Category Archives: Opinion

Angel Investing – Twelve Days of Christmas 2015

12 days of christmas: 12 Snowflakes

On the first day of Christmas
a founder shared with me:
A Term Sheet for Series B 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 – Happy New Year 2015

new year designAnother year has passed and it’s time to think about resolutions for the New Year. As an angel investor, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year and then turn your thoughts forward to investment opportunities in 2015. In last year’s New Year’s post, I suggested that you think about knowing your co-investors, getting your investment dox in order and looking at the world through the lens of an entrepreneur. Continue reading

Angel Investing – Twelve Days of Christmas 2014

12 days of christmas: 12 Snowflakes

On the first day of Christmas
a founder sent to me:
A Financial Model error free Continue reading

Angel Investing – Financial Projections – “Cash is King”

Cash is King Shopping Money Vs Credit Buy Power CurrencyAs an angel investor, I see lots of financial models, which range from the very simple to the extremely complex. I am often asked why I insist on seeing the actual model ( yes the excel not the pdf version) as it all based on layers of assumptions. In response, the financial model is nothing more than a quantitative expression of the business model and in fact what is most important to me are the assumptions that underlie the numbers. Continue reading

Angel Investing – “Back to School”

As a Keyboard with "Back to School" Button.parent, Septembers were always filled with the chores of “back to school” – books to be purchased, sharp pencils, the search for that perfect lunchbox….. As an angel investor, September also puts me in a “back to school” frame of mind. At Golden Seeds, I have the privilege of overseeing The Knowledge Institute, which houses our Investor Training Series. Our fall sessions in New York begin in September when members are back from summer vacations. In preparation for our training sessions, I am constantly looking for new resources, books, etc. to continue to enhance or improve our training materials.

Although by no means an exhaustive list, here are some resources that I have found to be quite helpful: Continue reading

Angel Investing – “Brain Fuel”

Brain Power Gauge Measures Creativity and IntelligenceSomeone asked me recently what I enjoyed the most about being an angel investor and I responded that it was like “brain fuel”. Having the chance to learn about so many creative approaches to solving complex problems and interfacing with passionate and driven entrepreneurs, both young and old, is one of the most fun and intellectually stimulating experiences. Also being part of  Golden Seeds, an active and engaged angel group, provides another avenue for obtaining this precious “brain fuel” as our members bring such a wealth of diverse expertise and perspective to the process of evaluating early stage companies. Whether or not a particular investment opportunity is one that I chose to invest in, I always come away having learned something new and interesting and looking at a problem differently. Continue reading

Angel Investing – Avoiding “Energy Vampires”

focus on solutions conceptEarlier this week, I was listening to an NPR program on “energy vampires”, those special individuals whose interactions can literally drain the energy from us.  The term “energy vampires” was coined by Dr. Judith Orloff, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA in her book Positive Energy. Now everyone has had some experience with “energy vampires” – those special people who cause some of the following reactions:

  • You hope a call to them goes directly to voicemail
  • You need a trip to Starbucks before and after meeting with them
  • You would rather have a root canal  (the extreme version)

You get the point…… 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