Investors

INVESTORS VIDEO

MEMBERSHIP OVERVIEW

We seek accredited investor members (per SEC guidelines), who are serious about investing and building an entrepreneurial community.  If you are interested in supporting early-stage companies with capital, time and connections please consider joining the Westchester Angels.  There is a small annual fee and membership requires some time for meetings, due diligence and hanging out.  If you are serious about investing and having fun along the way, Let’s Talk!

Westchester Angels Core Values and Expectations

Core Values

• Represent The Westchester Angels and the companies our members consider investing in with dignity and respect.

• Accept the inherent high-risk nature of angel investing .

• Maintain the utmost confidentiality of the information presented from startups and investors.

• Remain transparent and proactively monitor oneself for potential conflicts of interest at all times.

• Understand the challenges that all startups face and try to add value wherever possible.

Expectations

Investors are encouraged to create a portfolio of angel investments as research shows substantially better returns as the number of investments increases.

• To be active participants in our investment process which includes attending investor meetings, joining DD teams and writing out a check to invest every so often.

• We prefer to grow our membership organically thru our member’s referrals. Accredited Investors are welcome to attend a Westchester Angels Investor meeting as our guest.

• Members are expected make at least 2 referrals per year.

THREE SIMPLE STEPS FOR MEMBERSHIP

While we prefer new members to be referred by existing members, we are open to having conversations with any accredited investor that will agree to embrace our Core Values and Expectations.

Membership Document

Sign a membership form confirming you are an Accredited Investor and agree to our Core Values and Expectations

Membership Dues

$1,250 per individual, $1,875 for married couples and $2,500 for investment funds

Pass The Westchester Angels “PLT Test” (Pizza Lunch Test)

We get together at your favorite pizza place to inform potential members about the angel investing space, The Westchester Angels’ approach and to confirm your expectations and objectives are a strong match for the group.
(Bad pizza may endanger your chances of becoming a member!)

 

BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP

Westchester Angels provides a range of benefits to its members

THE BEST DEAL FLOW Sandy Wollman’s initiative, The New York Area Angel Alliance, brings together the leaders of angel groups in the NYC/Tri-State area for monthly calls to share information about startups in each other’s world. Most of the startups that go through our process and pitch to our members, are already in DD with or are being funded by other angel groups.

INVEST IN EXCITING STARTUPS AND WATCHING THEM GROW  Angels invest in really young companies; most with less than a handful of employees and little or no revenue. While we do extensive DD, the risks and the unknowns are limitless. However, there is no greater investment thrill than to watch seedling companies grow into big companies.
We profit, by not only watching our investments grow, but also by helping people and businesses grow!

INVESTOR MEETIGNS A VERY KOOL LOCATIONS!  Most angel groups have their meetings at attorney’s offices or shared workspaces. The Westchester Angels are changing that model by having our investor meetings at kool locations in Westchester. Art Galleries, Music Halls, Country Clubs, Breweries, Historic Buildings and more! 

All of our investor meetings end with food and drink so we can have fun. In addition, investors and startups get to chat in a chill atmosphere. Our due diligence efforts start over a beer and nachos. 

INCREDIBLE ACCESS AND NETWORKING  Westchester Angels members have direct access to more than 17 Investor Meetings each year providing access to the most compelling start-ups in the Tri-State region. The Westchester Angels recently partnered with the Jumpstart Angel Network of New Jersey, greatly expanding our Deal Flow. The Westchester Angels provides its members the opportunity to create meaningful relationships; both socially and professionally.

SIGNATURE EVENTS  Our members have access to prestigious angel events in NYC provided by other angel groups; locations have included The Yale Club, Penthouse overlooking Central Park, The H&M Building overlooking Times Square, and more. 

KNOWLEDGE AND INSIGHTS  Through the Angel Capital Association — the professional association of active accredited investors — you’ll gain unparalleled insight into trending ideas and public policies, plus access to extensive workshops and webinars tailored for early-stage investors.

CUTTING EDGE TOOLS  Members have access to GUST, the premier website connecting start-ups with angel groups. Within GUST, members enjoy access to start-up information both from the Westchester Angels and from other Angel Groups our members may belong to.

LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES  Members can help steer the Westchester Angels by serving on the Screening, Event, Membership or Special Event committees. 

MENTORING OPPORTUNITIES   Members have the option to participate in a range of volunteer activities, made possible by our relationships with Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Deb Novick and Bridget Gibbons of Westchester County Government Economic Development. Element 46 is just one sample of volunteer opportunities provided.

