Angel investing — the practice of wealthy benefactors providing funds for startups, often in exchange for equity or part ownership of the company — is up in Austin and across the nation.

The University of New Hampshire, which crunches the national numbers for angel investing, found that in the first half of the year, angel investing was up 6 percent nationwide and 55 percent in Austin.

“We’re a bit of a startup heaven kind of town,” Austin Business Journal editor Colin Pope said.

Find out more by watching the “Business Now” segment above.

Article source: http://austin.twcnews.com/content/news/306411/angel-investing-up-55-percent-in-austin/

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Dave McClure shared his tips for angel investing at the National Angel Summit in Dallas on Thursday.





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Danielle Abril
Staff Writer- Dallas Business Journal

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Dave McClure, cofounder of Silicon Valley investment firm 500 Startups, has learned the tricks of the trade of investing in startups, after shelling out funds for more than 900 startups in more than 40 countries. He shared his breadth of knowledge with guests at the National Angel Summit in Dallas on Thursday evening.

“Startups are a very challenging thing,” he said. “Know that most things are going to fail.”

While he spoke to a mixed audience that included entrepreneurs, investors and advocates, he catered his message to those interested in angel investing.

Here are some of his tips:

On getting started

  • Your ability to detect if companies will be successful early on is limited. He highly suggests you diversify in at least 10 to 20 investments, arguably more.
  • He wouldn’t advise you to invest (ever) if you think you’re going to make a lot of money.
  • Make lots of little bets and spread that over time.
  • In your first 5-10 deals, co-invest with other experienced investors and let them handle documents.

When to invest and in whom

  • Invest in things you know and like. Play to your strengths and skill set. Where can you add value? Stay within that expertise.
  • Wait until companies have an initial prototype, have shown that they have the potential to be profitable and have the ability to scale. That’s the best time to invest.
  • Don’t bias yourselves to the person (or team), look at the products and data. Don’t overemphasize the people or idea too much.
  • Make additional investments or double down when users are scaling, revenue is scaling, unit economics are improving, other experienced investors are putting in more money and when founders aren’t asking for money. A founder asking for money is usually a bad sign.
  • Don’t get bogged down in legal work. Get the deals done.

After you’ve made an investment

  • Don’t expect to become the entrepreneur’s boss. Entrepreneurs usually don’t listen to people. Trust them to do their job. Remember, you invested with the understanding the project was likely to fail.
  • Write about your thesis, ideas and companies. It’s the simplest commercial you can do, and there are so many opportunities for your voice to be heard. There is an incredible opportunity for women VCs and those who share their thoughts.
  • Ask for monthly updates and make companies include their revenue.
  • Ask for a monthly net burn number regularly. If the total can’t sustain the business for six months, you should worry.
  • Plan for at least a five-year period, if not longer, to get capital back from investments.

Danielle covers technology, retail, restaurants and hospitality for the Dallas Business Journal. Subscribe to our new TechFlash email newsletter.



Article source: http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/blog/2014/11/first-look-500-startups-founder-dave-mcclure-onins.html?page=all

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Angel investing — the practice of wealthy benefactors providing funds for startups, often in exchange for equity or part ownership of the company — is up in Austin and across the nation.

The University of New Hampshire, which crunches the national numbers for angel investing, found that in the first half of the year, angel investing was up 6 percent nationwide and 55 percent in Austin.

“We’re a bit of a startup heaven kind of town,” Austin Business Journal editor Colin Pope said.

Find out more by watching the “Business Now” segment above.

Article source: http://austin.twcnews.com/content/news/306411/angel-investing-up-55-percent-in-austin/

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Angel investors provide nearly as much money to startups as their more highly-touted venture capital brethren. But minorities remain vastly underrepresented among those seeking and providing capital.

According to Score.org, the angel investing community last year was composed of 268,000 individuals, 67,000 deals, and $23 billion. That web of dealmaking reveals the demographic breakdown of angels as 82% male and 96% white. And since angels typically invest with connections and friends they know, the startup entrepreneurs soliciting their money is similarly disproportionate.

Those seeking money from angels are 84% male and 93% white. Meanwhile, only 15% of racial minorities are funded vs. 18% of women and 22% overall. See more angel investor stats in the infographic below.

typical angel investors

Follow Brian on Facebook and Twitter.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2014/11/25/white-males-still-dominate-the-23-billion-angel-investing-community-infographic/

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Angel investors provide nearly as much money to startups as their more highly-touted venture capital brethren. But minorities remain vastly underrepresented among those seeking and providing capital.

