At first, the only things Joan Galeotti thought she and her husband, Ray, ought to change in the Chester house they bought in 2009 were the farmer’s sink and green soapstone counter in the kitchen.

“That’s how it started,” she says, laughing.

One thing led to another, says Ray.

“The house really was plenty big,” he says, “but now it’s 6,200 square feet.”

For one thing, the kitchen did not face the river, and for the Galeottis, the kitchen is the heart and soul of their home.

They enlarged the existing kitchen into a dining room and added a new wing, pushing out the front entrance and creating a new kitchen with gorgeous views of the Connecticut River and Lord Island, along with an office, a powder room, an upstairs home theater that doubles as an overflow guest suite, plenty of storage and an attached garage.

Almost like an exuberant exclamation point, they had a wooden inlay of a nautical compass medallion set into the gleaming Brazilian teak floors.

From the river, the house looks a bit like a little village of gray clapboard Colonial homes, with a charming cluster of roofs. In fact it’s a river house, quite linear, stretched out to take advantage of the views.

At the center is the original two-story gambrel house, built around 1800 by a sea captain and minister named Asa Southworth.

“I looked him up,” Ray says. “I wanted to be sure if we had any spirits here, they were going to be good spirits.”

Clearly, the spirits are good.

“There was a reason why Asa Southworth picked this spot,” Ray says. “It wasn’t because it was the last lot left in a development. He had access to deep water, so you can get out of here anytime — and the house never flooded in 200 years.”

This part of the river is a federally designated anchorage. The Galeottis have two boat slips and a mooring across the way, and friends often visit by boat. Larger boats also can anchor in Chapman’s Pond, on the other side of the island, Ray says.

Before the Galeottis embarked on their renovation, which took about 13 months, the house already had been expanded — once in the 1960s, judging from the dates of the newspapers they found in the walls, and again in the 1990s.

The original section of their home has thick chestnut beams – with no wormholes, Ray points out, as the wood pre-dates the blight — and wide pine floors. Chestnut trees used to line the river, he adds. A little room off the living room was originally a birthing room, connected directly to the former kitchen; it now serves as a lovely place to read.

A solarium and a chic and comfortable family room were added in the 1990s, along with a new master suite upstairs. The Galeottis enlarged the family room windows that face the river, reworked the bookshelves into wall units, and stylishly painted the walls a deep indigo blue.

“That dark color was a leap of faith,” Joan says. They decorated the family room with massive ceramic jars, a graceful metal wall sculpture of birds in flight, and paintings by local artists including Janine Robertson, Peter Barrett and others Joan has discovered at Maple Main Gallery of Fine Art in Chester, a co-op of area artists — including nautical scenes, river coves, sandpipers and landscapes.

The TV, which swivels out, is just one of the many automated features that Ray relishes. “I went nuts with the electronics,” he says. All the systems can be accessed remotely from afar, and there are 52 speakers, so people can listen to different things in different parts of the house.

There’s also a full gym in the basement with a sauna — an important feature for the Galeottis, who say they exercise a lot. They both box and do boxing conditioning and boot camp at Squared Circle Studio in Deep River. Joan spins and Ray runs.

Still, it’s at the other end of the house, in the custom, cook’s dream of a kitchen, where the Galeottis feel they really put their personal stamp on the house.

Ray jokes that “Joan managed to go over budget on an unlimited budget in this kitchen” — they both laugh — then he admits, “I was here every day, running the job, and I fell in love with the project. I kept saying, ‘What else can we do?’ “

There’s a 2-inch marble counter, a wine cooler, a microwave drawer, a warming drawer. Ray opens the door to a spacious pantry and says, “That’s not enough pantry for us — we’re Italian!” Working with Steve Hanford of Hanford Cabinet in Old Saybrook, they adapted a closet from their original plans into a second walk-in pantry.

Joan says they probably use the Miele coffee system more than almost anything in the house. “It’s like a Starbucks in the wall,” she says — it grinds the beans as needed and can be programmed for each user’s preferences.

Little wonder that the airy, high-ceilinged kitchen with its sweeping views is where people gravitate when the Galeottis give parties — make-your-own-pizza night, martini nights, parties with boating friends.

“This isn’t a bad place to chop vegetables,” Ray says.

A sign in the kitchen says, “An old fisherman lives here with the catch of his life.”

Asked how they met, Joan whispers, “Let’s make up a story!”

