If I could have any job in the world, it would be to be a full time angel investor. Angels get to meet super-smart people with cutting edge ideas, they work with other angels who have deep sector expertise and ask great questions, they are intellectually stimulated in evaluating and negotiating deals and they can make a lot of money.With all that going for it, you would think that everyone would want to jump onto the Angel investing bandwagon. In fact, more and more people ARE becoming Angels, now that organized Angel groups like Rockies Venture Club are there to make it easier, smarter and safer than in the past. Formal angel groups provide education to teach prospective Angels everything they need to know to analyze and invest in deals successfully. They also provide a community of like-minded individuals who benefit from the “wisdom of crowds” by sharing expertise and multiple critical viewpoints.
Angel investors get more involved than other high net worth individuals who may sign their portfolios over to professional money managers. Angels carve out a small amount of their assets to invest in high risk and high reward companies that might become the next Google, Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp. Colorado is producing startups in record numbers and five of the top ten
One thing that limits the current number of active Angels is the Securities Exchange Commission requirements that investors be “accredited investors.” This means that they either have assets of $1 million or more excluding their residence, or that they have income of $200,000 per year or more with the expectation of that continuing. In Colorado we have over 15,000 accredited investors, mostly on the front range, but just a few hundred of them are active Angels.
We can fix that.
Angels, entrepreneurs and others interested in learning about how Angel investing works are invited to the Angel Capital Summit, coming up next week, March 18/19 at the DU Davis Auditorium
24 Early Stage Company Pitches
We have a great line up of 24 companies pitching in a five minute pitch/five minute QA format. This is a rare opportunity to see so many companies pitch at one time and to be able to compare and contrast to pick out the best opportunities.
Building Value Theme – Panels
We’ll also have panels on topics like Startup Velocity (David Gold, Access Venture Partners, John Levisay, CEO of Sympoz/dba Craftsy, and Ray Thompson, VisionLink), Impact Value (Greg Berry from the Hub), Building Value through M&A (Tim Woods, CBIZ/MHM, Doug Robinson St. Charles Capital, Tim Keating, Keating Capital, and David Kalez from Pacific Crest Securities), Brand Value (Moderated by Rick Griffith, More Matter, and Michael Gellman CEO Spire Media, Matt Walsh CP+B, now founder of Green Stone, and Sabrina Stavish from Sheridan Ross ), IP and Patents (Moderated by Brad Bernthal, CU Law School and Silicon Flatirons, Ben Fernandez, Faegre Baker Daniels, llp, Chris Marks from High Country Venture, John Kelly, CEO of Cerescan) and the Governor’s Office presenting new data on Startup Communities in Colorado.
University Startup Challenge
We’re also doing a new event this year as a part of the ACS, it’s the University Startup Challenge. We’re taking the top teams from the business plan competitions at DU, CU Boulder, CU Denver, CSU and UNC and pitting them against each other in a pitch competition in which all of the entries are eligible for prizes and also Angel Investment right along with the other pitching companies. Colorado Venture Capitalists will be on a panel to do the judging, and Angels will be on hand to do the investing!
Angel Only Event Follows the Conference
Finally, there’s an Angel-only meeting on March 20th where the Angels decide which companies they want to proceed with due diligence, negotiation and investment.
If you want to learn more about Angel investing, or want to meet Angels and Entrepreneurs, be sure to register for this year’s Angel Capital Summit.
Peter Adams is Executive Director of the Rockies Venture Club, Managing Director of the Rockies Venture Fund and co-author of Venture Capital for Dummies, (John Wiley & Sons 2013) Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and your local book store.
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