According to Score.org, the angel investing community last year was composed of 268,000 individuals, 67,000 deals, and $23 billion. That web of dealmaking reveals the demographic breakdown of angels as 82% male and 96% white. And since angels typically invest with connections and friends they know, the startup entrepreneurs soliciting their money is similarly disproportionate.

Those seeking money from angels are 84% male and 93% white. Meanwhile, only 15% of racial minorities are funded vs. 18% of women and 22% overall. See more angel investor stats in the infographic below.

typical angel investors

Follow Brian on Facebook and Twitter.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2014/11/25/white-males-still-dominate-the-23-billion-angel-investing-community-infographic/

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In the book, Write Your Business Plan, the staff of Entrepreneur Media offer an in-depth understanding of what’s essential to any business plan, what’s appropriate for your venture and what it takes to ensure success. In this edited excerpt, the authors discuss angel investing as an option for funding your business.

If you’re having trouble getting funding for your venture under the right terms, or under any terms at all, you’ll be glad to know about the existence of angels in the investment world. Angels are individuals who invest their own money, as opposed to institutions or professional money managers, who invest other people’s money. Many angels are well-off professionals, such as doctors and lawyers. Some are retired but have tremendous expertise to share in a specific field. Others are successful small-business owners who have made a bundle with their own entrepreneurial efforts and are now interested in letting their money work for them in someone else’s venture.

Angel investors used to be a difficult group to find — not so any longer. There are groups formed by angels and other organizations, such as Funding Post, that arrange for special angel and venture-capitalist showcases in various parts of the country. You can sign up and pay to attend an event at which up-and-coming entrepreneurs like yourself get to meet with many angel investors and VCs in one place. Have your short elevator pitch ready, and demonstrate the enthusiasm you have for your new business.

Because angels invest their own money, you might think they are the most discriminating, difficult-to-please investors. In fact, as a rule, they’re much more willing to take a flier on a risky, unproven idea than are professional investors and lenders.

Angels often take a personal interest in a project and may simply believe strongly in the person behind it … that’s you! They’re usually swayed more by personal concerns than by financial ones.

While angel investors used to be located primarily by word of mouth, they’re easier to find in the electronic age. ACE-Net is an electronic network of angel investors developed by the SBA that helps angel investors and small businesses seeking capital meet online. There’s an annual fee to enroll in ACE-Net, which varies by state. You can also find the ACE-Net branch in your state on the website. The Angel Capital Association is another place to learn about angels and seek out an angel network—a local group of angel investors in your area.  

Keep in mind that, above all else, angels are unconventional. Many have little training in evaluating business ideas. If 20 angels turn you down, it doesn’t mean a thing. Until you’ve gone through the last name in your Rolodex, you still have a chance of landing an angel backer.

You may also fit angel guidelines if you don’t need a whole lot of money. Institutional venture capitalists can, by pooling the funds of several different groups, raise vast sums. It’s not unheard of for venture capitalists to invest nine-figure sums—more than $100 million—in relatively new, unproven ventures. But even rich, single investors like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett are unlikely to feel comfortable sinking that kind of money into anything uncertain.

Your angels’ capacity will vary, of course, but angels tend to start small and see how you’re doing before adding to the pot. One of the nicest things about the angel networks that have formed in recent years is that they can pool their resources, giving you a few angel investors in one place at one time. This also makes it easier when you’re preparing to meet with angel investors. Rather than meeting one at a time, you can meet several in one angel network or even a couple who’ll spread the word among their partners so that they can decide as a group.

Article source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238931

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In the book, Write Your Business Plan, the staff of Entrepreneur Media offer an in-depth understanding of what’s essential to any business plan, what’s appropriate for your venture and what it takes to ensure success. In this edited excerpt, the authors discuss angel investing as an option for funding your business.

If you’re having trouble getting funding for your venture under the right terms, or under any terms at all, you’ll be glad to know about the existence of angels in the investment world. Angels are individuals who invest their own money, as opposed to institutions or professional money managers, who invest other people’s money. Many angels are well-off professionals, such as doctors and lawyers. Some are retired but have tremendous expertise to share in a specific field. Others are successful small-business owners who have made a bundle with their own entrepreneurial efforts and are now interested in letting their money work for them in someone else’s venture.