They were introduced at a block party in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn where they both grew up — “now probably the hippest neighborhood on the planet,” Ray says. She was 14 and he was 15. Although they lived only a block apart, they attended different schools and had never met. They “went for a walk,” as Ray recalls, and 10 years later they got married.

Now 53 and 54, they became empty nesters this past fall. Their son, Michael, is a freshman at Sacred Heart University, and their daughter, Caitlin, has graduated and now lives in Brooklyn and works in New York.

When the home theater was under construction, Ray says, one of the workers on the project remarked, “Why do this? Your kids will be here all the time.”

“I said, this guy doesn’t get it. That’s exactly what I want.”

And, even now, he adds, “The kids are here all the time, with their friends.”

The Galeottis, who started an online jewelry business in 2004, sold it to a private equity firm in 2013, and Ray says he now does “angel investing” — early-stage investing and some consulting. The family lived in a 2,400-square-foot traditional Colonial in Old Lyme for 23 years but — as Joan says, it got smaller as their kids got bigger — and they wanted something on the water. They figured they’d wind up in Old Saybrook.

Article source: http://www.courant.com/new-haven-living/home-living/hc-hm-nh-chester-home-on-river-0201-20150126-story.html

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n 2011, angel investors Rehan Yar Khan and Anupam Mittal came across an “interesting” investment opportunity: An online marketplace for cabs and car rental services. To them, the model made perfect sense in India where commuters are constantly seeking convenient travel options. Khan and Mittal together invested nearly Rs 1 crore in the venture.

Three years later, in the startup’s latest funding round in October 2014, where it raised $210 million from Japan’s SoftBank Corp and others, Mittal’s minority stake offered returns most investors don’t dare to dream of. His investment is worth around Rs 25 crore now, an increase of 40.7 times.

Of course, the startup being discussed is Ola Cabs.

And, of course, alpha returns such as these are drawing seasoned entrepreneurs and executives to the world of angel investing. (Angel investors are the first port of call—after friends and family—for fundraising entrepreneurs with big business ideas.) Over the last three to four years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of angel deals in India. In 2005, there were six angel/seed investment deals, according to VCCEdge, which tracks investment activity in India. In 2014, there were 200 such deals.

“The ecosystem has evolved. There are a lot more opportunities now as entrepreneurship is a top career choice. HNI (high net worth) portfolios have changed and new networks (angel networks) are opening up,” says Padmaja Ruparel, president of Indian Angel Network (IAN), the country’s foremost angel investor group with over 280 investors. IAN, which started in 2006, looks at investing up to $1 million in a project, with an average ticket-size of about $400,000 to $600,000, and exiting over a three to five year period through a strategic sale.

The success of startups such as Flipkart, Mu Sigma, Ola Cabs and InMobi—in terms of scale, valuation, attention from global investors and strong exits—has also created a positive sentiment. “Everyone sees how valuations have got marked up in subsequent rounds and exits, and everyone wants a piece of the action,” says K Ganesh, a serial angel investor and chairman and co-founder of Portea Medical, an in-home health services provider.

The flipside is that exits for angel investors, much like in the venture capital and private equity space, are few and far between. Exits for angel deals typically occur when firms raise their series A round (the first institutional funding). In India, only about one-fourth of angel-backed companies end up reaching this point.

“People are trying their hand at angel investing. It’s a different ball game. It’s a long journey. Investments are just the first day of a Test match,” says Rajan Anandan, managing director, Google India, and also a prominent angel investor.

In their bid to safeguard their capital risks, angel investors are increasing investing in groups with ‘lead investors’, who are industry experts. When a lead or anchor investor decides to back a startup, four to six others pool in capital, spreading the financial risk. Experts say that while angel investments are on the rise, lead investors are far fewer than regular investors. For example, IAN has 60 lead investors and 226 regular investors. While angels may shy away from individual deals, it’s rare that a deal won’t find takers once a lead investor shows interest.

The hurdles, however, haven’t dampened the rise in angel investing with everyone betting big on new ideas and enterprise. Even successful promoters like Kunal Bahl (Snapdeal), Phanindra Sama (redBus), Naveen Tewari (InMobi) and Manav Garg (Eka Software) are becoming active in this space.

Then there are those who have already made their presence felt as leading angels for Indian entrepreneurs.

