December 12, 2023

Unlocking Financial Growth: Access to the Information Needed to Become an Informed Angel Investor

If you are newly in a position to invest and want to add early-stage companies to your portfolio, I believe there has never been a better time to explore the asset class. Next spring, Forge North and TechTown Detroit will come together to provide you with the information you need to start investing in promising entrepreneurs and the companies they are building.

TechTown Detroit’s Catalyst Angel Program helps emerging angel investors in the Great Lakes Region gain knowledge about angel investing, engage in curated courses through partner organizations, and connect with other investors in local and national angel communities.

The trainings from TechTown will be entirely virtual. In-person options will help participants get to know one another and connect with others interested in investing in early-stage ventures.

You can sign up here by January 15, 2024: Catalyst Angel Program Interest Form

It’s clear we are entering a season of economic opportunities, fueled by breakthroughs in technology and lowered barriers to entry for driven builders and investors.

However, navigating this landscape requires a nuanced understanding of the risks and rewards of angel investing. Wealth advisors, accountants, attorneys, and other strategic financial advisors often emphasize the risks associated with this type of investment, leading many to opt for more traditional asset classes, such as real estate and stock investing. While their concerns are valid, this approach may cause investors like you to overlook the significant rewards of participating in the startup ecosystem.

That’s not to say angel investing is not without its risks. As with any other asset class, from real estate to the stock market, risks of loss exist—but the potential rewards are considerable. Engaging in this field offers more than financial gains; it provides opportunities for deepening personal and professional networks.

Building relationships with other investors, mentors, and industry leaders is a crucial element in mitigating the inherent risks of angel investing. These connections facilitate new insights, collaborative opportunities, and a deeper understanding of emerging business trends.

The good news is, Minnesota is at the forefront of several cutting-edge sectors, each offering unique investment opportunities with an active community of founders and investors:

  • FinTech: Revolutionizing financial services through technology.
  • AgTech: Applying technological advancements to agriculture.
  • MedTech: Innovating in healthcare with new technologies.
  • SportsTech: Enhancing sports performance and engagement through tech solutions.
  • ManufacturingTech: Transforming manufacturing processes with automation and smart technology.
  • AI: Opportunities at the intersection of incorporating artificial intelligence across various industries for enhanced efficiency and innovation, one area I’m paying close attention to.

Having personally experienced the TechTown program, I can attest to the invaluable and actionable information it provides. The courses included in the program are diverse, covering a range of topics. While some of these topics were a refresher for me, all of them sparked great discussions and provided an opportunity to meet others interested in capitalizing on the opportunities in front of us. The following courses will be offered from 4-6pm, and will be recorded:

  1. Jan 24 - Fundamentals of Angel Investing: An introduction to the basics of startup investing.
  2. Jan 30 - Risks in Angel Investing: A comprehensive look at managing risks in early-stage investments.
  3. Feb 6 - Angel Returns and Portfolio Strategy: Learning strategies to optimize investment returns.
  4. Feb 13 - Due Diligence Course: Mastering the art of evaluating potential investments.
  5. Feb 27 - Term Sheet Basics: Understanding the intricacies of investment agreements.
  6. March 5 - Valuation Course: Developing skills in accurately valuing startups.

Optional advanced courses include:

  • March 12 - Startup Exits: Understanding the endgame of angel investing, focusing on exit strategies and how to maximize returns.
  • March 14 - Advanced Course on Capitalization Tables: Gaining insights into company ownership structures and their impact on investments.
  • March 19 - Startup Board Basics: Fundamentals of governance in startup boards.
  • March 26 - Startup Boards in Action: Advanced strategies for effective board participation.

This program, offered at no cost through a partnership between Forge North and TechTown Detroit, is an exceptional opportunity for those looking to diversify their investment portfolios or take steps to build generational wealth.

Investors consider a startup case study. Photo Credit - Marie LePage

Enrolling in this program not only equips you with crucial knowledge but also instills the confidence you’ll need to work with advisors effectively and make informed decisions about your investment strategy. You will also gain the insights required to ask the right questions when exploring specific opportunities.

For these reasons and more, join us this spring to become a part of Minnesota’s dynamic startup investment ecosystem.

Sign up here by January 15: Catalyst Angel Program Interest Form

Let’s build.

The fall 2023 Catalyst cohort was made possible through the sponsorship of BMO. We are grateful for the dollars and the lean-in from BMO team members who helped our community learn together.