Money & Business

Survey Seeks Better Picture of America's Angel Investors

By / Mar 21, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

To get a better understanding of who is helping to support America’s startups, the Angel Capital Association is conducting a nationwide survey of angel investors.

More than 200,000 American angel investors contributed roughly $24 billion to startups in 2014, yet not much is known about these individuals.

The Angel Capital Association is hoping to change that with a new survey it’s sponsoring to help identify who these investors are as well as what influences their investing activity.

“We believe this study will help identify characteristics of angel investors that have never before been understood,” Marianne Hudson, executive director of ACA, said in a statement. “It is critical for entrepreneurs, economic development entities, private market makers, regulators, and legislators to understand who angel investors are, in order to drive effective policies to ensure a robust angel investing marketplace and for startups to better access equity capital.”

According to ACA, a professional development organization for the angel investment community, angel investors are accredited investors with a net worth of at least $1 million, excluding the value of a primary residence, or a yearly income of at least $200,000.

And while some things are known about these investors, such as the most active angel groups and which industry sectors receive the most angel investments—all stats compiled in the annual HALO report conducted by the Angel Resource Institute at Willamette University—the “American Angel” survey is the first to benchmark the mix of angel investors across the country, said Laura Huang, assistant professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which is administrating the survey and analyzing the responses.

ACA is hoping that with more data on who these investors are, more pathways can be created to include women and minorities as angel investors. The association could also use the collected data for its public relations efforts and to generate more media attention about angel investors. More information on angel investors may also make it easier for startups to locate early-stage funding.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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