General

Is TBD Angels focused on a specific industry or sector?

TBD Angels is industry-agnostic and is not betting on a specific space. However, we tend to focus on deals where we know the industry, have deep connections, disproportionate insights, and can influence outcomes and the risk/reward ratio to help our portfolio companies grow and succeed.

What stage companies are a fit?

We’re focused on investing in early-stage ventures who would benefit from the advice and connections of our investor members. The typical investment is in the range of $50K-$100K, but is subject to change as TBD Angels grows.

Is there a geographic focus?

While location-agnostic, most of our members are based on the east-coast, and most investments will be in the United States.

What is the overall process?



We strive for 1 week to express interest and a total of 4-6 weeks to complete the process.

How does TBD Angels work with their portfolio companies?

The members of TBD Angels have a passion for helping entrepreneurs and their teams in varying ways and each have their own style of working with companies, ranging from responding to investor update emails, to referring strong candidates to the team, collaborating on product roadmap and strategy, making connections with partners and customers, to helping raise the next round.

Can entrepreneurs contact one of the TBD Angels individually?

When an investment completes, the deal lead will make direct introductions between relevant investors and the company founder(s). While a big part of the group's value-add is the network and experiences, TBD Angels respects the privacy of its investor members.


Working with Entrepreneurs


Where does deal flow come from?

Potential investments will come multiple sources:
  • Existing members: since TBD Angels members have a deep set of connections (e.g., other VC/angels, entrepreneurs, and all the stuff we see locally) and have good deal flow from our own networks
  • Close VCs in our networks
Note that we currently do not accept unsolicited inbounds from entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs should seek out one of the TBD Angels members.

How do I submit a deal for consideration?

If you are intrigued about a potential deal and would like to get an initial interest check from the group, you can submit the deal in the following way:
  • Email the name of the company, short paragraph description (including any personal POV on the company, founders, etc) and any materials to the TBD Angels operations team.
    • If this looks like a good match for running through the TBD Angels process, we’ll let you know so that you can fill in the deal submission form
    • If this doesn’t look like a good match for TBD Angels, we’ll let you know
  • The operations team will update the deal pipeline and share the lead in the next deal screening notification (either immediately within a Slack poll or batched up in an email) to the group. If high interest, the deal will proceed, and we’ll identify a deal lead (can be you or someone else with interest or subject-matter expertise) and schedule an overview with the entrepreneur. If low interest, you’ll receive feedback that there wasn’t immediate interest at the time. It is important to note that it’s due to "lack of fit with existing members" and not about the quality of the deal, company, or team.

Who can attend the pitches?

All TBD Angels members are welcome to attend pitches (all video-conference at the moment). The deal lead is the point person and will sync up with the entrepreneur on scheduling a ~45 minute pitch meeting and demo (if applicable) with Q&A. In this meeting, the deal lead is required to attend and any angels that would add value in evaluating the startup.

We also record pitch sessions, to provide all members access to information critical for decision-making.

Is there an investment committee that determines whether to invest in a deal?

After an initial screening, a deal lead will serve as the point person with the entrepreneur. Any investor member is welcome to take on lead, especially if s/he sourced the deal, knows the entrepreneur, or has relevant subject matter expertise.

There is no formal investment committee, however we do suggest that leads identify at least 2-3 other members who can evaluate the deal and ask questions. The lead and others will provide the entrepreneur perspective, insights on operating matters (strategy/product, technology, and business/marketing), and merits of the investment.


Doing Deals

Are we open to debt and equity investments?

Yes, we are open to convertible debt, SAFEs, and equity (priced rounds).

Can I personally invest additional capital alongside a deal?

Yes, you are free to individually invest as an angel investor in deals that we accept and ones that we do not.

Is there a minimum investment per deal?

Yes. If you choose to invest in a deal, the minimum investment is $2,500 per member. Each investor member can opt in or out to every deal.
For efficiency, we aggregate the members’ investments in a deal through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with the intent of hitting a minimum of $50,000 for the deal.

What's the expected involvement with portfolio companies after they’re funded?

As operators with varying domain and functional experience, members can contribute meaningfully with unique insights or set of connections. Since TBD Angels members are entrepreneur-types rather than investor-types, a big part of the value-add and appeal will come from our direct involvement rather than a "fire & forget.” It will be up to the entrepreneurs, but we’ll want to be available to be hands-on and have active dialogue with the startups (and they can choose to recruit advisors and board members).

How do I strengthen my angel investor experience?

The best way to sharpen your angel investing experience is to participate in pitches where you can benefit from hearing the Q&A posed by your fellow members. In addition, you can take on the role of deal lead for an investment. Don’t worry if you don’t have experience doing so - we can walk you through the process and ensure you’re successful. As deal lead, you’ll get an inside look into how to best work with entrepreneurs, probe critically on the upside/downsides of a deal, write a compelling investment brief, and drum up excitement and support for a deal.

