ACA Introduces Research Initiative and
Expands Education Programs for Members

The Angel Capital Association is launching a new research initiative and expanding educational programming to provide member angel investors and the startup community with additional resources for better investment outcomes.

“ACA research will increase what we know about angel investors, who they are, why and how they invest, what businesses they invest in, what kinds of returns performance they experience and what practices can improve outcomes,” said Tony Shipley, vice chairman of the ACA board.

Data Offers Insights to Angel Investing

ACA’s first research study, “The American Angel,” released on November 28, is the largest study of its kind focused on individual American angels who write the first checks to support new businesses. The American Angel is based on a survey of more than 1,600 accredited angel investors in the U.S. and was developed in partnership with researchers at Wharton Entrepreneurship.

The next ACA body of research, to be launched in early 2018 in partnership with a major research university, will focus on angel group investments and the businesses they support. “By gathering, analyzing and publishing data from our member angel groups, we will provide a foundation for better understanding the factors that influence angel investing and the startups that we support,” says Shipley.

ACA plans to release quarterly reports showing average annual investment sizes, valuations, what sectors groups are investing in, and related deep-dive data. Detailed ACA data regarding angel investors, angel groups, and family offices will be private and confidential to its members. In addition, ACA will provide insights and trend reports to the to the public, offering the startup community and policy makers with a better understanding of angel investor practices and their impact on supporting the startup economy.

“Our membership is geographically broad as well as demographically diverse and represents a wealth of information regarding who invests, why and how we support startups, and the outcomes of our decisions,” said Linda L. Smith, ACA board chair. “Now we are creating a means for our members, and the general public, to tap into that wealth of data-driven knowledge regarding the practices that shape their success and our role within the startup community.”

Experienced Angels Share What They’ve Learned

Recognized since its founding as the trusted source of angel education, ACA is further 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. These programs are in addition to educational opportunities already afforded by ACA’s Summits, Leadership Workshops, Regional Meetings, online webinars and articles on trends and practices in angel investing.

“Our membership includes experienced angel investors as well as newer angels, and both have asked that ACA provide courses on a broad range of topics including the lessons that very experienced angels wish they had known before they started,” said Marianne Hudson, executive director of ACA. “That is exactly what we are going to do, and more, and provide it in formats that are easy for angels to access when they want it. The value of ACA lies in the collective knowledge of our members and the desire to help each other succeed as we fuel a robust startup economy.”

To develop additional education programs, ACA will partner with its members and other thought leaders to distribute courses, materials, videos and more. The first new ACA course, “Fundamentals of Angel Investing,” was presented in Houston on November 13, 2017 and will also be an optional program ahead of the 2018 ACA Summit in Boston.  The program is aimed at new angels or accredited investors who are considering becoming angels.

Members Request ACA Research and Education

Research and education programs being introduced this month are the direct result of ACA member input to ACA’s strategic plan. ACA surveyed its members as well as entrepreneurs and leaders from accelerators, universities and economic development groups, to identify what they value most from ACA and what resources they need in the future. Members and the extended startup community said they value ACA education programs and public policy work, and want the organization to provide even more education, data-driven insights, and guidance regarding smart practices in angel investing. 

For more details on these initiatives, read these Frequently Asked Questions.  You can also share this information with ACA members via this web page or with a slide deck Tony Shipley prepared and presented at the ACA Leadership Workshop in Houston.