Frequently asked questions for Investors
An angel investor is a high net worth individual (accredited investor) who provides capital for a business startup, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. In August 202, the Securities and Exchange Commission expanded its definition of accredited investor, allowing more individuals to participate in private equity investing. Angel investors often invest for reasons beyond pure monetary return, including staying abreast of current trends, mentoring entrepreneurs, stimulating local economic development, and satisfying individual entrepreneurial interests.
VisionTech Angels is among the most active angel investing groups in the Midwest with a large, diverse membership, an expanding investment portfolio and growing number of exits. We are looking for individuals who are accredited investors and want to invest a portion of their portfolio into high-potential early-stage companies, but haven’t because they are too busy to find the right companies, may not be familiar with analyzing and structuring investments, or find it difficult to diversify their investment portfolio on their own. Conversely, they do want to be involved in screening and vetting companies prior to investing. If this sounds like you, then we invite you to consider joining VisionTech Angels.
VisionTech Angels gives you access to high-quality deal flow. Each year, we screen more than 400 companies before selecting the 12 to 16 deemed most investable and that get the opportunity to pitch to our group. This helps mitigate risk by exposing you to many pre-qualified deals, vetting these deals using proven best-practices analysis, and pooling resources that enable you to spread your investments over a greater number of promising companies. You also benefit from the experience, insight, and opinions of your fellow VisionTech Angels.
Our expectations for members are:
- Annual membership fee
- Willingness to attend meetings in-person or online and actively contribute to deal assessments
- Ability to make your own decision on whether to invest by leveraging the collective intelligence of our group
- Opportunity to serve on the screening committee that selects pitch companies, participate in the due diligence process of companies being considered for investment or mentor portfolio companies
- Desire to network and have fun participating in the entrepreneurial process
Many people think they have to invest big dollars to be an angel investor. That’s not the case. You decide how much to invest. Many VisionTech Angels invest the minimum in an individual deal–for example, $5,000–with the goal of building a diverse investment portfolio. Of course, if you want to invest $50,000 in a deal, you can.
The VisionTech Angels screening committee reviews more than 400 startup companies a year using stringent criteria. Of these, we select 12 to 16 we deem to offer the most potential for success. This is based on a number of factors like product-market fit, management team, success to date in terms of revenue, and potential for exit.
You are not relying on VisionTech Angels for investment decisions. You are relying on yourself to make good decisions, but with the support of proven due diligence processes and the collective intelligence delivered by the group. As a VisionTech Angel, you will only invest in early-stage companies in which you have personal interest. We facilitate that process by screening and vetting the companies, organizing our group of investors, and exposing you to proven due diligence and investment structure processes. You have the final say on your personal investments. Angel investing is not like buying a lottery ticket; it’s more of an asset class. A study by Roger Wiltbank, an authority on angel investing, determined that having a portfolio of 20 investments gets you 95% confidence of a 2.5x return on your investments.
In addition to the potential to make money, our triple bottom line is the opportunity to share experiences with other VisionTech Angels, mentor promising startup companies and their leadership teams, and impact local economies via job creation.
Of course! Attending a VsionTech Angel pitch event as a guest is the best way to determine if our group is a good fit for you. Our pitch events are held on a bi-monthly basis and are published on our calendar of events. Due to the global pandemic, we offer members a choice of online or in-person pitch events. See our upcoming events here. Please contact our executive director, Ben Pidgeon, to RSVP.
We’re fortunate to have a very vibrant and diverse membership that is committed to the success of VisionTech Angels, fellow investors and our portfolio companies. While each investor brings his or her own knowledge and experience to investment decisions, you should join a group where you—and your input—are welcome.
We fund our operations in these ways:
- Annual membership fees from VisionTech
- Portfolio management fees
- Profit sharing on successful investments
- Corporate sponsorships
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, VisionTech Angels has held our screening committee meetings and due diligence meetings online via Zoom. In addition, our bi-monthly pitch events are offered live online and in-person. Members are encouraged to practice social distancing and wear masks during in-person pitch events. Once this public health crisis has passed, it is our sincere hope to return to more in-person investor and social events.
Frequently asked questions for Startups
We look at early-stage startups with high growth potential in these industries: advanced materials, energy industry hardware, life sciences, SaaS, IoT technology, and supply chain. Please visit our Portfolio Company page to see current investments.
While our primary focus is Indiana and the Midwest, we consider startups from across the country that meet our criteria.
VisionTech actively seeks early stage/early growth companies with high potential. Invitations to pitch to our investors are extended to roughly 16 companies per year that have gone through our rigorous screen process. If you would like to start the process, we encourage you to submit your business plan.
The VisionTech screening committee uses the following criteria when evaluating which companies to invite to pitch to our angel investing network:
- Product-market fit
- Management team
- Company profile
- Financial summary
- Financial forecast
- Information regarding your business and industry
Each year, VisionTech’s Screening Committee reviews more than 80 startups that would like to pitch to our angel investing network. After a rigorous screening process, roughly 16 are invited to pitch. Don’t let the rigor of our process keep you from applying. If you are not selected the first time you apply, we offer positive feedback and you can come back to our screening committee when your company has progressed and apply again. This is the path one of our portfolio companies, PhotoniCare, took and they are now doing very well.
VisionTech hosts five bi-monthly pitch events each year, starting in February. In 2020, we offered a combination of virtual and live pitch events, which worked extremely well. We will continue this format in 2021.
Companies invited to pitch to VisionTech’s angel investing network are expected to participate in two pitch events, one in-person event in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a second live online event the same week. CEOs are given roughly 30 minutes for their presentation, supported by a pitch deck, followed by Q&A from our investors. We conduct our virtual events using Zoom and the process is simple and seamless.
Many but not all pitch companies secure an investment from VisionTech Angels. Immediately following the pitch events, our members complete surveys to determine if there is enough interest in investing to move to the next step, due diligence. Keep in mind, each individual investor decides if he or she will invest and how much to invest. Typically, we must have a minimum weighted interest of $100,000 to proceed to due diligence. The total amount invested can range from $150,000 to $500,00 based on investor interest.
Yes. We often invest with other angel investing groups from across the country as well as state entities like Elevate Ventures. You can find details on our common co-investing partners here.
Yes. It is not uncommon to do follow-on investments in our portfolio companies as they scale.
In 2020, we switched to a virtual online format for the first six months and then added a live, in-person event in Fort Wayne, Indiana. At this time, we plan to continue this format.