2015 Angel Capital Association Summit Recap

This year, I made the trek out to San Diego to attend my first Angel Capital Association (ACA) Summit.  Here is a brief recap of some of the main themes of events, workshops, and keynotes I was able to attend.

First some background on ACA and the Angel Investor Class:
The ACA is an industry trade group of individual angel investors, angel funds, and family offices that help promote angel investing through education, best practices, certification, and public policy.  They have been around for about 10 years and are one of the most influential groups around early stage and seed stage investing in startups.

One of the things that angels strive to do is to better their local economy by helping to create sustainable business by providing very early stage investment into companies.  Through their backing of entrepreneurs in starting companies, angels are one of the primary sources for creating new job creation in the country….

If You Take Ohio Third Frontier Money, Be Ready to Find a New Source

Its official, the Ohio Third Frontier has about two years of money to hand out and that’s not good for organizations that have spend a vast majority of their efforts in building programs and hiring staff for the sole purpose of looking good for the Third Frontier RFPs.  The incubator apocalypse, or ‘bator-ocalyspe, might be right around the corner for Ohio.  But, is that really a bad thing to see the seven regional technology incubation hubs reduce their scope because of their funding getting cut by up to 50%?

My argument is that its not bad at all….

Why SunDown is Raising a Fund

SunDown is moving into some uncharted territory.  Just recently, SunDown has created SunDown Fund I, LLC with the purpose of raising a small risk capital fund for very early stage companies.  After about eight months of research, SunDown has identified a major gap in funding in Ohio  – namely the true seed capital needed by entrepreneurs that have bootstrapped their idea so far, but need a little extra cash and talent to make it past their first major milestone.

The good part, if you can say that about a funding gap, is that VentureOhio has identified the same kind of funding gap in Ohio, so we have some third-party validation that this problem does indeed exist.  As a matter of fact, VentureOhio has identified more than a $500M shortfall for all start-ups seeking early stage investments (seed, angel, Series A, etc.) in Ohio.  This is a bad thing, since it forces home grown start-ups to seek funding elsewhere and move out of state – bad for job growth, bad for the economy, bad for Ohio….

Save An Old Airport Terminal, Create a Business Incubator

The original Port Columbus Administration Building and Terminal, that was build in 1929 and part of the Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) system, is in serious danger of being lost forever.  This facility has been sitting vacant and neglected for over eight years, has a serious roof leak, and mold damage.  Estimates put the project around $2.5 million to do a total gut and restoration back to its original splendor.  Many want to see a museum go into the space, but potential backers know one significant thing about museums – they tend to not make very much money.

That’s where we come in. I’d like to introduce you to Flight Deck – a coworking, incubation, and event space with a focus on transportation, logistics, and aerospace.  The goal is to bring to bear the talent and resources needed to grow and graduate companies into the local market to create sustainable, high-paying, and high-tech jobs.  When utilized at 80%, the facility will have 100 people working on their projects and startups at any given time and as companies graduate from the incubator, 10 to 15 new net jobs being created in market.  One of the existing features of this facility is the ability to use it as an event and pop-up restaurant space – giving restaurateurs a spot to test concepts before launching into market….

Why startups are going to change the world – Infographic

The younger the companies are, the more jobs they create, regardless of their size. That’s the conclusion of a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. In this study, which relies on data from the Census Bureau, the authors confirm that smaller companies created more jobs than larger companies during 1992-2005.

Modis just released a new infographic showing why startups are “going to change the world.”  Its infographic provides the following details about the dynamic effect of startups globally:

What is a startup?
How startups are recruiting candidates.
6 startup case studies.
The economic impact of startups.
How startups are changing the workplace….

Angel investments surge in the Midwest

The Great Lakes region tops the nation in angel investments for Q1 2014, according to The Halo Report. The new study reveals that more than 24 percent of total US angel investments  in dollars occurred in the Great Lakes region of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.  This compares to 16.7% of total dollar invested in California and 10.9% in New York state.

Total dollars invested by region. Courtesy The Halo Report.

The Halo Report is produced by the Angel Resource Institute and Silicon Valley Bank. The Halo Report™ provides analysis and trends on US angel and angel group activity. This report discusses angel group investment trends for Q1 2014, which represents a
total of 170 deals and $228M in total rounds including co-investors….

Mid-Year Update About SunDown RunDown

Lots of great things have been happening with SunDown RunDown for the 1st half of 2014.  We have five chapters around Ohio, a partnership with Innovate New Albany, expansion of our cowork network, working with CiviHacks for WearGood and working with COSI and Columbus Idea Foundry on the Mini Maker Faire in October.  We are also in the final stages of getting our private placement memo handed off and signed off by our legal team for us to start raising for our fund.  We also have some great opportunities coming together on developing a coworking and incubator space.  As we grow, we have also had a great number of people from the community step forward to help and serve on committees or in a leadership position within SunDown RunDown….

The “Official” Drink of SunDown RunDown – The SunDown RUMDown

The fine folks at Figg’s Liquid Innovations developed a mighty tasty beverage with their Figg’s Hot Apple Pie mixer called the SunDown RUMDown.  Catchy, right?

If you want to make this drink at home, here is what you are going to need to make it happen.

Figg’s Hot Apple Pie Cocktail Mix
Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum (or other rum variety)
Cranberry Juice (fresher the better)
Sprite (7-up, Sierra Mist, or other lemon-lime soda)
A Cocktail Shaker
A tall glass
Ice
Assortment of fruit garnishes (totally optional)…