Forbes India has prepared a list, in no particular order, through conversations with early stage investors, entrepreneurs and angel networks. We also deep-dive into their investment strategies and find their sweet spots.

mg_79435_rajan_anandan_280x210.jpgRajan Anandan, 46
Managing Director, Google India

Much sought-after by tech startups, Rajan Anandan has built a portfolio of over 50 angel investments since he started funding enterprises back in 2006. He has a clear focus on technology—“It’s very important for angels to have expertise,” he says—and invests through different platforms, including Indian Angel Network and LetsVenture. He is typically the lead investor who chooses the startup to invest in and others join in.

According to him, the success of companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal and InMobi, which have seen valuations go beyond the coveted $1 billion mark, has unwittingly evangelised the angel investment space. “People are realising that successful companies can be very precious. There are six to seven such startups today that have $1 billion valuation. [Investors] realise that it makes sense to invest in new ideas,” he says.

Preferred sectors: Technology, including internet, ecommerce, software and cloud services.

Must-haves: For Anandan, the team is the most important parameter. Two to three co-founders are ideal, he says. “A great tech bent is a huge plus. They should have a track record and should have been around for some time,” he says.

The other non-negotiable factor is whether the startup is solving a genuine problem. Anandan tends to back companies that have already launched their product or offering. “I need to see a product which is out there and has 100 users or, at least, one to two customers. It gives a sense about whether or not what they are offering makes market sense,” he says.

As an investor: He tends to be involved with his portfolio firms and typically helps in making strategic decisions and identifying new business markets. Anandan also opens the doors to potential clients and advisors.

Major investments: Phantom Hands, Capillary Technologies, Sourceeasy, 24/7 Techies, TargetingMantra, Instamojo, CultureAlley, Mobilewalla, Druva, Sapience, Frrole, MyShaadi.in, Jigsee (acquired by Vuclip), Goonj, TaxSpanner.com, eTechies, Exclusively.in (acquired by Myntra), Digilogues, Videa Capital (acquired by Allegro), Hungry Zone (acquired by JustEat), Peel-Works, Kwench, Athorstream (acquired by WizIQ), skoolshop.com, WizIQ.com, authorGEN (acquired by Educomp), BuyThePrice (acquired by Tradus).

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Article source: http://forbesindia.com/article/work-in-progress/enter-prise-in-india-where-angels-fear-to-tread/39471/1

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Two industry powerhouses – America Online Co-Founder Steve Case and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina – made a splash recently when they led a report,“Can Startups Save the American Dream?

I very much like this report from the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the ideas in it. However, they missed a significant piece of the answer. While the report focuses on how entrepreneurs can kick-start the economy, it overlooks what we need to do to support the angel investors who fuel the entrepreneurs creating our country’s jobs and innovations.

The contribution of angel investors is huge. Angels have backed some of the most important companies in America including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter and Starbucks. Angels supply nearly 90 percent of outside equity to startup companies, after friends and family.  In 2013 angels invested nearly $25 billion in about 71,000 companies in every state. Without angel investors, many of these companies would not be around.

 Bebcmj | Dreamstime.com - American Dream Home Photo

© Bebcmj | Dreamstime.com – American Dream Home Photo

The Miller Center report focuses on five ideas to support entrepreneurs to drive job growth in our country. It’s a great start. But imagine the impact possible if we expanded the original scope of thinking by adding angels to the equation. Here are five ways we can do just that:

