By LAURA LOREK
Reporter with Silicon Hills News
Investment dollars are not.
But Startup Angels, based in Washington, D.C., is trying to change that. And Leslie Jump, its founder, is coming to Austin next week to do a workshop to train high-net worth individuals how to be angel investors.
Startup Angels’ mission is to increase the number of startup investors and the amount of capital available in communities like Austin and across the country and world. The three-year-old organization will host a workshop at Capital Factory on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning to guide aspiring investors into becoming angel investors. The workshop is going to be a lot of fun, Jump said. It features original storytelling, in-depth research, tools and technology along with pitches from local startups and a roster of expert speakers.
More than 30 million people in the U.S. qualify to be angel investors, Jump said. Yet only about 325,000 individuals are angel investors. Startup Angels want to raise the number of investors by 2018 to more than one million.
“What we are trying to do is take a run at a major missed opportunity in most markets,” Jump said. “There are a relatively small number of angel investors vs. the number that could be angel investors. There are lots of smart people in Austin that have the capital and have the background but even though technology is prevalent across the city they might not know how to get plugged into it. That’s the role we are trying to play.”
Startup Angels is the place to come to learn how to be a smart investor and where to go to get started, Jump said.
Earlier this year, Startup Angels partnered with Google for Entrepreneurs to accelerate startup investing worldwide. This is the organization’s first time coming to Austin. It did a workshop in Dallas two years ago, Jump said.
The event’s speakers include Joshua Baer, founder of Capital Factory and angel investor, Tom Brown with Silicon Hills Wealth Management, Doreen Lorenzo with the University of Texas at Austin, Shawn Abboud, angel investor, Juliana Garaizar with the Houston Angel Network, Preston James with DivInc, Shari Wynne Ressler with SKU, Claire England, executive director of the Central Texas Angel Network, Evan Kastner and Paul Huggins with KHRG, Jump and Mack Kolarich with Startup Angels and Josh Kerr with Amazon.
Startup Angels recommend that angel investors invest in a minimum of 20 companies for a good return, Jump said. Today, those investments can range in size greatly, she said. Crowdfunding platforms allow angel investors to write smaller checks, she said.
Accredited investors have $1 million in assets not including their house or $250,000 in annual income. But equity-based crowdfunding platforms now allow anyone to invest in companies.
Startup Angels is doing conferences and workshops in ten markets domestically and internationally this year. There’s still time to sign up for next week’s workshop. Tickets costs $250.