Should I lead a deal?

On the pros side, you’ll get to work with an entrepreneur more closely, take leadership as the point person for the investment, and benefit from carried interest. On the cons side, it's a responsibility that requires time and thoughtfulness. As the deal lead, you are representing both the entrepreneur and TBD Angels.

As deal lead, your key responsibilities consist of involvement at the following stages:
  1. Sourcing: reviewing pitch deck, creating/distributing an investment brief, facilitating discussions and meetings between entrepreneurs and interested angels
  2. Investment: exposing pros and cons, recommend, drumming up momentum for the deal, and negotiating with the entrepreneur
  3. Post-Investment: periodic updates (6x/year) to the rest of the group, being point-person between TBD Angels and the company

Do deal leads earn carried interest?

As deal lead, you have the option to set carry for the deal. If you choose to earn carry, we recommend setting the deal lead carry at 5% or less. Since TBD Angels members are active, this amount is purposely below the typical 20% for passive limited partners in a fund. As the deal lead, you can waive carry altogether.


Other Angels

What type of angel investor is a good fit for TBD Angels?

In order to provide high value to entrepreneurs, our investors fit the following criteria:
  • Accredited investor according to federal guidelines
  • Experienced startup founder, current operator, executive, or industry expert who can provide entrepreneurs with added value through our collective experiences. We are not at this time looking for financial only members like bankers, venture capitalists, etc.
  • Eager to engage with fellow angels and entrepreneurs - we’re best when our members actively provide unique insights into potential deals or share expertise after the portfolio company is funded. Members are expected to be available to answer questions or provide support and hook up our portfolio of companies (whether they invested in that company or chose not to). This is the way we tip the scales in our favor and increase our chances of a positive outcome. This will likely mean the occasional call or participation in Slack.
  • Interested in investing on a deal-by-deal basis - plans to make at least 2 investments per year. We expect a wide range of involvement in the number of checks within our membership and may be developing tiers of investors ranging from infrequent to those that will automatically support every deal. At this time we are also open to investors who want to join our syndicates but don’t foresee becoming an active investor across multiple deals. For this we are considering an additional tier / membership status. Note those who have no interest in reviewing deals should consider a passive investment such as being an LP in a fund.

How should I reach out to an investor to see if they’d like to join TBD Angels?

If you know an investor who could be a fit, you can send them a note along the lines of:
SUBJECT: Angel invest together?

BODY:
Hi [PROSPECTIVE INVESTOR],

[PERSONAL_HELLO]

I’m part of TBD Angels, a group of angel investors consisting mainly of startup operators and leaders. Unlike the traditional angel group, we are all current operators in various ways, and we rely heavily on our members’ current operating expertise and connections to create better deal flow and drive better outcomes for entrepreneurs. I immediately thought of you as someone who could add significant value to our community.

You may know some investors in the group such as [RELEVANT MEMBERS]. In our group, investor members can be as active or passive as they'd like (we prefer active!) - choose to lead a deal or simply piggyback off of others’ efforts and networks. You can opt in on a deal-by-deal basis. No commitments or membership fees.

Please let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll send more details.

Best,
[YOUR NAME]


How do I refer an angel investor to join the group?

As a current TBD member, you can help expand the power of our network by referring new investors.
  1. Initial interest: Have a first conversation with the investor to get a sense of their goals and objectives
  2. Referral intro: If you’d like to refer them, send an email to the prospective investor and cc the TBD Angels operations team in order to introduce us. It’s helpful to include a very brief context and summary of how they’re a good fit for TBD Angels.
  3. Quick chat for fit: The ops team will reach out to them for a quick chat to ensure fit and answer additional questions. After that, the team will quickly review the candidate (we do not expect to say no to anyone who fits the above criteria), and once two members of the ops team give the thumbs up, we’ll start the onboarding process.
  4. Onboarding: The ops team will send a welcome email (investor will indicate accreditation according to Federal Guidelines) from TBD Angels along with invites to Slack, the Google Group, and all other necessary information. You will be cc’d on this welcome email.


Admin

Is there a cost to join TBD Angels?

There is currently no membership fee to join TBD Angels as an investor. Administrative costs will be covered through a nominal operations fee on each deal.

What type of year-end reporting will I get for tax purposes?

Investors will each get separate K-1s for each investment from our SPV platform, not a single aggregated K-1 document.

How do we handle potential conflicts of interest?

Many of our investors are active in the startup community, which means they may be parts of other investing entities (angel groups, venture funds, etc). We ask that investors please get the founder’s permission before sharing their information with other entities.