Category Archives: CrowdFunding

Angel Investing – Ringing in a New Decade

2020 in sparkling gold numbers celebrating the New Year or Christmas with glittering ornaments and decorationsThe New Year is great time for reflection, especially when entering a new decade. Looking back over the past ten years, the ecosystem of Angel Investing has experienced a number of innovations, seen new players enter the market and even added some new terms to the lexicon. A few highlights include:

  • Angel List – created in 2010 by Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi as a deal sharing platform, Angel List now serves as a source of talent for the startup community and provides syndication opportunities within the VC community.
  • The Unicorn Club” – coined by Venture Capitalist Aileen Lee in 2013, the term unicorn refers to a privately held startup company with a value of over $1 billion. According to CB Insights, as of the end of 2019 there were more than 400 unicorns and two new categories; a decacorn (valued over $10 billion) and a hectocorn (valued over $100 billion) added to the list.
  • The Jobs Act – Signed into law in April 2012 by President Obama, The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act impacted capital formation, disclosure and registration requirements and introduced Equity Crowdfunding.
  • The FPO or Final Private Offering – Investors hoping to be able to participate in the final private financing round of a company prior to an Initial Public Offering were able to pool their funds into special purpose vehicles established to enable them to participate alongside VC firms and other early backers.
  • A significant increase over the past ten years in the number of Accelerators providing mentorship, capital, introductions to investors, co-working spaces and other operational services to startups. A great resource of Accelerators and their focus in the NYC area can be found in a  list put together by 37 Angels.
  • The Rise of the Female Investor – Over the past decade, we have seen a number of new VC Funds and Investment Platforms started by women and focused on investing in women. The list includes Halogen Ventures, SoGal Ventures, Female Founders Fund, BBG Ventures, Portfolia, Golden Seeds Ventures, and Plum Alley among others.

Now it’s time to consult your crystal ball to see what this next decade will bring!

 

Angel Investing – Twelve Days of Christmas 2017

12 days of christmas: 12 Snowflakes

On the first day of Christmas
St. Nick sent to me:
A Membership at The Wing! Continue reading

Angel Investing – Make way for the Crowd

This past Friday, just a day shy of Halloween, the SEC finally voted on Title III of the JOBs Act, the “Crowdfunding” provision enabling individuals who do not meet the definition of “accredited investor” to participate as investors in online portals investing in the start-up space. This “democratization” of capital formation will be done through funding portals that will need to register with the SEC and become a member of a national securities association. Continue reading

Angel Investing – “Dream, Girl……”

26fa03f0-8072-4593-9156-e4fa79e7fe3bThere’s a great quote from Albert Schweitzer  – “Do something wonderful, people may imitate it”. Hopefully other people will imitate the over 184 backers (myself included) of a current KickStarter Project called Dream, Girl: The Documentary. Continue reading

Angel Investing – Ringing in the New Year 2014

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????Yes, it’s that time of year once again when we  think about resolutions for the New Year. In last year’s New Year’s post, I suggested that you think about the composition of your investment portfolio, taking into consideration the amount you want to commit to this sector overall as well as the diversification goals that make the most sense for you.

Here are my three tips for 2014:

Know your co-investors:

If the three most important criteria in real estate are location, location, location, then the top three for angel investing would be alignment, alignment, alignment. Not only is it important for investors and portfolio company CEOs to have alignment in terms of their vision for the company, it is just as critical for the co-investors to be aligned. When the business needs to shift direction, there is a follow-on round required,  or an exit on the table, having conflicting objectives among your co-investors can be quite problematic. The advent of funding platforms has made knowing who else is in the deal somewhat more challenging. Entrepreneurs will oftentimes do some due diligence on potential angels, I would suggest you do the same on potential co-investors.

Get your investment dox in order:

Whether there is a follow-on round contemplated or a potential exit on the table, it is also very important that you know both your rights and your obligations as an investor. Where did you file those stock certificates? Do you have pre-emptive rights? Know your options and obligations before a follow-on round or a potential exit.

Look at the world through the lens of an entrepreneur:

Whether it’s negotiating a term sheet or evaluating a major strategic shift, it is always helpful to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. When I review a term sheet for a potential investment, first I read it as an investor, then I read it as though I am the CEO receiving the term sheet. I also enjoy reading books and blogs directed at entrepreneurs. Here are a few of my picks:

If you have a great resource, let me know in the comment section below!

Have a very Happy New Year!

Angel Investing – “Bringing Tech Education to ALL Women”

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????This past weekend, I had the opportunity to invest in a crowd-funding campaign for Bella Minds – whose mission is quite simple – “Bringing Tech Education to ALL Women”.  There is lots of press these days on the lack of women in STEM… so rather than just read/write about the problem, this was an opportunity to participate in an actual solution; yes do something! Continue reading