What is Angel Investing?

"An angel is a high net-worth individual who invests his or her own money in start-up companies in exchange for an equity share of the businesses. ACA recommends that entrepreneurs work with investors who are accredited investors (who meet requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission) and who can add value to the company via high quality mentoring and advice. Other important things to know about angels include:

  • Many angels are former entrepreneurs themselves.
  • They make investments in order to gain a return on their money, to participate in the entrepreneurial process, and often to give back to their communities by catalyzing economic growth.
  • Angels make a return on their investment when the entrepreneur successfully grows the business and exits it, generally through a sale or merger.
  • The Center for Venture Research estimates that U.S. angel investors invested $24.1 billion in about 73,000 small businesses in 2014. Many of the investments were in start-up or very early-stage companies.
  • Angels tend to invest in companies that are located near them regionally (or to co-invest in a wider geography if a local investor they know and trust is involved)."

        -Angel Capital Association

Read: The Basics (Angel Resource Institute)
Read: Angel Investing 101 (Seraf)

Webinar: What Makes an Investable Company?
Speaker: Susan Preston, Angel Resource Institute.

Webinar: Top 10 Things You Need To Know Before Your First Investment
Speaker: Troy Knauss, President and Board member, Angel Resource Institute.

Webinar: What Angel Investors Can Expect For Returns
Slide Presentation
Speaker: Rob Wiltbank, CEO of Galios, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Willamette University and author of 2007 Returns to Angel Investors in Groups.

Webinar: Impact Investing: Doing Well By Doing Good
Slide Presentation
Moderator: Tanya Prive, Co-Founder and CEO Onevest
Panelists: Bonny Moellenbrock, Exective Director, Investors’ Circle, Michael “Luni” Libes, Founder and Managing Director of Fledge Accelerator and Kick pre-accelerator.


As an investor in startups or an entrepreneur seeking investments, understanding the investment process can increase your ability to be successful. In either role, you can play a critical role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem that has made this nation—and many other nations—more prosperous. You have probably heard about the risks of investing—that the vast majority of startups go out of business, leaving a lot of investors high and dry. The Kauffman Foundation, the Angel Capital Association, and the Angel Resource Institute designed this course to reflect everything they have learned from watching thousands of angel investors succeed and fail over the last fifteen years. They’ve broken down everything They’ve learned into five basic questions you have to know the answers to before making or seeking your first investment.


Download the Full Report

Portland, OR (March 9, 2016) – The Angel Resource Institute at Willamette University (ARI) released the 2015 Annual ARI Halo Report today, a national survey of angel group investment activity sponsored by PitchBook. Vice Chairman of Research Rob Wiltbank, PhD unveiled the annual review at a special Q&A luncheon at Pitchbook Headquarters in Seattle this morning. “We have seen both round size and valuations continue to grow in 2015, though angels will be glad to note that the percentage of investor ownership has remained relatively stable over the past four years. We are excited to continue tracking these trends through 2016 to see if this growth continues.”

Back to Table of Contents

How to Build a Portfolio

Read: Build An Angel Portfolio Like the Experts (Forbes)
Read: How Successful Angel Investors Allocate Assets (Seraf)

Webinar: How To Build A Great Angel Portfolio
Slide Presentation
Moderator: John Huston, Ohio Tech Angels
Speakers: David S. Rose, Founder and CEO, Gust; Dan Rosen, President, Alliance of Angels.

Webinar: Practical Strategies for Diversifying Your Portfolio
Slide Presentation
Speakers: Rob Wiltbank, Angel Resource Institute, Willamette University, Matthew Le Merle, Keiretsu Forum

Due Diligence

Read: Due Diligence (Angel Resource Institute)

Webinar: Best Practices in Deal Screening
Slide Presentation
Speaker: Christopher Mirabile, Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group in Boston, ACA Board Member.

Webinar: Perform Due Diligence Like the Pros
Slide Presentation
Speakers: Barbara Clarke of Astia Angels and Wendee Wolfson of New Dominion Angels.

Read: A Guide To Angel Investing Documents: Preferred Stock Deals (Seraf)
Watch: Introduction to Reading Financial Statements (Rising Tide)
Watch: Introduction to Term Sheets (Rising Tide)

Read: Tax Tips Every Angel Investor Should Know (Forbes)

Managing Your Portfolio

How to Get Your Money Out

Read: Stop the Merry-Go-Round, I Want to Get Off: An Introduction to Angels and Exits (Seraf)

Watch: Improving Returns for Angels and Entrepreneurs (Basil Peters)

Webinar: Seven Exits: Lessons Learned For Angels, Entrepreneurs and Deal Facilitators
Slide Presentation
Speaker: Dušan Stojanovic, European Angel of the Year 2013, Founder and Director of True Global Ventures.

Webinar: Structuring Exits for Competitive Returns
Slide Presentation
Speakers: David Gitlin, Emerging Technology Practice Co-Leader, Greenberg Traurig LP; Alexandra LaForge, Director of Strategic Programs, Investors' Circle; Dave Bisson, CEO Big City Farms; Aner Ben-Ami, Managing Director, Pi Investments.



Written by David S. Rose, the founder of Gust—the global platform that powers the world of organized professional angel investing—Angel Investing is a comprehensive, entertaining guide that walks readers through every step of the way to becoming a successful angel investor. It is illustrated with stories from among the 90+ companies in which David has invested during a 25 year career as one of the world’s most active business angels and includes instructions on how to get started, how to find and evaluate opportunities, and how to pursue and structure investments to maximize your returns. 

More Information

How to be an Angel Investor (Video)

Subscribe to the Investor Email Newsletter

* indicates required