In Australia too often Angel Investors have to play the role of a Venture Capitalist for technology startups, given we have only a handful VC funds in Australia with capital for very early stage ventures. (drive around the car park at the end of Sandhill Rd in Silicon Valley and you will find more VC firms than we have in Australia).
We simply don’t have the depth of institution money for this asset class to justify a big field of venture capitalist’s and I believe that between the growth of Angel Investors and Crowdfunding, the Australian Venture Capitalist will become less relevant as time goes on.
Over the years I have been both impressed and dismayed by Angels Investors in Australia. To be clear I am not talking about high tech founders that are putting their exit funds back into new investments, these guys can look after themselves.
I am primarily talking about the Angel with good net wealth probably from the sale of a traditional business or family money or a successful corporate career looking for something interesting and exciting.
Financially astute? Mostly. Experienced in technology startup investments, much less so.
To the Angels credit they are very active and constantly running conferences and pitchfests, on the other from deals that I see they often seem unaware of the risks of very early stage technology companies and the life cycle of a funded tech company.
From my perspective having started my first startup in 1999, I have a good historical perspective and it seems to me that the startup scene and the number of investable startups has grown significantly in the last 5 years.
Due to the efforts of people like Pollenizer, Startmate, Pushstart, Incubate, Innovation Bay, ATP, Sydstart Australia now has a thriving startup scene.
The challenge is that without cash to fund these businesses and only a small venture capital base many of the investable companies will struggle to grow or have to move to the USA to get funding.
So it seems to me that any attempt to educate Angels and expand the base of Angel investors has to be a good thing for both the Angels and for the Australian Startup scene.
Innovation Bay (Ian Gardiner) and Pushstart (Kim Heras, Roger Kermode & John Hains) have joined forces to help educate and grow the base of Angel Investors in Australia by launching the inaugural AngelEd 2013 on Thursday 7th November.
Both these teams have played a significant role in growing the startup scene locally and are now aiming to help grow the investor base in the same way.
If you’ve thought about investing in tech startups but you’re not sure how to, you are not alone. Some of the questions AngelEd aims to answer
- Where do you start?
- Where do you go to find the startups to invest in?
- What do you need to be aware of?
- Is there a science to it?
- How successful are tech angels in Australia and what’s their approach?
- Is angel investing a legitimate asset class worthy of consideration?
If you are not involved in the startup scene on a daily basis, you may find it difficult to get good deal flow.
AngelEd 2013 aims to introduce new Angel investors to the process of investing in high tech startups, getting access to good quality investable deals and minimising the risks of investing while increasing the chances of picking a winning startup.
Why are they doing it?
There are many indicators that point to the fact that there are loads more startups but not enough angels who actively invest, and therefore not enough money to support tech startup innovation.
Put simply, “we are making more, better companies at a rate that exceeds the country’s ability to support and fund their growth”, as identified by Pollenizer based on the Startup Genome Report and Angel Investing Survey finding.
AngelEd aims to build a greater pool of knowledgeable angels to better support our high-tech entrepreneurial community and create more international success stories.
Great list of speakers.
Thursday, 7 November
2.30 – 3.00pm
3.00 – 3.15pm
Welcome and Introduction
Ian Gardiner, Innovation Bay & Kim Heras, PushStart
3.15 – 3.45pm
Angel Investment: Market Update and World Trends
Bill Bartee, Blackbird Ventures
3.45 – 4.45pm
Angel Know How – The Secrets to Success: Learn from seasoned tech investors
3.45pm Andrey Shirben
4.05pm Alison Deans, Netus
4.25pm Luke Carruthers
4.45 – 5.30pm
How to invest it? Funds, syndicates, direct….
- Kate Carruthers (moderator)
- Niki Scevak, StartMate & Blackbird Ventures
- Tony Faure, Chairman – Pollenizer, The Sound Alliance, Torque, Soda Card/Dealised
- Melissa Widner, General Partner & Co-Founder, Seapoint Ventures
- Anthony Pascoe, Angel Investor & Chair, ImageBrief
5.30 – 5.45pm
Short break – tea, coffee, snacks
5.45 – 6.05pm
“A Date with an Angel”: The entrepreneur’s perspective
Dean McEvoy, Co-Founder & ex-CEO, Spreets
6.05 – 6.35pm
Tech Start-up Pitch: Innovation Bay Style
Two tech startups – 5 min pitch followed by panel Q&A
- Ian Gardiner (moderator)
- Brett Kelly, Kelly & Partners
6.35 – 7.00pm
The Dry but Essential: Legal, Tax & Due Diligence Considerations for angel investors
- Legal: Paul Miller, Deutsch Miller
- Tax: Paul Masters, Tax Leader, Deloitte Private
- Due Diligence: Macquarie Private Wealth