Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Viewing all posts by Bill Payne

user Bill Payne Angel Investor ,
Frontier Angel Fund

Bill Payne has been actively involved in angel investing since 1980. He has funded over 50 companies and mentored over 100. He is a founding member of four angel organizations: Aztec Venture Network, Tech Coast Angels, Vegas Valley Angels, and Frontier Angel Fund.

The Road to Crowdfunding Hell

The lack of rational analysis about equity crowdfunding is remarkable to me.  Sure, it sounds like an easy source of startup capital that should lead to happy entrepreneurs, delighted investors and job creation galore.  However, this will likely not be the case. Few pundits seem to have the depth of knowledge and foresight to look far enough down the equity

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A Visit With the European Startup Community

My wife, Ann, and I took a trip this past spring to visit Estonia, Finland, Ireland and Russia. The goal was to share our experiences in the realm of angel investing with an array of global audiences, by participating in various lectures, discussions and workshops. In all four countries we met passionate entrepreneurs who were eager to discuss their exciting

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2011 Halo Report :: US Angel Group Activity

At the Angel Capital Association (ACA) Summit in Austin in March, the Angel Resource Institute reported on angel group activity in 2001 in the first annual Halo Report.  I found some of the results quite interesting.  For example:

The median round of investment by group was about $700,000 but less than $300,000 was invested by the local group leading the

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The Problem with Private Placement Memorandums (PPMs)

The sale of equity in private companies is regulated by the Securities Act of 1933, which requires that the company either register with the SEC or meet one of several exemptions (Reg D).  A Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) is a special business plan defined to meet an SEC exemption.  In most cases, those entrepreneurs choosing to raise capital using PPMs

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Using your business plan

Business plans come in several flavors and you will need each of them to successfully raise money. I’ll briefly describe the forms of your business plan, but more importantly, explain how to avoid common mistakes in using your plans.

Elevator Pitch – A two-minute verbal description of your business. Illustrate the problem you are solving and how your solution will delight customers.

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Investment Strategy for Angels

After participating in a seminar I delivered a couple of years ago, an experienced angel investor commented to me he would never write another check for $250,000 to a single startup.  Instead his new strategy would begin writing checks for $25,000 to $50,000 for many companies.

Rob Wiltank’s study  a few years ago validated what many angels have suspected for

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Motivations of an Angel Investor

The typical angel investor is wealthy and about 60 years old—at a stage in their lives when golf, tennis, cruises, and grandchildren are foremost in their minds. They could easily turn their investment decisions over to a wealth manager. Why would they choose to invest both time and money in startup companies? Why? Because they want to! Ask any angel and you will

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National CleanTech Syndication Kick-off at ACA Summit

The Funding Gap between typical angel rounds ($250-$750K) and average venture round of $7-8 million is really difficult to bridge.   Over the past five years, angel group leaders have found that syndicating deals with neighboring angel groups and other early stage investors has several distinct advantages:

No, I will not sign your non-disclosure agreement.

Entrepreneurs are often surprised when investors refuse to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or confidentiality agreement when offered an opportunity to read the entrepreneurs’ new business plans.  After all, every new startup features secret ideas, partnerships, intellectual property and/or technology.

Follow-on Funding: A Dilemma for Angel Investors

In 2007, Professor Rob Wiltbank reported in Returns to Angel Investors in Groups that angel investors made follow-on investment in about 30% of their invested companies. It was surprising for me to learn that follow-on investments correlated with lower returns, that is, angels that made follow-on angel investments saw returns of 1.4X their investment, while those that did not make

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