After a 20-year career in financial services, I joined the Angel Capital Association as director of partnerships exactly one year ago this month. Over the past year, I have met hundreds of angels, entrepreneurs, community development leaders, bankers, sponsors and policy makers interested in this critical niche. Angels are the biggest funders of high-growth new businesses, which created nearly all net new jobs in last 25 years. Yet, I am surprised by how little is known about this unique angel investing world. I thought it would be fun to recap my top 12 takeaways from the year to shed some light on this amazing group of people and the impacts angels have had, not only on me, but on their local ecosystems.  

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

ACA members have known for years that people from other countries make AMAZING entrepreneurs.  This is one of the main reasons ACA has supported policies like startup visas and the International Entrepreneur Rule to ensure that more of these entrepreneurs from other countries can stay in the US and create innovative and job creating companies.

Now we have a new source of data on international entrepreneurs – Immigrant Founders of the 2017 Fortune 500 – by the Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE).  The report comes amid the ongoing debate about US immigration policy – and, most immediately, debate regarding the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

I’m so grateful for the insights, wisdom and guidance we hear from ACA members.

We are in the midst of a robust strategic planning process that many ACA Board members have put in an unbelievable amount of time into.  I’ll spare you the full process, but a key piece was a survey of members and the extended startup support community.  You told us you value ACA education programs and public policy work, and wanted us to provide even more education, data-driven insights, and guidance regarding smart practices in angel investing. 

It’s a “ta-da” moment. ACA is announcing two new strategic initiatives that provide what you asked for.   

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

The Angel Capital Association joins the National Venture Capital Association, Center for American Entrepreneurship and many others in thanking Congress for dropping a proposed tax on equity compensation of startup employees that would have devastated the way many high growth companies pay their employees.  The proposal was in both House and Senate bills for tax reform.  The experience of watching many organizations form a coalition and explain to House and Senate leaders how the proposal would have damaged an incredibly important part of our economy also showed us how much power we can have in Washington, DC when we work together.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

On November 2, Congressional Republicans introduced their new tax reform legislation.  It includes many tax cuts and simplifications that are getting considerable media attention.  I am heartened by a focus that is getting much less press – a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, in recognition of the importance of the formation of new companies on our economic health.  The bill continues some tax policies ACA has fought for and so ACA has provided a message of support for the bill.  Below is a copy of our public statement supporting the bill, H.R. 1.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Recently two articles caught my attention for calling attention to the importance of startups to national economies, with one particularly pointing out how key angel investors are.  Both writings point to how startups create jobs and innovations to our economy and they are the kinds of articles that Members of Congress and other policy makers read.  (That helps ACA make progress on Capitol Hill, trust me!)

Below are both articles with some excerpts so you get the general idea.  Check out the full articles too.

By: Ham Lord, Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group and Co-Founder of Seraf-investor.com

This post originally appeared on Seraf-investor.com

This article is the first in an ongoing series on valuation and capitalization. To learn more about the financial mechanics of early stage investing, download this free eBook today Angel Investing by the Numbers: Valuation, Capitalization, Portfolio Construction and Startup Economics or purchase our books at Amazon.com.

In the sport of Major League Baseball, the greatest hitters are those who get a hit just one out of every three times at bat and a home run 5 or 6 times out of 100 at bats. In the world of startup company investing, the best-known investors are those who invest in the tiny percentage of companies that make it big. Think Facebook, Google or Amazon. If you invest in one of those enormously successful companies you will find your name in the equivalent of the Baseball Hall of Fame… it’s called the Forbes Midas List.  

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

One of my favorite parts of working with ACA members is attending the Regional and Special Interest Meetings where angels gather to learn about investing trends and encourage collaborative investing. ACA Regional Meetings connect new and experienced angels to each other for investor education, networking, and to syndicate angel deals in real-time. There is no substitute to the momentum that can be created by having angel investors in the same room debating smart investing practices and sharing investment opportunities. And sometimes, angels themselves become the innovators for getting deals done.  

Such is the case of the recent ACA Midwest Regional: Best of the Midwest – planned and hosted by Nebraska Angels in Omaha last week.  Held in a turn of the century warehouse turned community art and innovation center – Kaneko – the meeting began with a view of the Nebraska Angels history after turning near collapse in 2008 to a thriving group of nearly 70 investors with a Midwest-wide syndication portfolio – and recent exits. In her welcome Laura Classen, Executive Director of Nebraska Angels, encouraged the attendees to use the meeting to make networking among fellow investors and syndication a priority in order to support the innovative companies, create strong investment portfolios and overcome geographical barriers.

By Linda Smith, ACA Chair

Angel Ventures is spreading its wings!  For those of you unfamiliar with Angel Ventures, they are the widest network of angel investors in Latin America with a significant presence in Mexico, Columbia, Peru, Chile and Southern California.  Some of you may have met Hernan Fernandez of Angel Ventures Mexico, an active ACA member. They also maintain excellent contacts with Hispanic angels and Hispanic investment opportunities throughout the United States. 

As your ACA Chair, I recently had the opportunity to travel south and meet with the staff, supporters, and members of Angel Ventures Peru.  Based in the capital city of Lima, I was hosted by Greg Mitchell who leads the staff in Lima and Elizabeth Acuna, their deal flow manager.  The breadth and depth of their work in the startup ecosystem is truly impressive.  With over 250 members, Angel Ventures has created a fund-to-fund network of investments. 

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Tax reform is nearing the top of the to-do list in Washington, DC.  On September 12, 2017, I went to DC along with colleagues from the National Venture Capital Association and the Biotechnology Industry Association to meet with several Members of Congress to discuss tax policies for startups.  ACA has formed a coalition with NVCA and BIO to promote tax policy that all three organizations support.  Having three organizations work together provides more power and gives us an extra “listen,” if you will, in our Capitol Hill meetings and beyond.

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Twelve Takeaways from a Year Immersed in Angels by Lucy Howell (Angel Capital Association)  on  December 18