Angel investors used to be a difficult group to find — not so any longer. There are groups formed by angels and other organizations, such as Funding Post, that arrange for special angel and venture-capitalist showcases in various parts of the country. You can sign up and pay to attend an event at which up-and-coming entrepreneurs like yourself get to meet with many angel investors and VCs in one place. Have your short elevator pitch ready, and demonstrate the enthusiasm you have for your new business.

Because angels invest their own money, you might think they are the most discriminating, difficult-to-please investors. In fact, as a rule, they’re much more willing to take a flier on a risky, unproven idea than are professional investors and lenders.

Angels often take a personal interest in a project and may simply believe strongly in the person behind it … that’s you! They’re usually swayed more by personal concerns than by financial ones.

While angel investors used to be located primarily by word of mouth, they’re easier to find in the electronic age. ACE-Net is an electronic network of angel investors developed by the SBA that helps angel investors and small businesses seeking capital meet online. There’s an annual fee to enroll in ACE-Net, which varies by state. You can also find the ACE-Net branch in your state on the website. The Angel Capital Association is another place to learn about angels and seek out an angel network—a local group of angel investors in your area.  

Keep in mind that, above all else, angels are unconventional. Many have little training in evaluating business ideas. If 20 angels turn you down, it doesn’t mean a thing. Until you’ve gone through the last name in your Rolodex, you still have a chance of landing an angel backer.

You may also fit angel guidelines if you don’t need a whole lot of money. Institutional venture capitalists can, by pooling the funds of several different groups, raise vast sums. It’s not unheard of for venture capitalists to invest nine-figure sums—more than $100 million—in relatively new, unproven ventures. But even rich, single investors like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett are unlikely to feel comfortable sinking that kind of money into anything uncertain.

Your angels’ capacity will vary, of course, but angels tend to start small and see how you’re doing before adding to the pot. One of the nicest things about the angel networks that have formed in recent years is that they can pool their resources, giving you a few angel investors in one place at one time. This also makes it easier when you’re preparing to meet with angel investors. Rather than meeting one at a time, you can meet several in one angel network or even a couple who’ll spread the word among their partners so that they can decide as a group.

Article source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238931

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The corner where East and West Center streets in Mebane meet has seen both the rise and the fall of North Carolina’s old-line manufacturing economy.

That economy is gone now, but finally something is ready to take its place at that same spot in downtown Mebane. The former White Furniture factory, dubbed by the history books as the oldest furniture factory in the South, has been bought by investors who plan to turn the old 300,000-square-foot building, with its soaring ceilings and vast expanses of windows, into a combination of retail, dining and recreation uses plus living space for as many as 300 new residents.

“We don’t really have anything like this — it would be an entirely new kind of venture for our downtown,” says Mebane Mayor Glendel Stephenson, who met with the developers about a week ago to talk about their plans.

“We’ve been developing rapidly over the last few years and we’ve got a lot of active merchants, and we’re getting new restaurants and such, but bringing in 300 people to live downtown would really bring some new life to it,” Stephenson says.

It seems only fair that Mebane breathe some new life into the old building, because White Furniture in no small way brought Mebane itself to life. Established on that same site next to the railroad tracks in 1881, the same year the little town of Mebanesville was incorporated, the “White of Mebane” brand became known as one of the top-quality furniture names in the industry, and inseparable from its home.

“In its heyday, it really was the town,” says Cathy Davidson, an English professor at Duke University whose book “Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory” chronicled the factory’s fate up to what was recently thought its end (with poignant photographs from Mebane native Bill Bamberger). “Others like Kingsdown have come in too, but there was time when, if you moved to Mebane, it was to work at White Furniture. Even as the town became a bedroom for RTP, everybody there still knew somebody who worked at the factory.”

The White family controlled the business for more than a century, finally selling to Hickory Manufacturing to form the modern company Hickory White in 1985. The factory lasted just eight years into that new era — the shutdown in 1993 cost 203 people their jobs.

Shutdowns and layoffs would become an epidemic in the furniture industry in the years to follow, as the pressure to reduce costs moved most of the wood manufacturing overseas. But the closure of the White plant 15 years ago was a bellwether, Hicks says.

“That was probably the beginning of the end,” she says. “There had been closings before and many more after, but when the oldest factory shuts down, that means something.”

The historic building has been used for little more than storage since the closure, but the sad story told about White Furniture and repeated in countless mill towns in the East since then has proven an opportunity for Tom Niemann, the CEO of Niemann Capital, who will lead the renovation project.