  1. Unlock angel capital for high-growth startups: Develop federal and state tax policies that provide incentives to increase angel investments in startups. More than half of states offer tax credits to angels that invest in early-stage companies. In addition to reducing angels’ investment risk, these incentives raise awareness of the investment class, potentially encouraging more angel investors. At the federal level, Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) is a tax provision that allows investors to minimize or eliminate taxes on gains from successful exits in small businesses. QSBS has led to additional investing in the past, but it’s difficult for investors to plan on these benefits because they change frequently due to repeated Congress debates on tax issues. Implementing a consistent tax policy that promotes a healthy environment for early-stage investing would help.
  1. Ensure high-quality angel capital: Angel capital is important to entrepreneurs, however capital from educated angels is even more important. This ensures sound investment decisions and that entrepreneurs get the “intellectual capital” needed to succeed. High quality angel capital comes from angels that actively improve their craft. Whether an angel invests alone, as part of group or in online investment platforms and crowdfunding, all angels need access to resources, education and information to make smart investment decisions, understand the risks and incorporate best practices. The Angel Capital Association and Angel Resource Institute offer education through webinars, conferences, seminars, and have vast online resources including the popular Investor IQ.
  1. Further integrate angel investors into the entrepreneurial ecosystem: The University of Virginia report has some great recommendations for how community leaders can work with business leaders to create environments that support entrepreneurial growth. Angels can also help by plugging more deeply into the entrepreneurial ecosystem in their own communities. Many angels are former entrepreneurs who have done exactly what new startups are looking to do. They can work with accelerators and incubators, participate in meet-ups, serve as mentors, give presentations, and coach entrepreneurs. It’s also important for community and economic development leaders to talk to angels to learn more about their needs and understand what startups need to attract the right type of capital. Additionally, federal programs, such as Small Business Development Centers, would improve considerably if they were staffed with experts who understood equity capital and the type of support high-growth entrepreneurs need.
  1. Make entrepreneur education at universities more relevant: Many university courses and activities emphasize venture capital, with projects based on startups attracting VC money. However, research shows that angel capital is the more likely source of financing for startups. Entrepreneurs-to-be need education on the full variety of equity financing including friends and family, angels, VCs and more.  Some of this education could come from updating formal curricula, with additional education supplemented by real world angel investors serving as guest speakers, project advisors, and providing internships with angel groups and accelerators that work with angels.
  1. Expand on the paper’s terrific “Regulatory Roadmap”: The report’s roadmap would help entrepreneurs navigate the complex set of business regulations in our country so they could more easily find relevant rules. Among other things, it suggests that regulatory rules be written in understandable language.  Amen to that.  I recommend carrying forward these suggestions to ensure that federal and state securities regulations better support early-stage companies and accredited investors.  This means simplifying existing regulations and finishing rulemaking for the JOBS Act. Several confusing securities rules need clarifications so that all involved parties – investors and entrepreneurs – understand the rules.

As Case and Fiorina state, the future for America is bright if entrepreneurs can be further educated and empowered. It will be even brighter if we do the same for the angel investors who fuel the entrepreneurs that create the bulk of our country’s jobs and innovations.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mariannehudson/2015/01/29/dont-forget-angels-in-the-equation-for-saving-the-american-dream/

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ed zimmerman

Ed Zimmerman could be described as a venture lawyer, angel investor, and a wine lover and connoisseur, – which may help to explain why he’s part of an angel investing group called GrapeArbor. He co-founded GrapeArbor in 2006 in order to do his own angel investing (24 portfolio companies) and to share deals with a handful of friends.

One of his VC clients called the companies Zimmerman likes to help “tinkertoy Internet companies” (as opposed to hard core tech companies), and that suits him fine. Digital media, e-commerce, social media, fin tech, SaaS, cloud/virtualization, enterprise software and adtech are, apparently, all tinkertoys.
After receiving his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1992, Zimmerman started to work for Lowenstein Sandler PC, a leading national law firm, where he founded the tech group, which he currently chairs. Zimmerman has been working with and for VC firms (AngelVineVC, First Growth Venture Network) since 2002. He also teaches Venture Capital and Angel Investing at Columbia Business School, and writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal.

He is also on the AlleyWatch list of 100 NYC Tech Influencers You Need to Know.

Investment Arms:
First Growth Venture Network (since June 2009), Founder Chair
GrapeArborVC (since June 2006). Founder/Co-Lead
AngelVineVC (since October 2002), Founder Chair

Areas of Expertise:
Law, Consumer Internet, Software, Clouding, SaaS, IT, Financial Services, Health Care Information Technology, Computing

Selected Investments:
Homebrew, Red Swan, Klout, Invite Media, Yext, Adaptly, FanBridge, Behance, Birchbox, Trinity Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Solve Media, LiveIntent, AppNexus, Cover, Metamorphic Ventures, Lemnos Labs, Tapad, Bowery Capital, Flatiron Health, Skillslate, Manicube, Mark43, Lucky Sort, JumpCam, Confide, TreSensa, Tuition.io, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Mashable, SOLS Systems, Flybridge Capital Partners, BaubleBar, workpop, Food52, GiftRocket, SelectMinds, GGV Capital, Trupanion, Zenbe, Keaton Row, Archive Systems, openfinance, LivenIntent

Boards:
Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Social Media:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Blog

Memorable Quotes
On whether or not startups should pursue the biggest clients early on: “Sometimes an individual big client or partnering deal can make your company.”
On fundraising: “If you’re in the fundraising process, it’s appropriate to ask: ‘Who, in addition to you, is involved in making decisions about next steps and making an investment?’”
On what to look for in investors: “I’d like to think that founders can limit their investor base to smart and sophisticated investors, regardless of wealth.”
On full disclosure: “If you can’t convince vendors, developers, employees or others to knowingly share the risk, don’t compel them to unknowingly participate or you’ll end up with “debts that no honest man can pay” — and that depletes reputational capital.”
On how to tell if investors will really have your back.I’m not suggesting you need to throw a party and have all your investors sing Kumbaya. Rather, choosing people who already are in other deals together or run across one another with regularity will heighten the likelihood of good behavior.”

