The Seraf Compass

Key US Federal Tax Issues for Angel Investors

The Seraf Compass

As we all know, the United States IRS tax code is extremely complex. Because the code includes some provisions directly affecting angel investing, understanding the tax rules is important for US-based angel investors. There are significant tax savings for angel investors who understand the rules

Angel Investing in Challenging Times

The Seraf Compass

It’s amazing how the world economic situation changed seemingly overnight with Covid-19. One moment we were enjoying a healthy economy with a robust outlook on the future. Suddenly, a pandemic crisis sweeps over the globe creating uncertainty in all aspects of our lives.

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Rule #1 in Angel Investing - It’s All About the Team

The Seraf Compass

Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Living in the Boston/Cambridge area, we are surrounded by some of the most innovative researchers in the world working at institutions like MIT and Harvard.

Fine Print: Understanding Key Deal Terms and How They Can Affect Your Returns

The Seraf Compass

It’s exciting news! The CEO of one of your investments tells you that a buyer expressed serious interest in acquiring her company for $30M.

ABCs of Data Normalization for B2B Marketers

Data normalization. It’s not a far stretch to suggest that the topic isn’t exactly what gets marketers excited in their day-to-day workflow. However, if lead generation, reporting, and measuring ROI is important to your marketing team, then data normalization matters - a lot. In this eBook, we’ll break down the ins and outs of data normalization and review why it’s so critical for your marketing strategies and goals!

Staging Capital: Angel Follow-on Theory

The Seraf Compass

Most startup companies have a continuous need for funds to help grow the business. You will hear the term “Follow-on” as a frequent catchphrase for this type of investing. For example, it’s common to hear one investor say to another, are you planning on “following-on” in this round?

Not My Cup of Tea - Some Business Types Are A Better Fit for Angels

The Seraf Compass

Why do web and software businesses seem to get investment traction while real, down-to-earth business and manufacturing-intensive companies flounder to raise capital? It has to do with the type of investor model involved. The investor model has to match the type of company

Convertible Notes: Good or Evil?

The Seraf Compass

One of the most controversial topics in the startup community relates to the issue of investing through convertible notes vs. investing through preferred stock. Much has been written about this topic for the past decade, and the debate continues to rage in the blogosphere even today.

What's Your Core Investing Philosophy?

The Seraf Compass

Seraf Co-Founder Christopher Mirabile interviews several experienced angel investors from around the country to ask: What's Your Core Investing Philosophy?

Spade Work: How Early Stage Board Directors Add Value

The Seraf Compass

Over the past few years, there has been much talk about the importance of investing both financial and human capital into the rapidly expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem. From our perspective, human capital is as important as financial capital in driving the long term success of startup companies.

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Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

Angel 201: 4 Critical Skills Every Angel Investor Should Master

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Angel investing started to break into the mainstream in popular American culture in the early 2000s. It started with stories of individuals striking it rich from investments in companies like eBay, Yahoo, PayPal and Google.

Scavenger Hunt: What To Look For In A Pitch Deck

The Seraf Compass

Deciding whether to invest in a good idea is hard. Even when its potential is clearly explained. Trying to make that evaluation without a solid explanation is an exercise in needless frustration.

Impact Investing: Best Reads and Podcasts

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Whether you are an experienced impact investor or just starting to explore the space, reading and listening to experts' perspectives can help expand your knowledge and provide new insights.

Oxygen, Aspirin or Jewelry: Which Makes a Better Investment?

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Entrepreneurs fall in love with their products. It’s no surprise… their product is their idea and as they nurture it, it becomes like a child to them, and who doesn’t love their child!?

The 2019 Technographic Data Report for B2B Sales Organizations

In this report, ZoomInfo substantiates the assertion that technographic data is a vital resource for sales teams. In fact, the majority of respondents agree—with 72.3% reporting that technographic data is either somewhat important or very important to their organization. The reason for this is simple—sales teams value technographic data because it makes essential selling activities easier and more efficient.

Key Risks of Angel Investing

The Seraf Compass

? Early stage investing is an inherently risky way to invest. The list of high level risks is long and includes financing risk, technical risk, and market risk. As angel investors, you need to be aware of the key risks you are taking with your investment

How to Apply the 3 P's to Selecting Angel Investments

The Seraf Compass

The first approach we recommend for selecting investable companies is to screen each company by examining the Team, Market Opportunity and Product. That’s a great way to sift through hundreds of companies to find the few diamonds in the rough. But for serious angels with more solid prospects than they can possibly invest in, a second filter is needed

Look Before You Leap - The Importance of Due Diligence In Angel Investing

The Seraf Compass

? There are as many different approaches to angel investing as there are investors. Some investors will tell you they invest based on their gut. After a 30 minute meeting with the entrepreneur, they are either in or out.

