Startup Investor Spotlight: Boise Angel Alliance (BAA)

Boise Angel Alliance

Boise Angel Alliance provides investor education and is active in collaborating and mentoring with other members of the Idaho entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Name of Angel Group / VC Fund: Boise Angel Alliance (BAA)

Boise Angel Alliance

Dr. Mark Roberts, President

Current Active Fund, Gem State Angel Fund (GSAF) – 4th in a sequence

Location: Boise, Idaho


President: Mark Roberts

Screening Chair: Will Fowler

This article is part of our Investor Spotlight Series featuring Angel Networks / Funds and VC Funds. We hope these spotlights will inform and inspire the entrepreneur concerning funding options and opportunities.

There are numerous operating models being pursued by angel networks / funds and VC funds. How does yours work? How does it differentiate you?

The Boise Angel Alliance (BAA) acts as the parent oversight body for providing education to angel investors and for creation of new member-managed angel funds. Each fund includes investors who purchase units of $50,000, with cash contributions occurring in five separate trances as the fund approves investments. Units may be purchased by a group of investors that form a syndicate. The investors serve on three committees: Screening, Portfolio, and Co-Investment as well as participate in Due Diligence committees for potential new investments. The Due Diligence committees make recommendations for investments and a supermajority of 60% of investor units is required to approve an investment.

In what specific industries and sectors do you invest? Are there specific industries, sectors or types of opportunities in which you don’t invest?

The Boise Angel Alliance has a broad array of investments and are open to most industries and sectors. We prefer investing in companies that our membership has a depth of expertise in.

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Does your organization have any geographic preferences upon which you build your portfolio?

We invest in Idaho companies only.

What key attributes do you look for when selecting companies for investment?

The Boise Angel Alliance is looking for companies in the ‘sweet spot’ for angel investment, ideally early revenue with valuations in the $1-2 million range, with a sizable market that could be addressed and rapid scaling of the business once a winning business model is arrived at. We believe company leadership is critical, perhaps as the overriding factor beyond the idea/business as it is initially conceived.

Find out how poor management is one of the 7 Signs of a Failing Company.

At what stage(s) of the startups’ development do you prefer to invest?

At an early stage. Some of our investments are companies that are pre-revenue, but most are early in generating revenues from current operations and have not completely settled on their business model.

Tell us more about your team. Do you work with companies beyond the provision of funding? If so, how do you support them?

The BAA is a not-for-profit entity with a volunteer board. The BAA primarily serves to provide investor education and has been active in collaborating with other members of the Idaho entrepreneurial ecosystem that assist with entrepreneur mentoring and other assistance.

Are their key startups which serve as examples of the types of investments you like to pursue? What specifically differentiates them?

GenZ Technology is an example. They address a significant problem in a sizable market, the application of pesticides in commercial farming with unique and protected intellectual property. We have participated in three funding rounds, beginning when they were pre-revenue and continuing through final product development and scaling of revenues. We have members with experience in commercial agriculture who could evaluate the deal and assist the company.

What trends in the startup world are you most excited about?

SaaS companies. SaaS is a form of software delivery that allows data to be accessed from any device with an Internet connection. Companies don’t have to invest in extensive technology to host the software, and this in turn, allows buyers to outsource most of the IT responsibilities typically required to troubleshoot and maintain the software.

Are you familiar with other Angel Groups / VC Funds you believe should be spotlighted?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Tell us about them, sharing your comments below!

Pam Goforth

Pam Goforth is Research Manager for FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.