Indiana University alumni, students, faculty and other supporters who have an interest in early-stage venture investing but do not meet the Securities and Exchange Commission’s parameters to be an accredited investor can apply for the IU Angel Network’s newly established educational membership level.
The new membership level allows nonaccredited investors to engage in network activities and participate in pitches, although they will not be able to actually invest. It also gives individuals who are accredited by the SEC — but are not looking to actively invest — the opportunity to share their expertise during network activities.
Jason Whitney, executive director of the IU Angel Network, said creating the membership level addresses issues for potential angel investors who are not yet accredited.
“By not being accredited, many aspiring investors miss out on the educational aspects of angel investing, including the review of term sheets, discussions around investment options and the due-diligence questions asked of the founders in order to make an informed investment decision,” Whitney said.
“This lack of exposure to working on deals extends the timeline to success at the point when someone does begin to qualify as an accredited investor.”
Creating the educational membership level also benefits the Angel Network.
“In addition to providing these members with access to the education and experience necessary to be an effective early-stage investor, the overall network benefits by being able to tap into the knowledge sets and personal networks of these newly added partners,” Whitney said.
Danielle Mantich is a 2018 graduate of the IU Kelley School of Business. She is an equities private markets analyst in New York and is among the first IU alumni to participate with IU Angel Network at the educational membership level.
Mantich said she had been seeking a way to become involved in the intersection of entrepreneurship and financial markets. She explored the IU alumni community to find available connections.
“It took only a few minutes into an introductory call with Jason Whitney to feel deeply aligned with the core mission of the Angel Network,” Mantich said. “I knew that I wanted to find some way to be part of it, irrespective of age and experience in the industry.”
Mantich said the educational membership has been “nothing short of an incredibly rewarding experience.”
“I’m excited to continue sitting in on the startup pitches during the Zoom meetings. They are orienting me to the investment nomenclature and process,” Mantich said.
“Looking to the individuals with compounded experience in this industry and whom I hope to emulate, I am building muscle memory for identifying and performing due diligence on opportune investments.”
Mantich said IU Ventures provides a nucleus for connecting student, alumni and investment veterans to the university’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“It feels incredibly special to be part of the first inning of an exceptional program whose mandate is to teach, grow, develop and invest in Hoosiers of all types,” Mantich said.
IU-affiliated individuals can learn more about the IU Angel Network’s educational membership level by visiting the application page. Applicants will be contacted to discuss their interest in joining the network and provided additional information.
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