Article source: http://www.alleywatch.com/2015/01/an-angel-in-new-york-ed-zimmerman/

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Chilton, 53, is an entrepreneur and bestselling author of The Wealthy Barber. He’s also a cast member on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, where he has closed more than 20 deals.

What’s the secret to getting your attention on Dragons’ Den?
Key is the ability to get “The Meeting” with a buyer like Loblaws or Home Hardware, or the best potential supplier. Do they have the tenacity, charisma and infectious energy to get in front of people? Secondly, I am a numbers guy. Too often, an idea seems good on the surface, but the numbers don’t work. Are the gross margins significant enough to allow for proper marketing? Can they stave off competition? You are not going to get perfect answers, but you try to draw on your own experiences to do the best you can. Typically, angel investing is really risky, and often not overly lucrative.

More Related to this Story

What has been your best investment from the show?
Steeped Tea has been spectacular. The company is in the high-end, loose-leaf tea business and sells its products through Tupperware-style parties. It was one of the first pitches I saw, when they had just gone through $1 million in sales. They were incredibly knowledgeable and persuasive. Jim Treliving and I put in $250,000 for 20%. A little over two years later, they are doing $20 million in sales, and it’s going to get a lot bigger. There was a lot of luck involved in that one. You are not going to get many investments where you catch a company just before it takes a steep growth curve.

What was your best public play?
More than 10 years ago, a colleague kept pushing me to invest in this oil company in Gabon—Pan-Ocean Energy. I was skeptical. I tended not to get involved in that kind of high-risk security. I examined the company closely, and it didn’t appear to be trading close to proper value. Despite the risks, I started buying Pan-Ocean at $5 to $11 a share. A couple years later, it was taken out at $58 a share. There was a lot of luck in that one, too.

What’s your worst investment?
Many years ago, I talked some friends into buying a standard-bred horse—18 guys putting in $2,500 each to buy a gorgeous, American horse named Dash. The first day we owned him, he broke a leg stomping his foot in the trailer. We eventually sold Dash to a fellow in Detroit who, I believe, used him for birthday parties. Don’t invest in anything that eats. It’s the old Billy Rose line, and it is bang on.

What advice would you give to the average investor?
Investors need to get better informed—it’s crucial. People have a perception that personal finance is exceptionally difficult to grasp. It isn’t. They can certainly understand the things that work—like paying down debt, building up an RRSP or a tax-free savings plan, and buying low-cost index funds. It’s the things that don’t work that are tricky, like options strategies, and trading in and out of futures markets. Secondly, people should be careful about investment costs. If you are buying products like funds that charge 200 or 300 basis points a year, it’s very difficult to overcome that drag and post superior performance over the longer term.

What’s your investing motto?
Pay yourself first, of course!

Article source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/invest-like-a-legend-david-chilton/article22637649/

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What difference does your money make when you invest or divest? You might be conservative and want nature to remain beautiful forever. You might be liberal and want to undo environmental injustices. The same investment strategies may serve the goals of both. Arguing about the definition of “responsibility” will only lead to more division. “Every dollar is an impact dollar,” said Tasha Seitz of Impact Engine at the Jan. 23rd TBLI conference in Chicago.

Let’s consider the XL pipeline as a potential investment. Any conservative who loves nature and hates risk would agree that oil sands dredging is an expensive and messy business. It is exposing and polluting a large area in Canada and pipeline leaks or accidents on the way to the Gulf of Mexico will very likely occur over time if the pipeline goes through. On top of this it costs so much to eek oil out of this muck that at a certain price per barrel it is no longer worth the trouble. The burning of the stuff is not pretty either. Along with screaming environmentalists, any type of person may agree that this does not look like a smart investment going forward, despite the Wild West style boom experienced in Canada. Ghost towns might follow as the price of oil drops and the whole enterprise collapses. Some say this is the plan of the big oil reserve nations.

