get things off the ground. Very quickly my role grew and I also became very active in the local entrepreneurial community. 

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