Frequently Asked Questions

Why is ACA expanding its research efforts and education offerings? 

ACA surveyed its members as well as entrepreneurs as well as leaders from economic development groups, startup accelerators and universities as part of an initiative to refresh our strategic plan. The respondents asked for additional resources to support smarter angel investing. As a result, ACA is launching a new two-pronged research initiative and expanding educational programming for both new and experienced investors. Both fulfill ACA’s mission to support the success of angel investors in high-growth, early-stage ventures.

What type of research will be done? 

The American Angel, released on November 28, 2017, is a first-of-its-kind national survey to illuminate attributes of American angel investors, including demographic background, investment activity and how investment decisions are made.  A collaboration with researchers at Wharton Entrepreneurship and Harvard Business School, we expect to update this report regularly.

The second focus of research is collecting and analyzing data from angel groups associated with ACA.  We know that top angel groups analyze their data to learn more about successful and failed investments. It’s how they improve investment decisions. With the new research initiative, this type of data will be shared among angel groups. Quarterly reports will include average investment sizes, valuation metrics, business sectors, geography, and much more.  The analysis and insights will support better decision making and results for angel groups, with more detailed data and analysis access for participating members.

How will the angel group research be conducted? 

ACA is in final discussions with an academic research institution that will partner with ACA for data gathering and analysis. Angel group leaders will receive information in December about participation and how to submit data. 

How will the research results be shared? 

Detailed angel group research reports will be available to ACA members quarterly beginning at the 2018 ACA Summit, April 18-20, 2018. In addition, ACA will make aggregate and trend results available to the public. The data on individual group investments will be kept private; it is being conducted to benefit ACA members and advance the practice of angel investing, although ACA will publish aggregate results to the public on a quarterly basis.

Results of The American Angel will be available to ACA members and the public on November 28, 2017.

Will the research include names of individual angels or angel groups?

All data is aggregated. ACA will never release individual or company information to any organization. Submitted data will not be shared or sold.  In public reports, ACA plans to include a listing of the top angel groups in investment activity with permission of the groups.

What does this mean for other angel data reports?  Should we give our data to those reports too?

We are very excited about the ACA angel group data project report because it is designed to be a next generation analytical look at angel investing and will be ideally tailored to serve the needs of our members.  Our data collection and analysis methodologies will be: 

  • comprehensive in coverage, 
  • regular in collection and publication, 
  • professionally administered, 
  • unparalleled depth in the metrics collected,
  • a good vehicle for promoting the leading groups and platforms,
  • rigorous in its analysis, 
  • flexible enough to allow searching and benchmarking, and
  • safeguarded to protect the privacy of investor’s data from use by commercial third parties.  

Submission of your data to any other data collection service is of course your decision.  It is ACA’s belief that in the medium and long term, we will offer angel groups and their members - by virtue of our data project -  an enhanced ability to better understand important data metrics that help improve outcomes in angel investing.  We also believe our processes will allow you to be more efficient in reporting your data, and you will have peace of mind that your data will not be sold to others. 

Will ACA participate in research conducted by other organizations?

ACA often partners with other organizations on policy, education and research initiatives when opportunities reflect our mission and benefit ACA members, and we will continue to evaluate proposals as they become available.

What new education offerings are planned?

ACA is expanding its professional development programs to better support new angel investors, provide unique programming for angel group leaders, and offer more access to its education programs throughout North America. The association’s education task force has developed a large list of potential topics that top angels wish they knew before they started investing.  Some topics will be for newer angels, but there will also be content for more experienced angel investors.  ACA will partner with its members and other thought leaders to distribute existing courses, materials and videos through our website, events and new channels. Programming will be released over multiple years.

The first new ACA course, “Fundamentals of Angel Investing,” is aimed at new angels or accredited investors who are considering becoming angels. Watch for more offerings targeted at angels of all experience levels, with the next planned as an optional pre-program at the 2018 ACA Summit