Summit

By Graeme Thickins, ACA PR Team

More than 650 angel investors came together for a very full three days of learning and networking at the 2017 ACA Summit in San Francisco April 26-28. Attendees represented 42 American states, 5 Canadian provinces, 18 countries, and more than 36% were women – a new record for the annual ACA event. It would take a book to fully recap the entire event, but here are some notes and quotes that will give you a taste of what transpired.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

It was with great enthusiasm that the Angel Capital Association honored Catherine Mott with the prestigious Hans Severiens Award at last week’s 2017 ACA Summit.  The Hans Severiens Award is presented annually to recognize one individual’s work in advancing the field of angel investing. Catherine is a great representative of the spirit of the award, with impacts ranging from developing and educating angel best practices to regulatory policy work to advocating for startups and helping expand the diversity of the angel investing community.

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 Craig Mullett - President of Branison Group, a corporate finance firm based in Connecticut, USA. Craig is an active angel investor as a director of the Angel Investor Forum. He is also a founder of AngelHub, Africa's first angel group and helped in establishing Trident Angels, the first Caribbean angel group. 

(Editor’s Note:  We liked Craig’s notes from the ACA Summit so much that we thought other ACA members and investors would also get value from them.)

Smart money
Kay Koplovitz (USA Network/ Springboard Enterprises)

  • Be open to serendipitous moments where entrepreneurial solutions may be uncovered
  • Angels need to network where there are innovation pipelines to stay close to cutting edge startups 
  • Plan how your capital will be able to move startups "up the escalator" to the next capital raise and ultimately to exit

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

--A model for angel-led investment deals and syndication--

Congratulations to Cognition Therapeutics, Inc. (CogRx), a Pennsylvania life sciences company, which ACA recognized as the outstanding angel-financed company for 2016, when they received the Luis Villalobos Award. First among twenty-five finalists, a committee of experienced angel investors selected the firm above its competitors for numerous reasons.

While I was doing some research about some of our ACA Summit speakers, I found that several have penned some really interesting pieces.  Angels and entrepreneurs can learn a lot about investing trends and key trends and issues in early stage investing.  Here is an incomplete list of articles to check out:

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.

By: Bill Payne, Frontier Angels

The popular press has been hyping crowdfunding since the JOBS Act passed in 2010.  The Huffington Post tells us that the #1 Losers of the JOBS Act is Angel Investors!  AngelList and Kickstarter (and their facilitated companies) are getting considerable attention and Lending Club had a huge IPO in December.  Just how large is this crowdfunding movement in the US?  And, how is it impacting seed stage and early stage investing which has been dominated by angels for the past several decades?

During the past several months, I have been on a mission to quantify the several types of crowdfunding, both in the US and the rest of the world.  We hear crowdfunding exceeded $10 billion worldwide in 2014.  But, how much of that was equity crowdfunding?  In the US, all equity crowdfunding is accredited investor only.  What can we learn from Europe about the quantity of unaccredited investor (public) crowdfunding, compared to all other crowdfunding? 

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