Niemann did not return a call seeking comment after the property sale was finalized, but he told The Business Journal last summer that he planned to spend about $30 million on the Mebane project. At that time he had been expecting to get started on construction by last month, so the timeline appears to be slipping by at least a little bit.

That’s not unexpected in a major historic renovation, and probably nothing Niemann isn’t used to. In addition to the big Civic Plaza project in downtown Winston-Salem, which itself has taken years to get started and is still in some degree of limbo, Niemann has made something of a specialty of turning old industrial sites into new mixed-use developments.

The first phase of West Village in Durham, for example, uses 350,000 square feet of old tobacco warehouses for residential, retail and office space and will eventually add nearly a million more square feet.

Niemann has worked in other states as well, including Maine where his firm turned an abandoned cotton mill into a riverside live-work “creative center.”

When towns like Mebane spring up around manufacturing sites, a plant closure can leave a big hole in a community, says Rodney Swink, the director of the Main Street Center at the N.C. Department of Commerce. That makes efforts like the one planned for the White factory especially valuable — both for boosting the town but also preserving the past.

An abandoned building is an eyesore, but a “Here once stood …” plaque isn’t much to get excited about either.

Preserving a building and turning it into an economic asset again is “very exciting” when it works, Swink says, but it’s still too early in the life of most of the projects that have taken place so far to gauge whether or not they’ll all survive long-term. He wasn’t aware of any outright failures of completed projects.

But it still takes more than a little bravery to buy a huge old building in a relatively small town and hope the real estate market can absorb all the new space and still provide a profit, especially in a teetering economy.

Maybe it will work in Mebane and maybe it won’t, but Swink says in the case of White Furniture and the town it built, it’s worth a try.

“Going in with this kind of scale can kind of be seen as defying the market, but it can also be so bold that it helps to establish and create a market,” Swink says.

Tech time in Winston-Salem

This coming week (March 24-28) will be busy on the technology scene in Winston-Salem. In addition to the N.C. Nano Conference (see story, page 6), a whole series of events collectively dubbed “Funding the Future Week” will be taking place.

Also on the agenda: The Chamber of Commerce’s annual Technology Briefing, which gives a number of young companies a chance to step into the spotlight for a moment to explain how they’ll change the world.

The week will also feature a “Capital Symposium and Information Exchange” at Wake Forest, as well the famous “Elevator Competition” business plan challenge at Wake’s Babcock School.

Last but not least, the Piedmont Angel Network is hosting the Southeast Angel Conference, happening partly alongside the Nanoconference. The Angel Conference will draw more than 60 investors representing 20 funds from as far away as Boston to hear pitches from 14 companies (and probably a lot more during cocktail hour).

Most of the events of the week are already regular occurrences in the Triad, and PAN fund director Troy Knauss says the way the Angel Conference is coming together, we may see it here again too.

“If we pull this off, I truly believe that we can make this an annual event,” Knauss says.

There’s more information about all the week’s events at www.ptrp.com/ftf.

Forget the diet

A sweet treat will be arriving in Old Salem this spring. Mayberry Ice Cream plans to open a shop above the more than two-century-old Winkler Bakery by the end of April.

The space was home to a since-closed soda shop. The new Mayberry shop will offer sandwiches, hot dogs, milkshakes, ice cream cones and hot fudge sundaes, among other items, said Eric Hoyle, vice president of finance and chief administrative officer at Old Salem.

With seating for 35 to 40, the new store will bring a food spot to the north end of the historic district, which as been missing a place to eat for years, Hoyle said. There are food offerings at the visitors’ center and the Salem Tavern, but the new location will mean people don’t have to walk up and down campus to grab a quick bite to eat, he said.

Hoyle said the new location will get a boost from Winkler Bakery, which saw sales increase more than 20 percent last fiscal year and has been working to improve food quality, among other things, Hoyle said.

“Having the soda shop will bring even more traffic,” he said.

Yoga with a purpose

For cancer patients, peacefulness is not a feeling associated with uncertain diagnoses and draining treatments. But that sense of calm can be a powerful palliative, according to research done by a Wake Forest University researcher, with the help of a Winston-Salem yoga teacher.

Suzanne Danhauer, a researcher and clinician at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University, worked with Lynn Felder, owner of The Arts of Yoga, in 2006-2007 to study the effects of the ancient Eastern practice on cancer patients.

