Published in the Idaho Statesman Business Insider, August 20, 2014
The Boise Angel Alliance (www.boiseangelalliance.com) is ten years old. It was formed under the leadership of Mary Andrews, who at the time was working with the Idaho Department of Commerce after positions in private equity and venture capital. Mary had a vision that local people could come together to provide capital to local entrepreneurs. She is now the Director of Economic Development for Boise State, and was just elected president of the Boise Angel Alliance for the second time after an eight-year hiatus.
Today more than 100 individuals belong to the Alliance; nineteen local companies have received more than $2 million in equity capital, and those companies employee more than 400 people in the Treasure Valley.
Angels invest first of all to help the local economy, but returns are important also. Here the record is not complete. We ultimately have to sell our investments to know our returns. We continue to hold positions in seventeen of the nineteen companies. One was sold for a substantial profit; one went bankrupt and we lost our entire investment. It will be another five years or so before we can really begin to assess our investment returns.
We know this, however. Entrepreneurs continue to need capital. Members of the Alliance just finished raising capital for our third angel fund. Known as the Capitol City Angel Fund, it now has approximately $1 million of fresh capital available to invest in local start-ups.
Our process is thorough and takes time. We are appropriate for only a small portion of startups in the Treasure Valley. Information our criteria and application process is on the Alliance web site under the tab Entrepreneur.
Most successful applicants will work with one of the many service providers in the valley to prepare their applications and their pitches. We recently provided training to local resource providers in our process and criteria. A list of trained resource providers is listed under the tab Resources. We strongly recommend entrepreneurs seeking capital from us consult with one or more of these trained service providers.
In addition to making capital available to the entrepreneurial community, the Alliance works to enable local individuals who have the financial capacity to invest to do so using best practices. We generally meet monthly to listen to investment pitches. We have three standing committees that do initial deal screening, consider follow-on investments in companies where we have already made an investment, and to review deals proposed by other angel groups in the northwest. When we are considering an investment, we form a due diligence team to look into the entrepreneur and the company, and to report back to the entire group.
The Alliance invites people interested in learning angel investment practices to apply to join us. The Membership fee is $500 per year. Members are invited to attend all general and committee meetings, and to participate in our education program.
Information on membership is available from the web site under the tab Investors.