FUN  We are serious about investing but insist on having fun along the way.

Strategic Alliances

We’re part of a larger investor network that is transforming Westchester into an innovation hub. Our partners include:
NYAAA
The New York Area Angel Alliance convenes leaders of the largest angel groups in NYC and the Tri-State region. The Golden Seeds, 37 Angels, Gaingels, The HSB Alumni Angels, Hudson Valley Start Up Fund and the Jumpstart NJ Angel Network are just some of the participating groups. Each month, Sandy leads a Deal Flow Zoom call, where investors share updates on the latest start-up due diligence.
Jumpstart NJ
Westchester Angels and Jumpstart NJ Angel Network recently formed a strategic alliance, providing deep value to members of both angel groups and start-ups. The partnership allows each group’s members to share investor meetings and due diligence teams. And start-ups now have the ability to raise more funds on a single effort.
element 46
The Westchester Angels always give back. Element 46 is Westchester’s Incubator where local startups can receive mentorship, work space and strategic contacts to help their businesses succeed. The Westchester Angels will be working closely with Element 46 to provide instruction on making effective pitches, judges for their pitch day and more.

Membership FAQ

Why do I have to be an accredited investor to join the Westchester Angels?
This is an SEC requirement. Startups pitching the Westchester Angels are soliciting an investment that is outside of the public market. Angel investing is very risky. The SEC uses “accredited investor” as a proxy for knowledge, experience, and investment sophistication. The theory is that accredited investors have a certain level of wealth (that they can lose) and experience (presumably making them more knowledgeable). That is the idea behind the accredited investor designation.

It matters to our startups. If they pitch non-accredited investors, this changes their fundraising status, changes their legal framework, and opens them up to lawsuits. To protect the startups, we follow the SEC rules. 

How do you verify that I am an accredited investor?
We do not. All investors or members attending a meeting sign a form attesting to their status as an accredited investor. We do require this form from all attendees and members, with certain exceptions. 
Do guests have to sign accredited investor forms as well?
All participants must be accredited investors and must sign a form attesting to their accredited investor status. We allow a small number of guests to attend; these may be students or speakers who are not considering investing. These guests must also sign a form stating that they are attending for education purposes only and are not investors. This is to protect our startups from lawsuits and ensure that they maintain their legal fundraising status. 
Am I required to invest?
We do ask that you take investment seriously. While we perform DD in groups, members make their own investment decisions. Members should be active participants in DD teams at least a few times each year and make an investment every so often.
How do I join the Westchester Angels?
Come to a meeting as our guest, participate and see how we do things.

After that:

• We will give you a call to answer any questions.

• Sign our Simple Membership Form and agree to our code of Conduct and Expectations.

• Pass the PLT Test – We get together at your favorite pizza place for lunch. This gives us a chance to meet you in person, answer questions, review the angel investing space and our approach (bad pizza may hurt your changes for membership). Most importantly, we see if we are a good fit for eachother

• Submit your membership fee.

 
Now you’re all set; Welcome To The Westchester Angels!

Come to meetings, meet your fellow Westchester Angels, get involved to support startups with your contacts, knowledge and investment dollars-all while having fun along the way! Meet your fellow Westchester Angels and the most compelling startups to consider. Reap the financial and personal rewards of helping very small companies grow into very large companies!

How often do you meet?
Our members have direct access to:

* 6 Westchester Angels Investor Meetings; at kool locations throughout Westchester County; art galleries, historic buildings, music halls and more!

* 11 Jumpstart Angel Investor Meetings

* The opportunity to be attend investor meetings from collaborating angel groups.

Why invest as a group if I make my own decisions?
The benefit of a group is the shared knowledge and interest. Research shows that time spent on due diligence and the expertise applied in due diligence significantly impact our decision-making. The more critical opinions we have, the more informed we are, the better the results. It is also a lot more fun. 
What is the investment process?

Startups apply to the Westchester Angels for funding on GUST.

Screening
We screen abt 6 to 8 startups either from our review of GUST applications
or from warm referrals from our collaborating angel groups

Investor Meeting
Our selection committee selects 3 or 4 startups to pitch to our investor

Due Diligence
If we have enough interest from at least 4 or 5 investors, we then form a DD team. Each DD effort takes on a life of its own and may take weeks or longer depending on logistics and the complexity of the business.

Over 65% of all angel investments will fail across the USA. We compensate for this risk by performing extensive DD in a timely and respectful manor and adding as much value as we can.