On the other hand, there are more and more opportunities in clean solutions that both serve the financial goals of investors and conserve nature. The Cleantech Open, Green Alpha Advisors and others at TBLI were proclaiming the proliferation of alternatives. For example, consider the retrofitting of underserved communities, cutting energy costs while cleaning the air, water and soil. The inherent beauty of a solution that utilizes free wind or sun-power or smart building materials that reduce the cost of energy is naturally appealing to conservatives and liberals alike. Saving a fortune over time while respecting forests and providing all citizens, whether rich or poor, with a cleaner environment makes sense. So why is there any question? Divestment from oil and investment in clean solutions seems an obvious smart choice.

It is hard to leave the status quo behind. We are propelled in cars, trains, buses and jets by this black stuff and we know it will take some time to transition, but we don’t know how long. We know there are more solutions than we can imagine, but we aren’t sure which will be the winners. And governments around the world are subsidizing oil and not so much the green solutions.

Nevertheless, for those like Irene Pritzker of the IDP Foundation, who seem to define responsible investing as a way to make a personal statement, the divest/invest movement is important. So far it is focused mostly on the divestment side: in other words more and more investors are starting to unload from their portfolios the worst companies in the world, particularly in relation to pollution and fossil fuels.

The largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, Norway’s, is primarily funded by the offshore drilling of fossil fuels and for many years they spent most of their research dollars to find out which were the worst companies in the world. They had a list of eight thousand or so public companies owned by the fund and only a few standard corporations were avoided. This was a passive approach in the past, but more recently they have acted on their conscience and begun investing in renewable energy ventures.

Many progressive investors may do their own angel investing or venture investing… what I call: one-off investing, in projects they love. They may get hurt. Foundations can do this within their 5 percent required to be given away charitably. This is PRI or program related investing that does not need to make money but could. Debra Schwartz of the MacArthur Foundation described how they use this IRS loophole to invest in potentially big money making investments as well. Why not do this in the 95 percent of their endowment? It is one charitable organization.

Couldn’t foundations be innovative and replace the quality, from a financial perspective, of dirty companies with companies that have similar attributes…that will act similarly in their portfolio? It helps to have clear goals for every industry. while choosing replacement. For example, if you are cutting fossil fuel based energy companies that distribute big dividends you might find renewable energy companies and other companies with big dividends as a combination to replace that position.

As renewables take over from fossil fuels we all could be well positioned for growth, while replacing the dividends from Big Oil. That’s just one example and one industry. If we are going to follow this model of divest/invest, you can begin to look into each industry for a key idea or strategy to replace any currently antiquated approach. The way you invest is a personal statement, and when you invest in what you love we all gain a better world!

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/g-benjamin-bingham/left-right-or-betteran-im_b_6564104.html

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Chilton, 53, is an entrepreneur and bestselling author of The Wealthy Barber. He’s also a cast member on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, where he has closed more than 20 deals.

What’s the secret to getting your attention on Dragons’ Den?
Key is the ability to get “The Meeting” with a buyer like Loblaws or Home Hardware, or the best potential supplier. Do they have the tenacity, charisma and infectious energy to get in front of people? Secondly, I am a numbers guy. Too often, an idea seems good on the surface, but the numbers don’t work. Are the gross margins significant enough to allow for proper marketing? Can they stave off competition? You are not going to get perfect answers, but you try to draw on your own experiences to do the best you can. Typically, angel investing is really risky, and often not overly lucrative.

More Related to this Story

What has been your best investment from the show?
Steeped Tea has been spectacular. The company is in the high-end, loose-leaf tea business and sells its products through Tupperware-style parties. It was one of the first pitches I saw, when they had just gone through $1 million in sales. They were incredibly knowledgeable and persuasive. Jim Treliving and I put in $250,000 for 20%. A little over two years later, they are doing $20 million in sales, and it’s going to get a lot bigger. There was a lot of luck involved in that one. You are not going to get many investments where you catch a company just before it takes a steep growth curve.

What was your best public play?
More than 10 years ago, a colleague kept pushing me to invest in this oil company in Gabon—Pan-Ocean Energy. I was skeptical. I tended not to get involved in that kind of high-risk security. I examined the company closely, and it didn’t appear to be trading close to proper value. Despite the risks, I started buying Pan-Ocean at $5 to $11 a share. A couple years later, it was taken out at $58 a share. There was a lot of luck in that one, too.

What’s your worst investment?
Many years ago, I talked some friends into buying a standard-bred horse—18 guys putting in $2,500 each to buy a gorgeous, American horse named Dash. The first day we owned him, he broke a leg stomping his foot in the trailer. We eventually sold Dash to a fellow in Detroit who, I believe, used him for birthday parties. Don’t invest in anything that eats. It’s the old Billy Rose line, and it is bang on.

