Learn About Angel Investing
See our recommended learning resources for building your angel investing skills and knowledge base.
Find the content important to you based on one of these categories: Angel Investing Basics, Working with Startups Post Investment, Industry Trends and Topics. You may also browse the full catalog of Angel Capital Association content.
Angel Investing Basics
Building Portfolios for Angel Investing Success
Building your angel portfolio can be both financially and personally rewarding but each company can carry significant risk. The way to mitigate that is with a thoughtful portfolio strategy based on diversification. See this recent webinar from ACA by one of the Seraf Investor founders (our new portfolio management software platform) with practical tips and rules of thumb for asset allocation, portfolio building and portfolio management. Definitely worth your time! Links at: Webinar and Presentation Materials.
How you can improve your odds of better exits in your angel investment portfolio
As the end of the year approaches this is a great time to step back and assess your angel investment portfolio and strategy. Fortunately the ACA has recruited two long established angel groups (TechCoast Angels & Central Texas Angel Network) to share their detailed analytics on performance and key learning’s from that experiential data. View this webinar to gain fresh insights on how to improve your angel investment portfolio performance. Learn what makes for successful angel exits – and not so successful ones – and how you can improve your odds of better exits in your portfolio. You may view the ACA webinar here and the slide deck here.
The Basics of Angel Investing, The Mark Haney Show
Our very own John Peters, Michelle Hallsten, and Ken Tallo were guests on the Mark Haney Show recently to discuss the value of angel investing, why and how they got started, and some key lessons learned along the way. You can view the session here. Thank you Mark!
Due Diligence For Angels: What It Is, Why We Do It and How To Do It Right
Understanding how to approach due diligence is fundamental to angel investing. It’s critical to strike the right balance of effort to properly assess the risks, develop the investment thesis and understand what has to go right for a specific opportunity to work out. See this recent webinar from ACA with practical guidance and advice on conducting due diligence with a focus on what it is, the reasons to do it, practical tools and processes to approach it and lessons learned doing it. Links at: Part 1 – Webinar and Presentation Materials; Part 2 – Webinar and Presentation Materials.
Due Diligence Training Session, September 2nd
We had an excellent session with Lokesh Sikaria, Founder and Managing Partner of Moneta Ventures. Lokesh provided some tremendous insights on the Moneta Ventures due diligence approach and best practices in general. The Moneta Ventures team provided several excellent resources for due diligence that everyone should bookmark: Dartmouth due diligence guidebook and overview, Y-combinator Series A diligence checklist, and sample Cooley Go legal due diligence request check list.
Thanks again to Lokesh and the Moneta Ventures team for sharing this info and being such a great partner!
Valuing early stage companies is never easy. By applying a thoughtful approach, though, setting an appropriate valuation does not have to be a complete guess. Expert investors Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile, past ACA Chair, survey current valuation methods and introduce a new, comprehensive, “realism” based framework anyone can adopt to better understand the drivers and trade-offs involved in valuing startups. You may view the webinar archive here and the slide deck here.
Introduction to Term Sheet Basics
Good fundamentals recap of the basic deal structures for early stage investing plus additional embedded links for more info. Presented by long time angel investor, ACA Board Member, and Lead Instructor for the ACA Workshop Term Sheet Basics, Kevin Learned. You may view the webinar archive here and the slide deck here.
The Key Points of Term Sheets
Navigating term sheets can be overwhelming without some basic knowledge. This webinar provides a basic one hour overview of some of the basic form factors for angel investments and related terms. Worth your time to review this ACA video and related content. You may view the webinar archive here and the slide deck here.
Understanding Capital Models
Down rounds and cram downs! Premature follow-ons! Terrible term sheets! A companyʼs long-term financial requirements—its capital model–is a key risk for angel investors. This session examines how capital models should factor into angel diligence and investment decision-making. You may view the webinar archive here and the slide deck here.
Introduction to Pro Rata Rights and Dilution
Equity dilution and pro rata rights are a standard part of the angel investment journey. We’ve had several of our portfolio companies offer pro rata rounds recently (e.g., Shyft/Crater, TouchJet). It’s important to understand the basics so you’ll be prepared to make decisions when those opportunities arise. See this short 20 minute webinar for a brief introduction to these topics – Introduction to Pro Rata Rights & Dilution.
