On the first day of Christmas
St. Nick sent to me:
A Membership at The Wing! Continue reading
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, CrowdFunding, Due Diligence, Early Stage Investing, Feminist, Golden Seeds, Kickstarter, New York Angels, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital, Wharton Alumni Angel Network, Women Investors
Tagged Funding, Happy Holidays, Investing, Investments, Money, New York, Startup, Startups, Stereotypes, TechCrunch, The Wing, Women
As 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
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Financial Models, Golden Seeds, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged Angel Investing, Angel Investor, cash flow, Early Stage Company Valuation, Financial Modeling, Funding, Golden Seeds, revenue models, Startups, Women Angels, Women Investor
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
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
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
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
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, MBAs, Uncategorized, Wharton School
Tagged Angel Capital Association, Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Big Idea, Entrepreneurs, Golden Seeds, MBA, Startups, Wharton MBA
So you just wrote the check! Now what?
There is a perception out there that angel investors and venture capitalists are only focused on monetary gain and don’t work to support the success of their companies post-investment. Angels are making investments with the hope of a successful exit and unfortunately the statistics on the failure of startups are quite sobering. According to Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, the failure rate of startups is 30-40%. ( Source: HBS Working Knowledge Article by Carmen Nobel). But in addition to the potential investment returns, angel investing provides a unique platform for engaging with the companies in your portfolio, which is not the case when investing in the public markets.
Posted in Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged 500 Startups, Angel Investor, Angel Investor Training, Check, Checks, Corporate Justice Blog, Dave McClure, Digital, Digital Rolodex, Education, Equity, Exit, Exit Strategy, Exiting, Exits, Faculty, Failure, Female Angels, Female Investors, Ghosh, Golden Seeds, Golden Seeds Angel Investor Training, Gotham Gal, Greed, Harvard Business School, Harvard Faculty, HBS, Investing, Investment, Investments, Investor, Mentorship, Money, New York, New York City, NYC, Perception, Perceptions, Portfolio, Portfolio Company, Portfolios, Rolodex, Rolodexes, Shikar, Shikar Ghosh, Start Up, Start Up Failure, Start Ups, Startup, Startup Failure, Startups, Stereotype, Stereotypes, Strategies, Strategy, Valuation, Viewpoint, Viewpoints, Woman, Women, Women Angels, Women in Angel Investing, Women Investor, Write, Writing, Writing Checks