ART seeks companies which believe in “Smart Money”. As such, we work to coach our portfolio companies as appropriate to fully prepare them for future investment rounds.
Name of Angel Group / VC Fund: The Angel Roundtable, ART
Location: Tri-Cities, TN/VA
Interviewee: Tony Lettich, Managing Director
There are numerous operating models being pursued by angel networks / funds and VC funds. How does your work? How does it differentiate you?
ART is an angel network made up of approximately two and one half dozen members. We filter, screen, review and complete due diligence on opportunities as a group. Hence, we share the efforts related to identifying and vetting opportunities. Once vetted, investment decisions are made on an individual basis by each member based on their interest and personal conclusions related to the opportunity. Interested members then invest as a group through a LLC investment Vehicle.
The skillsets of the membership of ART are diverse by design. Additionally, we are generally analytical in our processes. This results in our organization being highly disciplined from an investment standpoint. Entrepreneurs seeking smart money from investors strong in due diligence who can help them prepare for their future VC rounds will benefit from partnering with ART.
In what industries and sectors do you invest? Are their specific industries, sectors or types of opportunities in which you don’t invest?
We invest in scalable companies in the following areas of opportunity:
- Big Data
- Clean Energy/Clean Tech
- Cloud Based Software / Services
- Digital Media
- Medical Devices
- Specialty chemicals
ART does not invest in capital intensive, family lifestyle or pharmaceutical opportunities.
Does your organization have any geographic preferences upon which you build your portfolio?
ART currently invests in startups from across the United States. However, we strongly prefer to invest in companies located in the southeast. We do not invest out of the United States at this time.
What key attributes do you look for when selecting companies for investment?
Successful companies pursuing investment from ART will possess a strong, coachable, passionate management team with a demonstrated ability to execute in the face of adversity. This team will be pursuing the solution of a market “pain-point” which is scalable and will typically have developed their product to at least the beta level. Some level of market validation is expected.
At what stage(s) of the startups’ development do you prefer to invest?
Startups in the late seed stage or early in the early stage are the preference of ART. Our objective is to create a portfolio of high potential, seed / early stage companies with initial traction and participate in both the initial and subsequent rounds as the startup develops and grows.
Tell us more about your team. Do you work with companies beyond the provision of funding? If so, how do you support them?
Our team is diverse, disciplined and analytical. I have experience with a highly successful corporate venture capital group with multiple successful exits including IPOs. As previously noted, our team possesses strength in due diligence. ART seeks companies which believe in “Smart Money”. As such, we work to coach our portfolio companies as appropriate to fully prepare them for future investment rounds.
Are there key startups which serve as examples of the types of investments you like to pursue? What specifically differentiates them?
flexReceipts is a great example of the types of companies in which we invest. It possesses a top tier, diverse, highly coachable management team. They provide specialized digital receipt solutions to retail business clients and have demonstrated traction in their market. A recent Y-Combinator participant, they are beginning the growth stage of their development.
Another example of an ART high potential portfolio company is FarmShots, which has also participated in one of Y-Combinator’s programs.
What trends in the startup world are you most excited about?
This is an exciting time to be involved in entrepreneurialism. With advances in technology, the development of crowdfunding models and the deregulation in the investment and business markets, we view this as a great time for the entrepreneur to pursue their startup dreams.
What else would you like to share?
ART has an initial investment appetite of $75K-$250K for opportunities of interest. If you believe you have a great idea, a high potential team / startup and otherwise meet our criteria, we would enjoy hearing from you and learning about your opportunity.
Are you familiar with other Angel Networks / Funds or VC Funds that you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them, sharing your comments below.