What advice would you give to the average investor?
Investors need to get better informed—it’s crucial. People have a perception that personal finance is exceptionally difficult to grasp. It isn’t. They can certainly understand the things that work—like paying down debt, building up an RRSP or a tax-free savings plan, and buying low-cost index funds. It’s the things that don’t work that are tricky, like options strategies, and trading in and out of futures markets. Secondly, people should be careful about investment costs. If you are buying products like funds that charge 200 or 300 basis points a year, it’s very difficult to overcome that drag and post superior performance over the longer term.

What’s your investing motto?
Pay yourself first, of course!

Article source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/invest-like-a-legend-david-chilton/article22637649/?cmpid=rss1

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Boston, MA (PRWEB) January 28, 2015

Fund Wisdom, an equity analytics firm analyzing online equity offerings, today released its first annual Investment Insight report for 2014. The report details industry-wide online private equity offerings from top investment platforms including AngelList, SeedInvest, WeFunder, Onevest, Fundable, EquityNet, Return On Change, CrowdFunder, and EarlyShares for the last calendar year. FundWisdom found that 296 SEC Regulation D 506C or generally solicited offerings closed in the year with more than $278M invested. The average round size closed during the year was $1.06M.

“This past year singled a paradigm shift for seed stage equity offerings, as more were closed online than ever before,” said Brian Thopsey, CEO and Founder of Fund Wisdom. “The record breaking twelve months for AngelList, Fundable, SeedInvest and other investment platforms, along with the imminent changes due with Title III of the jobs act, has equity crowdfunding poised to democratize private investment in startups and disrupt the landscape of venture-backed deals.”

Based on its own data, publicly disclosed information and discussions with key constituents in the equity crowdfunding ecosystem, FundWisom believes top investment platforms are gearing up to increase offerings and additional services to startups raising funds online in 2015. Opportunities to invest in firms and entrepreneurs online are abundant, and the number will increase as investors’ appetite for this alternative asset class continues to grow. In addition, Title III of the Jump-start Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act will increase the amount of investors and overall capital invested in equity online.

“2014 was an incredible year for Fundable startups,” said Will Schroter, CEO of Fundable. “We were able to provide unprecedented resources, over $77 million in funding commitments, to startups with our acquisition of LaunchRock and by expanding our team. Our mission has always been to help entrepreneurs thrive, and we’re thrilled that we were able to help so many in the last year.”

Other highlights from FundWisdom’s report include:

  • The Mobile and Wearable sector captured the most investment dollars
  • Although it was close, more firms offered equity over convertible debt
  • Life360, Zero Energy Systems and Kinnek were the largest equity crowdfunding offerings that closed this past year
  • San Francisco was home to the most closed online equity offerings followed by New York City, Boston Los Angeles
  • Companies are using equity funding platforms as a marketing channel, with a large percentage still being funded offline

To download the full Fund Wisdom Institutional Insight Report for 2014 please visit: http://fundwisdom.com/about/equity-crowdfunding-data-research-reports-analytics/2014-equity-crowdfunding-report

Questions on the report? Reach out to the Fund Wisdom team at: http://www.fundwisdom.com/contact

About Fund Wisdom

Based in Boston, Fund Wisdom is a financial analytics solution analyzing online equity offerings. It connects online equity investors and entrepreneurs with financial wisdom. We save you time and money in your investment decision-making process while providing deep insight. This enables investors to increase the likelihood of achieving attractive returns and helps entrepreneurs assess and market their offerings. For more information visit: http://fundwisdom.com/about

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Article source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/01/prweb12469677.htm

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The consumer electronics sector has proved the most reliable investment
category overall. Just 5pc of these investments have lost value, while 20pc
posted “reasonable growth”, 21pc showed high growth, and 8pc of investments
will be successfully exited within the next year.

The report, which surveyed 403 UK business angels, also found that these
early-stage investors are getting younger, more female and are increasingly
likely to back companies outside their local area.

Sophisticated investment platforms and the popularity of remote communication
tools such as Skype has also prompted many angels to invest in businesses
based miles from home.

Anecdotal evidence from previous studies showed that start-ups were most
likely to secure funding from local angels. However, 58pc of angels now
invest in companies outside their home region. Some 22pc also invest outside
the UK.

