Category Archives: Venture Capital

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

Angel Investing – “Love Notes”

????????????????????????Recently Rob Delman, a colleague of mine at Golden Seeds, and I were discussing the best ways to structure an investment in an entrepreneurial venture started by your children.  As we both have “twenty-something” children who have been exposed over the years to our work in angel investing, it is only natural that they approach us as potential funders of the next great thing! Continue reading

Angel Investing – Term Sheet Liquidity Provisions

Gold Guys With MoneyIn previous posts, I have described how certain term sheet provisions impact the Economics, Control, and Value Protection in a proposed investment. In this final post on Term Sheets, I will discuss some provisions that impact the Liquidity of the investment. Continue reading

Angel Investing – Not a Spectator Sport!

Keyboard Illustration "Launch 2013"One of the aspects of angel investing that I enjoy the most, is the ability to become involved with my portfolio companies. Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the “Demo Day” for the 2013 crop of start-ups in TechLaunch NJ, a 16-week technology accelerator program.  As an investor in and mentor to this group of exciting young companies, I had the opportunity to participate in several of their Wednesday evening pitch sessions along with other mentors to provide feedback on the pitch deck that they would be presenting at Demo Day. Each company had 10 minutes to present their company to the audience and each also had an opportunity to network with the attendees and show off their prototypes or services. As I have often advised companies that I am involved with, the goal of a “Demo Day” is to get the next meeting.  It is important that the “10 minute pitch” really captures the audience’s attention and leaves them wanting more information. Continue reading

Angel Investing – Launching new entrepreneurs

Keyboard Illustration "Launch 2013"Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the official launch of the second annual class of entrepreneurs involved in  TechLaunch, New Jersey’s Technology Accelerator. As an investor in and mentor to this new class of entrepreneurs, it was fun to see the teams, all clad in bright blue t-shirts, provide the audience with the quick preview of their company’s idea. For a glimpse of these exciting new companies, see the recent profile in either NJ Tech Weekly or North Jersey.com. Continue reading

Angel Investing – Term Sheets and Value Protection

Accountant With Giant Golden CalculatorThis is the fourth post on Term Sheets and how they impact returns to investors. In addition to economics and control, term sheets also contain provisions that impact how as investors we can add some level of protection for the value of our investment. Although there are a number of provisions in the term sheet addressing this, the three most important to me are:

Angel Investing – Term Sheet “Control” Provisions

teamwork rowingIn a recent post I discussed the “economic” aspects of a term sheet. In addition to laying out the economics of a proposed transaction, the term sheet also provides a road map to various issues revolving around “control”.  As angels, although we are not involved in the day to day management of our portfolio companies, we need to have a voice in strategic issues that impact our portfolio companies. Typically this “control” is exercised either through: Continue reading

Angel Investing – Investing in Women Entrepreneurs

successful word cloudIn their soon to be released book –  What Every Angel Investor Wants You To Know  – An Insider Reveals How To Raise Smart Money For Your Billion Dollar Idea (McGraw Hill, 2013), Brian Cohen, Chairman of New York Angels, and John Kador, demystify the process of Angel investing.

Of particular interest to me is Brian’s experience with investing in early stage companies that are either founded by women or where women serve on the senior leadership team. There is lots of buzz these days on how women should or should not position themselves to excel in the corporate ranks. In the excerpt from his book below, Brian provides us with some great DATA as well as opinion on the case for investing in women. Continue reading

Angel Investing – Term Sheet Economics

RechenschieberIn my last post, I listed four areas that Term Sheets cover. This week, I thought I would focus on some of the “Economic” terms. The terms below apply to Convertible Preferred Stock, although there are clearly other types of securities used to fund early stage companies.  These “economic” terms outline who gets what and cover such concepts as:

Valuation: For a Preferred Stock Offering, this represents the per-share price that you will be paying for the investment as well as the “pre-money” company valuation that this price implies. In addition, the term sheet will typically indicate the “post-money” valuation which includes in the company valuation the new funds being invested. Continue reading

Angel Investing – Term Sheets and Country Western Music!!!

Hank WilliamsProbably one of the things I have found that many of my fellow angel investors enjoy even less than analyzing the financial model of a company they are contemplating investing in (see my last post ) is diving into the Term Sheet. A  term sheet is a document that lays out the key terms of a proposed investment. Once those key terms have been negotiated and the term sheet is executed by both parties, it serves as the basis for drafting the other documents which comprise the legal closing documents in a transaction.

At a recent meeting, one of colleagues made the comment that term sheets are like country western songs – you know those soulful ballads that bemoan the difficult breakup, the secrets never shared, the soulmate you trusted who walked away and left behind a pile of debt……  When you make an angel investment you are not only entering into a financial transaction, you are entering into a relationship with the CEO/founders/management team. If you have been investing in this sector for awhile, it is likely you have made at least one investment that did not turn out as planned!  Another way to think about the term sheet is a kind of “pre-nup” for angel investing. Clearly if you don’t really believe that a particular investment has the potential to be a good partnership over time, you probably shouldn’t make the investment. Continue reading