This course will introduce you to the angel/venture capital (VC) model of private equity investing, including the foundational terminology and concepts you need to know as an investor in early-stage businesses. It will also explore some of the other financial structures you can use to invest in companies that are not traded on the public markets. Investment opportunities for both accredited and non-accredited investors will be discussed. By highlighting the racial and gender biases that currently exist in venture capital, the course also shows why it is so important for women and minorities to consider participating in this asset class. And it encourages you to explore how you could use this asset class to deepen the values-alignment of your portfolio.
The Angel Investing course is a 3-part series that will be supported by monthly Circle discussions, as well as monthly Ask the Expert sessions with Nancy Hayes, the course creator, and/or other experienced angel investors. Between the Ask the Expert sessions, participants can utilize Mighty Networks to engage with experienced angels, who will be monitoring – and responding to – questions on that platform.
After the course is completed, Nancy will conduct a special live Zoom webinar in which she will train participants on how to evaluate a company presentation or “pitch deck.” Participants will review and evaluate several decks together.
By the end of the course, you will:
- Understand how angel investors and venture investors make money, and how investors determine whether a company is fundable
- Recognize terms like follow-on rounds, liquidity event, exit, cap table, and term sheets; and have a high-level understanding of what they do and why they are important
- Be familiar with the different ways in which you can get involved in as an angel investor
- Have a sense of whether this type of investing is right for you, and how much you might want to invest in this asset class if it interests you
- Know where you can find the resources and support you need to take next steps
Prerequisites & Level of Effort
Completion of Invest for Better’s Core Curriculum or prior experience in values-aligned investing is recommended
Monthly Commitment: 3 – 3.5 hours
Approximately 1 – 2 hours of homework is required prior to each meeting, which are expected to last about 1.5 hours. Homework consists of a combination of reading and videos, the latter being particularly important. Although we are making the PowerPoint deck that Nancy uses in her videos available, we strongly suggest that you watch the videos and use the decks as reference material because Nancy provides much more information and clarity with her words than you will be able to garner from the slides alone. For those who want to go deeper more quickly, a few books are recommended as ancillary materials.
- Meeting 1: Introduction to Venture Investing
The first session of this course provides a high-level overview of the most common model of angel/venture capital (VC) investing. It explains how the model works, how you make money, and what angels and VCs look for when they are considering an investment opportunity. You will discover what it takes to be successful as a classic angel in terms of the growth trajectories of the businesses you support, the number of investments you should make, and the process you need to pursue. The session will also explain why it is important for women to consider putting some of their money to work in private investments, assuming they feel comfortable doing so and understand both the risks and rewards of this asset class.
- Meeting 2: Mechanics of Angel Investing
There is a lot of information in this session about the mechanics of angel/VC investing and the financial considerations that go into making an investment decision. In her video, Nancy explains critically important concepts like term sheets, valuations, and cap tables. These are structures that can take months, if not years, to fully understand. So, don’t worry if you feel a bit overwhelmed by the material in the video. You do not need to come away from this session grasping all of these structures. Our goal is to simply introduce them, so they are not completely foreign to you.
- Meeting 3: How to Get Started as an Angel Investor
This last session of this course provides you with details of the different routes you can take as an angel investor. The session explores crowdfunding, angel groups, syndicates, and fund structures. It also introduces you to some of the alternative financing structures that are emerging to help start-up enterprises build their business without having to grow at a rapid scale or seek an exit. These structures include revenue-based lending and more patient forms of debt and equity.
After this course concludes, there will be a special session led by Nancy Hayes, the course creator, on evaluating a pitch deck. This is a not-to-miss session for anyone who is interested in taking the next steps as an angel investor and wants expert insight into the first steps in the due diligence process.
Nancy Hayes has decades of business experience that spans from corporate to start-ups. She started her career at IBM in the 1970s and was there almost 20 years, rising to become General Manager, Operations, Worldwide Sales & Services. From there, Nancy jumped into start-up world, becoming CEO of a few non-profit ventures, one of which developed products and services to help seriously ill children cope and another that enriched the lives of seniors, especially low-income elderly. More than a decade ago, Nancy got involved in angel investing. First, by co-founding a rewards-based crowdfunding platform and then later by becoming the Managing Director of Golden Seeds, a women-led angel investing group. Today Nancy leads NKH Group, through which she provides entrepreneurship and leadership training and support. Nancy is an active angel investor, having invested in more than 30 companies that are led by women or founders of color.
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