On the first day of Christmas
a founder shared with me:
A Term Sheet for Series B Continue reading
On the first day of Christmas
a founder shared with me:
A Term Sheet for Series B Continue reading
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Early Stage Investing, Golden Seeds, New York Angels, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged Angel Capital Association, Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Golden Seeds, New York Angels, Women Angels, Women in Angel Investing, Women Investor
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
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, CrowdFunding, Early Stage Investing, Golden Seeds, Investor Training, New York Angels, Opinion
Tagged Accredited Investor, Angel Capital Association, Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Angel Resource Institute, Brian S Cohen, Crowdfunding, David S Rose, Education, Golden Seeds, JOBS Act, Josh Maher, New York Angels, Shark Tank
As a 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
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, Investor Training, Opinion, Uncategorized
Tagged ACA, Alex Wilmerding, Angel Capital Association, Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Angel Investor Training, Angel Resource Institute, Basil Peters, Brian S Cohen, David S Rose, Golden Seeds, Kauffman Foundation, New York Angels, Pipeline Fellowship, The Knowledge Institute, Women Angels, Women Investor
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!
Posted in Accelerators, Angel Groups, Angel Investing, CrowdFunding, Golden Seeds, Opinion, Term Sheets, Uncategorized
Tagged Alley Watch, Angel Capital Association, Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Brad Feld, Brian S Cohen, Co-investors, Exit, Follow-on Rounds, Golden Seeds, Investment Dox, New York Angels, New York City, Startups, Women in Angel Investing, Women Investor
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the “Big Idea Innovation Tournament”, a pre-term exercise for the incoming 2015 MBA class at the Wharton School. The incoming students were asked to come up with a “big idea” on the topic of climate change and then present those ideas first to fellow students and then to a panel of alumnae/i and faculty judges. Students were given a very limited amount of time to come up with their ideas and formulate a presentation. For the final presentations, the student teams were given 2 minutes and 5 powerpoint slides to discuss their concept and convince the judges as to both the impact and the feasibility of their idea. The judging panel, on which I had the privilege to sit, then had the very difficult task of picking the winner from ideas ranging from managing energy usage, conserving water and our other scarce resources as well as measuring the carbon footprint of the foods we consume. Continue reading
In a recent post, I published an excerpt from a new book called “What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know” by Brian S. Cohen and John Kador.
I had the opportunity to read the book en route to the Angel Capital Association (ACA) Summit and would highly recommend it to both entrepreneurs and angel investors alike. Written in the first person and filled with anecdotes, war stories and wisdom gained from Brian’s many years of angel investing, this book is both a fun and insightful read.
Having started investing in this space back in the late 90’s (yes I was only 14 at the time!!), I have learned that when all is said and done, for me angel investing is all about investing in great people and helping them build great companies.
Thank you Brian for sharing your wisdom and insights in your new book! I am looking forward to the next one!
For those of use entering the world of angel investing with a background in evaluating publicly traded equities, the valuation process for this investment class can be a real challenge. PE multiples and comps are very difficult to apply to companies that are not only pre-earnings but in many cases pre-revenue. The earlier the life cycle of the company, the less data points exist to determine a reasonable valuation.
In this post, I will outline some of the valuation methods you may want to consider for evaluating these early-stage investments (Note: please click on the title links to learn more about these methods): Continue reading
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged Angel Capital Association, Angel Investor, Benchmark Method, Bill Payne, Dave Berkus, Early Stage Company Valuation, Equity, Exit Strategy, Golden Seeds, HBS, Portfolio Company, Scorecard Method, The Berkus Method, Valuation, Venture Capital Method, William Sahlman, Women Angels, Women in Angel Investing, Women Investor
It’s a New Year and time to make those resolutions. In addition to thinking about personal goals for the year, it’s a great time to review your angel investment portfolio. As angels we see many interesting investment opportunities and it helps to set a goal at the beginning of the year for the investment amount that you want to commit to this sector over the next 12 months. When setting this goal take into consideration: Continue reading
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged ACA, Angel Capital Association, angel investment portfolio, Angel Investor, Equity, Female Angels, Female Investors, Follow-on Rounds, Golden Seeds, Kauffman Foundation, Money, Portfolio Company, Returns to Angel Groups, Robert Wiltbank, Warren Boeker, Women Angels, Women Investor, Writing Checks
A recent article by Andy Rachleff published in TechCrunch entitled Why Angel Investors Don’t Make Money … And Advice For People Who Are Going To Become Angels Anyway, paints a very dismal picture for the potential returns to angel investors. Rachleff uses as a proxy for potential returns to angel investors, data from the venture capital industry where he cites that ” about 3 percent of the universe of venture capital firms – generates 95 percent of the industry’s returns” and that overall returns for the industry are less than compelling. Rachleff cautions angel investors not to enter this investment class with an expectation of making money.
In response, Robert Wiltbank, PhD a professor at Willamette University, has shared the research he has conducted on angel investing in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation, NESTA, the University of Washington, and Willamette University. In his recent TechCrunch article entitled Angel Investors Do Make Money, Data Shows 2.5x Returns Overall, Professor Wiltbank concludes from his research that the best estimates of overall angel investor returns is 2.5 times investment over a four-year holding period.
As an angel investor, this is a very interesting debate to follow and both Rachleff and Wiltbank have interesting perspectives to share. Where Rachleff and Wiltbank agree is that a portfolio approach is important when investing in this sector as the probability of success for any one investment is less than 50%.
The term “angel investor” is used to describe a wide variety of investors in early stage companies. From the reality-show world of Shark Tank where entrepreneurs are grilled in front of a prime-time audience to established professional networks of angel investors including Tech Coast Angels, New York Angels, Golden Seeds and others, it is clear that there is more than one type of angel. Continue reading
Posted in Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, Golf, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged ACA, Accredited Investor, Angel Capital Association, Angel Investor, Equity, Exit, Female Angels, Female Investors, Golden Seeds, Mentorship, New York Angels, Patient Capital, Risk, Shark Tank, Startup Failure, Tech Coast Angels, Valuation, Women Investor