How to Invest (Successfully) in Marketplace Startups
Marketplace startups represent a significant opportunity in venture investing with a number of recent high profile IPOs (Airbnb, Lyft, Uber). Our group has considered several in the last few years with one recent investment (MotoRefi). So how do you properly evaluate marketplace startups? Check out this excellent ACA webinar by New York-based seed fund FJ Labs. They boast a portfolio of 400+ startup companies, 100+ exits and an investment strategy focused nearly entirely on marketplaces. Jeff Weinstein (FJ Labs Principal and Kauffman Fellows member) shares his experiences in seed stage investing and why marketplace companies are worth a look. You may view the ACA slide deck here.
Life Science Investing Today: The Latest Healthcare Delivery and Regulations Trends
Weʼve seen a healthy deal flow in life science/healthcare related startups over the last few years. To successfully invest in this area you need to be generally aware of key industry changes especially in the regulatory and reimbursement environment. Recently, these factors have been further compounded by the structural changes in healthcare delivery created by hospital consolidations, mergers between insurers and providers, and “costs over outcomes” as key decisions for mass adoption. These drivers impact investment decisions for angel investors, and ultimately the strategy to achieve successful exit multiples. View this webinar to make sure you are up to date on recent trends and how they might affect your portfolio companies and life science investment strategies. You may view the ACA webinar here and the slide deck here.
Tax Tips Webinar- Tax Tips That Really Matter For Angel Investment Returns
Lo and behold it is tax time again. Do you know how Section 1202, 1045, and 1244 apply to angel investments? Do you know what QSBS requirements are? If not, run don’t walk to review ACA’s webinar “Tax Tips That Really Matter For Angel Investment Returns.” You may view the webinar archive here and the slide deck here.
Overview of the Risks of Angel Investing
Startup investing offers the potential for significant returns, but it comes with many significant risks. Before investing, angels need to understand the kinds of risks they’ll be facing. After reviewing major types of startup investing risks, ACA Vice Chair and webinar leader, Ron Weissman, will describe how to build a Risks Canvas to organize, perform diligence and mitigate systematically the key investment risks that angels face. View the webinar here and the slide deck here.
Angel Exit Strategies
Angel investors should always make investments with exits in mind. Although a company’s path is likely to deviate from their initial strategy, you should understand the paths to exit, potential acquirers, and the timeline. As the company progresses, these strategies should be iterated to align with the company’s current status. Learn from our friends at the Rockies Venture Club to understand different exit strategies and how you can support portfolio companies along that path. View the webinar here and presentation here.
Working with Startups Post Investment
Coaching Startups to Avoid Capital Pitfalls
As angel investors we often get approached by early stage companies as they start to think about capital raising. Frequently they have limited insight into the process and are in bad need of guidance. Learn from these experienced angel investors about the top easy to correct, blunders startups make prior to raising capital. View this material to learn how to better guide your startup contacts and build more qualified prospects for Sac Angels. You may view the ACA webinar here and the slide deck here.
The Role of Early Stage Board of Directors in Raising and Closing the Next Round
Although this session is oriented towards the Board role in fundraising there are many excellent insights on fundraising strategy in general. Whatʼs the role of the Board in securing capital? Who should fundraise? What is the CEOʼs role? How do you deal with insider rounds? What are smart practices in negotiating with follow-on investors to achieve a fair deal? ACA Board member Ron Weissman, Vice Chair of the ACAʼs Education and Smart Practices Committee and the author of Angel Universityʼs course on startup boards leads an excellent session on the fundraising cycle, from initial capital forecasting through diligence, negotiation and the closing of the round. You may view the webinar archive here and the slide deck here.
Expansion Capital Strategy for Small Business
As we engage with startups in various stages we often get asked about options for expansion capital. See this informative webinar presentation by Steven Roth from the Norcal Small Business Development Center (and also an experienced VC) for a nice overview of how small businesses should think about raising capital, equity and debt, to facilitate future business expansion. The Sacramento Angels have been guest panelists on several of these webinars. You can find the presentation here.
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Startup Recovery provision
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) there is an updated Employee Retention Tax Credit which encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll by innovating new products or services. Small businesses can get up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $7,000 per employee per quarter in 2021. They can claim up to a total of $100,000 in Q3 and Q4 of 2021. Learn more at: How the ERTC Recovery Startup can Help Your Portfolio Companies
Startup Fundraising & Effective Startup Governance in Time of Crisis
Whatʼs the outlook for startup funding in todayʼs COVID-dominated investment climate? And what are best Board practices in helping portfolio companies who are cash-strapped? Ron Weissman, ACA Board member and author of the ACAʼs Angel University Startup Board of Directors course, will review the latest findings on capital markets as background to discussing the ways Boards can help startups navigate through troubled times. This is excellent material for understanding the current climate and advising your startups. You may view the webinar archive here and the slide deck here.
