This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Part 1 was published Jan. 29, 2020.
The IU Angel Network is the latest evolution of Indiana University’s efforts to provide opportunity and drive innovation among its alumni and community. But how did the idea for the Angel Network come about? And what opportunity does it represent?
Building the IU Angel Network
As a dedicated IU alum, Tedd Green knew that traditional opportunities to support IU as a financial donor aren’t the only ways people want to engage with the university.
“With the IU Angel Network, we wanted to provide alumni a unique way to re-engage with the university. We wanted to provide an opportunity for them to get involved and support IU startup companies, both directly with their personal financial investments and through investments of their time, talent and network connections,” he said.
“Angel investing is critical in the startup community. The IU Angel Network provides an avenue for IU Ventures to introduce interested alumni who are accredited investors to strong IU-affiliated companies for investment and support.”
To create this network, first came the research phase. Green began by learning what other universities were doing to create similar organizations.
“Not many other schools have established angel networks, but we were able to speak with the leaders of a number of successful programs across the country. The insight gained from those conversations helped us see how we could set up our program and innovate on the models we researched.”
At the same time, Green said he learned a lot about securities law and how to establish the program in a compliant manner, along with the specifics of ensuring the IU Angel Network operates within the boundaries of the not-for-profit IU Ventures. Over a few months of due diligence, Green helped the IU Ventures team shape, define and launch the IU Angel Network. He then stepped aside from his role and handed the reins to Jason Whitney, now executive director of the IU Angel Network.
“Jason is absolutely the type of individual who can help members make the most of both the investment opportunities and networking opportunities provided by this organization,” Green said.
Green now serves as an advisory board member for the IU Angel Network and is an active member.
IU Angel Network in 2020
Whitney says his experience with the IU community and startups nationwide has him feeling confident the community will scale quickly.
“One important thing that has stood out to me regardless of what region of the country we are in is the amazing willingness to help,” he said. “Everyone we have wanted to meet with has accepted a meeting. That hospitality has opened additional new doors, introduced us to advisors and mentors, and connected us to additional new venture partners, which all in turn help our portfolio companies to succeed.”
Whitney says the members who are getting in on the founding level of the network will get access to the first round of vetted angel investment opportunities in the coming weeks.
“In Q1 2020, we will begin presenting opportunities for funding and work toward helping to fill out rounds being raised by our partners,” he said. “As we prepare for our first official pitches to the angels, we are preparing a set of executive summaries from our pipeline of potential deals. This will give the angels a chance to indicate interest in verticals and stages of companies so that we can best prepare due diligence documents and better research the companies.”
To learn more about membership in the IU Angel Network, contact Whitney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About IU Ventures
IU Ventures is a Section 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering Indiana University faculty, alumni and friends to support and invest in IU-affiliated innovation. Through three programs (the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, the IU Angel Network and The Quarry), IU Ventures works to provide opportunities for individuals affiliated with IU to network with fellow entrepreneurs; build innovative new businesses; and support growing enterprises through donations, investments, time and talents.
Visit www.iuventures.com for more information.