The results are encouraging: Women who participated in a 75-minute class once a week for 10 weeks reported lower levels of fatigue and “higher levels of social well-being, and feeling calm and peaceful,” Danhauer said.

The findings are not surprising to Felder, who is an ovarian cancer survivor. After a lifetime of sports and dance, Felder found herself buckled by the effects of cancer treatment. “Yoga ended up being a great way for me to get my body back. Yoga is so patient.”

Lead item: Matt Evans. Contributors: Laura Youngs, Lane Harvey Brown. Reach Justin Catanoso at (336) 370-2896 or jcatanoso@bizjournals.com. His business reports can he heard Fridays on WFMY-News 2 at 6:35 a.m. and WFDD-88.5 FM at 7:35 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.





Article source: http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/stories/2008/03/24/tidbits1.html?page=all

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Angel deal-maker offers advice for entrepreneurs ahead of Wichita speech









Emily Behlmann
Digital Editor- Wichita Business Journal

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Entrepreneur and investor Troy Knauss has heard his share of pitches from entrepreneurs.

He previously was the fund executive for Piedmont Angel Network in Greensboro, N.C., where he sifted through business plans to help member-investors find opportunities.

Now, he’s a founder and managing partner of Guardant, which he says was created to bring together several angel groups to give investors a wider reach and give entrepreneurs access to a larger pool of capital.

Knauss, who will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Great Plains Capital Conference on Oct. 22, is the co-author of the book “Get In Get Out: 100 Rules for Successful Start-Up Deals.”

He says that through Guardant, he’s setting his sights on a wider geographic area than he has before. He says he’d like to leave the Great Plains Capital Conference with a couple of potential future deals in hand.

I talked with him about what advice he’d offer to entrepreneurs who are preparing to make their pitches to potential investors. Here’s what he had to say:

What’s your top piece of advice for entrepreneurs who area starting to look for investors?

One of the biggest, most critical things is to make sure the investors you’re speaking to are interested in the space you’re in. Do your due diligence on the investors you’re looking at. … Investors don’t want to waste their time. Entrepreneurs don’t want to waste time on investors who don’t understand their business.

Is there anything that will make you turn down an investment opportunity immediately, without looking at the details?

There are lots of things, but the team is one of the most critical components of any deal. I’m not saying I wouldn’t invest in an early-stage startup by a first-time entrepreneur, but … I want to make sure that they can answer questions and they can do it quickly. I focus on the team, coachability and credibility.

What I’ve found is that sometimes the little ideas are the most successful, when you find these little niches, so I’m open to any idea an entrepreneur shows.

I read in a report by our sister publication, the Business Journal Serving the Greater Triad Area, that you’re a pilot. What do you fly?

My wife doesn’t let me fly anymore. But it was a Cessna 172.

Registration for the Great Plains Capital Conference is open through Oct. 16. The event is Oct. 22 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport.

Emily Behlmann oversees the website and other digital projects. She covers technology. For technology news, subscribe to the WBJ’s free TechFlash newsletter.



Article source: http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/blog/techflash/2013/10/angel-deal-maker-offers-advice-for.html?page=all

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Detroit Harmonie has an ambitious agenda for both bringing people in the city together and providing a platform for social entrepreneurs to fundraise seed capital. The Midtown-based nonprofit believes it can take its first step toward those goals with a seed-capital competition on March 3.

The Get Funded Challenge will allow about a dozen social entrepreneurs to compete for $50,000 in cash prizes to get their businesses started. The competition will offer a $30,000 grand prize and allow local residents to vote for the winner. The idea is that competitions like this will serve as a model for funding entrepreneurial dreams and allow entrepreneurs, investors and customers to make connections outside of their normal social circles.

“We want to become a funding mechanism to get them to the next level,” says Jordan Wolfe, co-founder and chair of Detroit Harmonie.

Detroit Harmonie also is working on developing a scorecard for the winners of the Get Funded Challenge to track their progress. The nonprofit, launched in July, is aiming to fund projects and businesses that create economic impact in Detroit’s communities through improving the physical environment or enhancing cultural diversity.

“They have to be doing something that is making Detroit a better place,” Wolfe says.

For information on the competition, click here.

Source: Jordan Wolfe, co-founder and chair of Detroit Harmonie
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Article source: http://www.modeldmedia.com/startupnews/detroitharmonie0201712.aspx

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