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
There’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
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, CrowdFunding, Golden Seeds, Uncategorized, Women in Tech
Tagged Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Astia Angels, Catalyst, Dream, Female Angels, Female Investors, Girl!, Golden Seeds, GoldieBlox, KickStarter Campaigns, McKinsey, The JumpFund, Women Angels, Women in the C-Suite, Women on Boards, X squared Angels
Someone 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
Posted in Accelerators, Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Opinion, Uncategorized
Tagged Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Brain Fuel, Early Stage Company Valuation, Entrepreneurs Roundtable, Golden Seeds, New York City, positive energy, Startups
Earlier 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
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged ACA, Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Dr. Judith Orloff, Energy Vampires, Follow-on Rounds, Golden Seeds, Portfolio Company, positive energy, Women Angels
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
On the first day of Christmas
a founder sent to me:
A Pitch Deck for all to see Continue reading
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
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, CrowdFunding, Due Diligence, Golden Seeds, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital, Women in Tech
Tagged Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Bella Minds, Crowdfunding, Deb Jackson, Female Investors, Golden Seeds, Mentorship, Plum Alley, Women Angels
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
Posted in Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged @robdelman, Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Early Stage Company Valuation, Failure, Friends & Family, Golden Seeds, Investing in your Children, Money, Startup Failure, Startups, Women Angels, Women Investor
There has been a lot of conversation of late of the need to increase the presence of women on corporate boards, in the VC and angel community, and in the ranks of high-tech entrepreneurs. Studies conducted by Catalyst and McKinsey have shown that having women in leadership is correlated with stronger financial returns. Continue reading
Posted in Angel Investing, Opinion, Uncategorized
Tagged Abigail Disney, Angel Investing, Catalyst, Female Investors, I am Malala, Invest in Girls, Jordan Roth, McKinsey, STEM, Tory Burch, Twitter, Women in Angel Investing, Women on Boards, YWLN
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
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged Angel Investing, Angel Investor, DemoDay, Early Stage Company Valuation, Equity, Mentorship, TechLaunch NJ, Women Investor