Navigating the COVID19 Crisis
We are in the midst of unprecedented times for not only our communities and the economy but for the startup world as well. This presents both opportunity and challenge. To help you navigate as both an investor and a founder please consider these educational resources. For the investor perspective check out this recent ACA webinar – Supporting Portfolio Companies During COVID-19. Youʼll hear some excellent advice from Victor Gutwein of M25 Venture Capital and Pat LaPointe of Frontier Angels. View the video to get the most value. You may view the ACA webinar here and the slide deck here.
For some excellent advice and guidance for founders check out: The Founder’s Field Guide for Navigating This Crisis — Advice from Recession-Era Leaders, Investors and CEOs Currently at the Helm from First Round Venture Capital and How To Keep Your Company Alive – Observe, Orient, Decide and Act by Steve Blank.
Industry Trends and Topics
The Rise of Startup Valuations
This webinar is full of powerful insights and practical advice for understanding the current startup investing environment and assessing investment opportunities. Startup valuations have been steadily increasing during the last decade and that trend has only accelerated over the past year. Valuations have reached such historic levels that unicorns, the once rare badge of success that startups and investors sought, have become average in 2021. Angel investors are feeling the same upward pressure on startup valuations, with seed round valuations today mirroring series A valuations a decade ago. There are different reasons underlying these shifts, including macroeconomic conditions, an increased amount of capital in the ecosystem, and the recent surge of SPACs, to name a few. Presented by Ron Weissman, Chairman of the Software Industry Group, Band of Angels and Ashley Flucas, Venture Partner, Gaingels. You may view the webinar here and the slide deck here.
Apocalypse NOT: COVID-19 and the Early Stage Funding Environment in 2020
Very interesting session discussing the early stage investing environment for angels and VCs over the course of 2020, comparing predictions of COVIDʼs impact on investors with todayʼs funding realities. Includes the results of the ACAʼs Q3 survey of angel groups and their response to COVID. It puts those results in the context of the broader seed, angel and venture ecosystem and highlights key lessons learned so far for angel investing best practices during times of crisis. Presentation by ACA Board member Ron Weissman. You may view the webinar archive here and the slide deck here. Additional interesting article “5 questions about 2021’s startup market” from TechCrunch.
Learn about SPACs
Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are all the sudden the rage in the last year – due to a large extent to pandemic driven market volatility and concern for IPO implications. One of the companies that was in our Fast Track pipeline just recently was acquired by a SPAC (unfortunately we did not invest). Two good articles on the phenomenon: Almost everything you need to know about SPACs and What is a SPAC? Explaining one of Wall Streetʼs hottest trends.
NFT & DeFi Primers
Our group recently invested in SuperWorld, a virtual real estate platform enabled by the NFT market. The SuperWorld construct is about monetizing virtual real estate plots via AR/VR and DeFi services. At the same time, the broader NFT market has become a hotbed for collectors and speculators investing in non fungible digital assets. It’s worth your while to become familiar with NFTs as well as the coming wave of DeFi services that will intersect with NFTs. Two great primers from Investopedia: Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Definition: Understanding NFTs and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Definition & Use Cases.
The SPAC Boom: Is the Hype Real?
SPACs were all the rage in 2020. Sacramento company, Origin Materials went public through a merger with blank check company Artius Acquisition Inc, in a deal that valued the combined entity at $1.8 billion in early 2021. Although the hype around SPACs has slightly dampened in 2021, there is still a massive opportunity for both investors and entrepreneurs to leverage these vehicles to take their companies public. Learn more about SPACs in this webinar featuring Izzy Dawood, Chief Financial Officer at Paysafe Group, a company that recently went public via SPAC. View the webinar here and presentation here.
Crypto: What is it and How Can you Effectively Invest in the Asset Class?
Crypto and blockchain are everywhere these days. We recently have made direct investments in this category (e.g., Superworld) and have looked at several related companies as candidates for our pipeline. Regardless of your motivation, check out this very informative session to uplevel your knowledge and personal approach for this category – very useful info. Learn from experts Stefan Kyntchev (Queen City Angels) and Joshua Rosenthal (The 6ixth Element) to dive into the industry, understand trends, and discuss strategies on investing in the asset class. View this ACA webinar here.
10 Common Angel Investor Mistakes in Down Markets
For more than a decade, the investing landscape has been in an U2R (up and to the right) direction. As a result, many angel investors are confronting their first prolonged down market. This ACA webinar describes 10 common mistakes for angel investors to avoid as they consider new investments and follow-on investments and offer a timely perspective on how angels are navigating their investment portfolio construction and diversification. Speaker: Dror Futter, Partner, Rimon Law. View the webinar here and presentation here.