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
Posted in Accelerators, Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, Opinion, TechLaunch, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged Accelerators, Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Brian S Cohen, Casabona Ventures, Early Stage Company Valuation, Golden Seeds, Launch, Mario Casabona, Mentorship, Montclair State University, New York Angels, NJ EDA, TechLaunch, Women Angels, Women Investor
This past week I had the opportunity to spend the week with my daughter Charlotte, watching her compete at a horse show. Charlotte, now an adult, has been riding and competing for a number of years and I never cease to be amazed by the strength and beauty of these incredible horses and how the riders can control such powerful animals. In much the same way I feel that being an angel investor enables me to be a “vicarious entrepreneur”, being a “HorseShowMom” allows me to imagine myself in the saddle. Now, in terms of full disclosure, I did take some riding lessons early in my daughter’s riding career which were quickly ended when I flew over the jump (without the horse!) and decided at that point that I was best suited for ground crew! Continue reading
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Due Diligence, Opinion, Uncategorized
Tagged Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Business Plans, Early Stage Company Valuation, Failure, Female Angels, Female Investors, Investment, Pivot, Startup Failure, Women Angels, Women in Angel Investing, Women Investor
In 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
Posted in Angel Groups, Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged Angel Investing, Angel Investor, Brian Cohen, Female Investors, Golden Seeds, Investing in Women, New York Angels, New York City, Women Angels, Women at the Wheel, Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Angel Investing, Women Investor, Women's Economic Power
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%.
Posted in Angel Investing, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged Andy Rachleff, Angel Capital Association, Angel Investor, Female Angels, Investment, Investor, Investor Returns, Robert Wiltbank, Valuation, Women in Angel Investing, Women Investor
A Cap Table, which is an abbreviation for capitalization table, is a record that outlines the ownership of a company. The details of a cap table include not only the names of the shareholders but also the type of equity security they own, the prices they paid and any other options or future equity that will impact the fully-diluted ownership of the company. Continue reading
Posted in Angel Investing, Golden Seeds, Opinion, Uncategorized, Venture Capital
Tagged Angel Investor, cap tables, capitalization, Equity, Female Angels, Female Investors, Golden Seeds, Investment, Investor, Money, ownership, Valuation, Women Angels, Women Investor