By: Ham Lord, Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group and Co-Founder of

This post originally appeared on

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

When I began making angel investments almost twenty years ago, I had no concept of what it meant to build a portfolio of early stage tech company investments. It wasn’t because I lacked financial savvy. I considered myself a fairly knowledgeable investor in the public markets. I understood key investing concepts like portfolio diversification, risk-adjusted investment return, market capitalization, and staging capital. However, I didn’t have a grasp on those terms in the context of making angel investments.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

One of the most important and effective things ACA does for our members is to represent you in Washington, DC. We do this to ensure you have the best possible environment to invest in and support interesting entrepreneurs.  This gives you the best possible chance to enjoy your angel experience and to help wonderful companies exit, leading to good returns for you.

Sometimes our work is aimed at creating new tax benefits or legislation allowing more investors in a fund, but other times our work is truly “do no harm.”  In fact, over the last eight years, our main public policy work has focused on ensuring the definition of accredited investor is not changed in a way that cuts the number of angels in half.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is lobbied all the time to raise the thresholds for net worth and income by inflation beginning in the 1980s, more than doubling the $1 million and $200,000 requirements.  Our past research with ACA members showed more than 30 percent of us would no longer be angel investors if that happened.  That’s what I call “existential!”

By Linda Smith, ACA Chair

Auckland’s ICE Angels are awesome!  As soon as you step into their innovation center (called the ICE House) which was previously a textile mill, the vibe is palpable.  Young entrepreneurs are collaborating in one corner, an  executive MBA program is housed within the facility, planning is proceeding for the next Innovation Showcase, an in-house Accelerator is over-subscribed, and one wall is completely covered with the logos of the more than 126 companies in the ICE Angels portfolio.

 This Auckland group of over 160 members has invested more than $80 million since its founding in 2003.  A lot of the dynamism behind ICE Angels is due to to Robbie Paul, the Chief Operating Officer for ICE Angels.  Robbie brims with enthusiasm as he talks about young companies like Crimson Consulting (helping secure admissions to the best universities in the world, now valued at $200 million), and Sunfed  Meats (a product that tastes just like chicken but made with pea protein ).

By Linda Smith, ACA Chair

Sydney Angels celebrated a 50th anniversary, of sorts—since their founding in 2008 they have invested in over 50 start-ups.  I had the opportunity to meet with several of their Management Committee members including Richard Dale, Karen Farley, and Adrian Bunter while in the exciting city of Sydney, Australia.

During our conversations, Sydney Angels (SA) credited Tech Coast Angels and the Kauffman Foundation as reference models and trusted sources of information and educational content that was helpful to SA in its formative years.  They also praised the work of Rob Wiltbank and would welcome sharing data about angel investing, including the new ACA data strategies report being developed by Rick Timmins and the Data Strategies Task Force led by Steve Flaim.

By: Ethel Rubin, PhD, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, NIH Office of the Director Office of Extramural Research

Looking for a deal in your backyard? The NIH is the world's largest investor in early stage life sciences companies. Over 1000 companies annually tap into NIH’s SBIR and STTR program for nondilutive funding to the tune of $980M in FY17. Did you know the NIH maintains RePORTER, an online database, of all funded companies and projects? This link will take you to what's been funded this fiscal year, but you can query the database yourself to look for companies specific to your interests. There are over 25 different ways to search and visualize the data with built in analytics (click on the Data & Visualize to create graphs and more you can export directly to PowerPoint and Excel).

By: Ham Lord, Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group and Co-Founder of and Christopher Mirabile, ACA Chair Emeritus, Managing Director at Launchpad Venture Group and Co-Founder of  Readers can learn more at the Summit session, “Valuing Startups: A New and Nuanced Approach” with both Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile speaking.

This post originally appeared on

Having evaluated four common methods for valuing early stage companies, it's time to take a closer look at the Seraf Method which builds on everything great that has come before it (with the debt of gratitude acknowledged!), but adds key refinements necessary to make it work reliably in real life.

In a nutshell, the Seraf Method consists of four simple steps, which we have boiled down into three worksheets and a look-up table.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

As we celebrate the beginning of 2018, the Angel Capital Association celebrates a good 2017 for many of our member angels, groups, and platforms.  Many of you had awesome exits, which is always something to celebrate!  Media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Xconomy, and Forbes covered your milestones, great years, and recommendations to investors for great best practices or to entrepreneurs on raising equity capital.  And with #MeToo making big news in 2017, we especially appreciate our many members who provided true action to bring more women and people of color to angel investing.  Here are just some of our favorite articles about and by ACA members last year:

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

I thought you would be interested in a handy summary of the tax reform bill, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by the President just before the Christmas holiday.  It is by Bloomberg Government and was done before some small tweaks by the Senate, but should be pretty close to the final law.

There are three things to know about tax reform that affect angel investors and new companies, most of which ACA supported and promoted on Capitol Hill:

By Lucy Howell, ACA Director of Partnerships 

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).


Living in the Future Tense by Linda Smith  on  February 22