In 2008, the median age of a UK angel investor was 53. Today, 44pc of angel
investors are under-45, and almost three-quarters are under 54. The
proportion of female angels now stands at 14pc, up from just 7pc in 2008.

The rise of women-only angel networks has helped the gender gap to narrow
slightly, but the UK still lags behind the US where 20pc of angels are
female.

Two Government schemes have played a crucial role in driving UK angel
investment, the report found. Nine out of 10 angels have used either the
Enterprise Investment Scheme or Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to
invest in young companies; 80pc of investments in angels’ portfolios used
one of these schemes.

A separate study commissioned by private equity investment firm Radius Equity
has shown that business start-ups raised £83.7m of seed funding through SEIS
between 2012 and 2013, and more than £1bn of investment was raised by nearly
2,400 SMEs through EIS.

“The impact of recent market developments and government policies have led to
an explosion in angel investing,” commented Luke Johnson, chairman of the
CfE. “Angel investors are playing a crucial role in the economy, bringing
risk capital, business experience and skills to support the growth of small
businesses.”

Dale Murray is among the new wave of female business angels

As a result of the increased support, UK angels are making more investments
than ever before. The median number of investments per angel is five, up
from 2.5 in 2009.

A significant proportion of angel finance is now being ploughed into social
investments. One in four angels have invested in ventures that have a social
impact and these deals account for 24pc of all investments made.

Nation of Angels is the largest survey of business angels in the UK, featuring
responses from 403 angels, and drawing data from angel syndicates and
networks comprising 8,000 individual investors.

Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/money/11374030/Where-do-angel-investors-make-the-best-returns.html

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The UK’s business angels share the details of their best – and worst –
perfoming investments in a landmark report

Financial technology is the most lucrative sector for angel investment,
delivering the highest growth out of any industry, according to a new
report.

Some 28pc of fintech investments are out-performing expectations, beating
property, food and drink, and transport companies two-fold, the Nation
of Angels study by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and the UK Business
Angels Association found.

Financial services investments ran a close second, with 24pc of ventures
delivering high growth.

Security investments, conversely, are the most likely to perform badly, with
17pc showing negative growth.

The property sector is the least likely to lose angel investors money, with
just 5pc of investments showing negative growth. However, returns are also
among the weakest.

The consumer electronics sector has proved the most reliable investment
category overall. Just 5pc of these investments have lost value, while 20pc
posted “reasonable growth”, 21pc showed high growth, and 8pc of investments
will be successfully exited within the next year.

The report, which surveyed 403 UK business angels, also found that these
early-stage investors are getting younger, more female and are increasingly
likely to back companies outside their local area.

Sophisticated investment platforms and the popularity of remote communication
tools such as Skype has also prompted many angels to invest in businesses
based miles from home.

Anecdotal evidence from previous studies showed that start-ups were most
likely to secure funding from local angels. However, 58pc of angels now
invest in companies outside their home region. Some 22pc also invest outside
the UK.

In 2008, the median age of a UK angel investor was 53. Today, 44pc of angel
investors are under-45, and almost three-quarters are under 54. The
proportion of female angels now stands at 14pc, up from just 7pc in 2008.

The rise of women-only angel networks has helped the gender gap to narrow
slightly, but the UK still lags behind the US where 20pc of angels are
female.

Two Government schemes have played a crucial role in driving UK angel
investment, the report found. Nine out of 10 angels have used either the
Enterprise Investment Scheme or Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to
invest in young companies; 80pc of investments in angels’ portfolios used
one of these schemes.

A separate study commissioned by private equity investment firm Radius Equity
has shown that business start-ups raised £83.7m of seed funding through SEIS
between 2012 and 2013, and more than £1bn of investment was raised by nearly
2,400 SMEs through EIS.

“The impact of recent market developments and government policies have led to
an explosion in angel investing,” commented Luke Johnson, chairman of the
CfE. “Angel investors are playing a crucial role in the economy, bringing
risk capital, business experience and skills to support the growth of small
businesses.”

Dale Murray is among the new wave of female business angels

As a result of the increased support, UK angels are making more investments
than ever before. The median number of investments per angel is five, up
from 2.5 in 2009.

A significant proportion of angel finance is now being ploughed into social
investments. One in four angels have invested in ventures that have a social
impact and these deals account for 24pc of all investments made.

Nation of Angels is the largest survey of business angels in the UK, featuring
responses from 403 angels, and drawing data from angel syndicates and
networks comprising 8,000 individual investors.

Article source: http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/where-angel-investors-best-returns-115119653.html

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