Angel Knowledge Series
    Best Practices in
    Growing Your Angel Group

    • Revolution Capital, Jacquelyn Hunter
    • Centennial Investors, Quinten Messbarger
    • Gopher Angels, David Russick
    • Maine Angels, Sandra Stone
    • Shoals Angel Network, Bud Ward
    • Tech Coast Angels, Steve Flaim
    Moderator: Michael Price, CEO Ventures


    A. Leveraging Members.
      1) Update list of all past members and personally contact each.
      2) Recruitment open house each member expected to brings potentials to.
      3) Offer dues rebate or incentives to members for recruiting others.
      4) Offer a dues rebate if a threshold reached.
      5) At each meeting evaluation form include line to recommend new members.
      6) Ask each member to send in 5 new member recommendations (twice/year).
      7) On retention, involve more members in screening & diligence to build involvement.

    B. Marketing/Networking.
      1) Email to local Founders/CEOs inviting them to a meeting, orientation or workshop.
      2) Email to local attorneys and CPAs asking for referrals and invite to a meeting.
      3) Build relationships with local wealth management firms and invite to a meeting. (also a good source of sponsorships).
      4) Network key local association meetings: (Association for Corporate Growth), (The Indus Entreprenuers), Chamber, and local university business functions and mixers which tend to attract angels.
      5) University alumn through MBA program, entrepreneurship program and business degree directors.

    C. Events that Drive Recruitment.
      1) Hold a morning, afternoon or evening BizPlan Pitch Competition with members as judges both local CEO/leader associations and your local universities to promote it to their students, benefactors and members.
      2) Workshop on an angel topic of interest hosted/led by a lead local law firm with invites sent to all their clients/prospects (ie. morning, lunch or afterwork session on "How To's" that would attract angels such as "How to Champion and Close an Angel Deal" etc).
      3) Host a Showcase and have your most promising portfolio companies present; distribute invites to key local association meetings,,, Chamber, and local university business functions and mixers which tend to attract angels. Also include press invites (Terrence Hicks, Minority Angel Investor Network).
      4) Year-end-in-review dinner at which we review the past year and set some goals for the coming year. We also use it as an effective invitation opportunity (Joel Wiggins, Mid-America Angels).
      5) Host an educational event on an interesting angel topic such as your state's Angel Tax Credits or How to Identify Quality Early Stage Companies.
      6) Volunteer speakers or a panel from the group's membership for all local entrepreneurial/VC/related events and conferences.
      7) Host ACA-Kauffman educational events.
      8) volunteer to judge or advise business competitions - great networking.

    D. Press to Drive Recruitment.
      1) For every successful exit (or next growth round), be sure to get press/news coverage which would include info about your group (Joel Wiggins, Mid-America Angels).
      2) Get local newspaper coverage about one of your portfolio companies (ideally each quarter or more often) which would naturally include info about your group (Barbara Boxer, Women Angels-Miami).
      3) Develop relationships with local media who will publicize group's activities and press releases (Matt Dunbar, Upstate Angels).
      4) Be available to talk with media as needed.
      5) Invite media to attend presentation meetings - further relationship but also lends credibility to what group does.

    E. Recruitment Positioning.
      1) In the recruitment interview, to emphasize the value of the group and deal flow be sure to mention that angels should look at their effort as building a portfolio of 10 companies (or more), not investing in a few they hear about from friends (Edward Engler, Pittsburgh Equity Partners).
      2) Be sure to have a "Clear Mission"to better recruit/attract new angels who are a good fit and can be retained with proper expectations (John Currie, FSI Angel Network).
      3) As a member recruitment benefit offer educational white papers or seminars (Edward Engler, Pittsburgh Equity Partners).
      4) Each formal meeting has an educational component (ie MN Angel Tax credit, current state of technology sector and future trends).

    F. Ancillary Revenue.
      1) Seek an exclusive sponsorship for each of several categories: local transaction law firm, wealth manager, valuation firm. & CPA.
      2) Allow an institutional membership category for local venture firms and family offices.

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