Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Starting an Angel Network at Your University—Some Key Lessons

I’m glad to say the Baylor Angel Network is up and running and running dealflow. We have over 10 members already signed up with another 10 in the works and we’re reviewing deals in preparation for our first dealflow meeting at the end of this month. It’s great to see the acceptance of the group but then again, in these economic times how many new angel groups are forming and bringing fresh capital to the table.

I’ve learned a great deal about how to start an angel network in a university setting. The first lesson is to get sponsorship by a well-respected faculty member. In Baylor’s case Bill Petty who the National Entrepreneurship award last year serves as our anchor. The second lesson is to get two to five alumni backing the idea and promoting. In Baylor’s case, Robert Brewton and Pat Horner championed the idea and encouraged their compatriots in the alumni association to join. The third lesson is to get buy-in to the idea from the university’s legal department. They don’t let just anyone use the name and colors of the university.

An angel network is a great way for an alumnus to give back to the university. In addition to investing funds, the angel member can also invest time and expertise in deals that come out of the university.

If you know anyone who wants to foster an angel group at their university, please let me know as I can share with you my experiences.

Best regards,
Hall T.

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