Read This First - An Entrepreneur’s Library

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Investing in early-stage companies is investing in entrepreneurs. Understanding how they measure up is partly a function of understanding how they think, or should think. Entrepreneurship has come a long way toward being a better-understood and accessible way of life.

The Time-Saving Power of Intent Data for Sales

By using the power of intent data, capturing buyer interest has become more feasible for sales. Not only that, but using it will save immense time during your workflow; a win-win on all fronts.

Seismic Forces Driving The Growth of Angel Investing

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It feels like there is more written about angel investing lately than ever before. This form of early-stage investing seems to be having its 15 minutes of fame. Is it a passing fad? I don’t think so.

Angel Investing War Stories: Roller Coaster Rides and Lessons Learned

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One of the best parts about angel investing is all the great stories you gather over the years.

Paper Chase - Tips and Hacks For Dealing with Angel Investing Paperwork and Communications

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Before Christopher joined the world of angel investing, he spent much of his early career as a corporate lawyer working in-house for a NASDAQ listed enterprise software company. The pace of customer and strategic deals and corporate housekeeping activities was unrelenting.

Apples, Oranges and Rotten Tomatoes: Owning A Diverse Portfolio

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I believe building a diverse portfolio is critical to success as an angel investor. But when I first sat down to write an article on diversification of angel investments, I knew right away I was facing a serious challenge. Numerous articles have been written on aspects of this topic

How ZoomInfo Enhances Your Database Management Strategy

Forward-thinking marketing organizations have continuously invested in a database strategy for enabling marketing processes. Download this ebook to learn how to maintain a strategy that includes refreshed information, database cleanses, and an accurate analysis at the same time.

Top Early Stage Investing Articles of 2019

The Seraf Compass

We have an annual tradition of bringing you the best early stage investing articles of the year, handpicked by our Co-Founders Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile. Here are a few of our favorite, most interesting and informative pieces we read in 2019, in no particular order.

Preparing for the Inevitable: Angel Investors, Death & Taxes

The Seraf Compass

Things don’t always go exactly as planned in life or in angel investing. And just as in life, with angel investing, it pays to be prepared. So here are some thoughts on planning for the inevitable, and how to prevent catastrophes by fitting your angel investments into your estate plan from the beginning

Impact Investing Conferences: 2020 Preview, Plus Full 2019 Review

The Seraf Compass

Impact investing is still a nascent, rapidly evolving field—which means professionals have to work extra hard to stay on top of best practices, news, and trends. One of the best ways to do this is to attend an industry conference.

When Money is Not Enough: Angel Roles & Human Capital

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? When entrepreneurs seek out angel investors, the majority are looking for financial capital. Very few entrepreneurs understand the importance of finding smart investors who will invest both Financial and Human Capital. Read on for a look at what roles angel investors can perform for a startup company

How ZoomInfo Enhances Your ABM Strategy

For marketing teams to develop a successful account-based marketing strategy, they need to ensure good data is housed within its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. More specifically, updated data can help organizations outline key accounts for their campaigns. And to begin the targeting process, marketing teams must develop an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) with appropriate firmographic and behavioral data to ensure they’re going after the correct audience.Download this eBook to learn how to start improving your marketing team's data!

Angel Fundamentals: Understanding Equity Deal Terms - Economics

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Previously we observed that the concepts covered in a typical term sheet can be grouped into four main categories of investor concerns: Deal Economics; Investor Rights/Protection; Governance, Management & Control; and Exits/Liquidity.

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Angel Fundamentals: Understanding Equity Deal Terms - Introduction

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Active angels work with term sheets regularly, but not every investor fully understands the sometimes arcane language in these highly-specialized documents. What are term sheets, what do they signify, and why are they so important?

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Advisory Checklist: Make Sure Your Companies Avoid These 25 Mistakes When Pitching to Investors

The Seraf Compass

If you have put time and effort into advising a company it breaks your heart to see them fail with investors. Some teams and ideas are just not fundable, and there is not much you can do there, but many fundable teams make absolutely silly mistakes when dealing with investors.

CYA: Liability Insurance for Directors

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No discussion about Board Directors would be complete without addressing Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance. While the risk for most directors of most early stage companies is reasonably low, there is risk, and it should be insured.

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Data-Driven Marketing 101

This eBook highlights how data-driven strategies empower marketing campaigns through personalization tactics.

Can You Help Me With This? Advising On Pitch Decks

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Can you help me make it better?” You have to admit that is a fair question from an entrepreneur who’s deck you’ve just criticized. So it’s not a bad idea to have an answer ready.