Vital statistics

The Band reviews more than 600 deals per year. In 2016 the Band invested in 17 deals. Obviously this is a competitive dynamic. Nevertheless, our goal is to provide as much value as we can to all companies that pitch the Band. Many companies that do not progress further in our process still benefit from it; especially those that make it to a Deal Dinner presentation. Reflecting the diverse career expertise of its membership the Band invests in ALL categories of seed technology deals and life sciences. We do not invest in consumer products, real estate, restaurants, retail, or funds, but we do invest in aeroastro, agtech, digital disruption, energy, life sciences/medtech, IoT, semiconductors, software, and wearables. Typically, the Band's investment is the first “organized” money into the company, either as a series Seed or Series A.

 
 

About our team

The Band of Angels is one large team. A permanent staff helps coordinate its activities, some members serve on the standing committees. 

 
Ian Sobieski Chairman

Ian Sobieski
Chairman

Sonja Markova Executive Director

Sonja Markova
Executive Director

Shayna Modarresi Deal Manager

Shayna Modarresi
Deal Manager

Craig Pritsky Life Sciences Fellow

Craig Pritsky
Life Sciences Fellow

Tim Taylor Presentation Coach

Tim Taylor
Presentation Coach

Ed Canty CFO

Ed Canty
CFO


Deal Screening Committee

 
Ian Sobieski Chairman

Ian Sobieski
Chairman

Mike Bates Life Sciences

Mike Bates
Life Sciences

Juan-Antonio Carballo Semiconductor

Juan-Antonio Carballo
Semiconductor

 
 
John Ferrell Miscellaneous

John Ferrell
Miscellaneous

Bill Loesch Web Services

Bill Loesch
Web Services

V.K. Rajaram Software

V.K. Rajaram
Software

Paul Twombly Communications

Paul Twombly
Communications

 

Membership Committee

Ken Arnold Membership Committee

Ken Arnold
Membership Committee

Heather Crawford Membership Committee Chair

Heather Crawford
Membership Committee Chair

Brian Frenzel Membership Committee

Brian Frenzel
Membership Committee

Craig London Membership Committee

Craig London
Membership Committee

Liliana Nordbakk Membership Committee

Liliana Nordbakk
Membership Committee

Karen Riley Membership Committee

Karen Riley
Membership Committee


Special Interest Group (SiG) Chairs

Sanjiv Taneja Accelerators

Sanjiv Taneja
Accelerators

Mike Bates Life Sciences / MedTech

Mike Bates
Life Sciences / MedTech

Thomas Dittler AeroAstro

Thomas Dittler
AeroAstro

Rich Juelis Life Sciences / MedTech

Rich Juelis
Life Sciences / MedTech

Jacques Vallée AeroAstro 

Jacques Vallée
AeroAstro 

Robert Kyle Luminary

Robert Kyle
Luminary

Jaleh Daie AgFood Tech

Jaleh Daie
AgFood Tech

Ron Weissman Software

Ron Weissman
Software

Aron Bohlig Digital Disruption

Aron Bohlig
Digital Disruption

Steve Nasiri Wearables, Consumer & Semiconductor

Steve Nasiri
Wearables, Consumer & Semiconductor

Larry Kelly Energy

Larry Kelly
Energy

Kurt Peterson Wearables, Consumer & Semiconductor

Kurt Peterson
Wearables, Consumer & Semiconductor


 

Videos: Financing Your Venture

Ian Sobieski, Chairman of the Band, highlights the benefits and specialties of angel investors, underlines the keys to finding and engaging an angel, and defines how to get the most out of your relationship with your investor after the deal is made. Videos courtesy of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Band's track record?

The Band has invested more than $231M into 277+ companies since 1994. Of these 55 have been acquired and 10 have gone public on the Nasdaq.  


What makes the Band different?

The difference is primarily in the people. The Band is made up of 150+ successful business leaders available to assist companies develop from startup to IPO. These experiences enable our portfolio to quickly and successfully build their companies from the ground up.


What is the non-financial value of the Band?

Members of the group are one phone call away from anyone important to a young company. The network effect of the Band is both vast and indescribable. Many deals that presented to the Band but that did not succeed in raising funds from the Band nevertheless were able to garner important business development opportunities, referrals for excellent employees, and valuable advisors or board members. Additionally, companies that get to the dinner will have been put through a diligence and review process that includes several hours of speech and presentation coaching and feedback from experienced venture investors-the net result is some valuable contribution from a professional process that should be of meaningful value to a young startup.


Does the Band syndicate?

The Band often syndicates with other small VCs and angel groups. Because of the group's reputation it is often asked to lead such financings. The Band has participated in co-investments and follow-on investments with all notable Silicon Valley VCs including: Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Trinity, USVP, August, Canaan, Greylock, Accell, NEA, etc.  


How long does it take to receive investment?

The Band is made up of individuals who can act immediately. Occasionally, a syndicated deal will have another lead and a tight timeline. Members have participated in financings within 24 hours of the dinner presentation. However, if the Band is looked to as the “lead” on a financing, you should anticipate that it would take between 2-3 months for a deal to close.


Once the dinner has concluded our members will indicate their level on interest in your company. If a core group of members are interested in moving forward with the deal, Band of Angels will schedule a follow up meeting for you and those specific angels. At this stage you should be ready to provide our members with their requested materials and references.

Due Diligence?


Every deal is unique and a simple answer on term expectations is not possible. The guiding principle on terms is that incentives of everyone be aligned. If a Venture Fund makes 10 investments and 9 of them fail and one gets a 10x, the Fund has just broken even. Entrepreneurs must be motivated to make a hefty return for their investors. Likewise, the investors must ensure that entrepreneurs are consistently and substantially rewarded for their ongoing contributions and the risks that they undertake. With this guiding philosophy, the Band negotiates in the best possible faith to get to terms that proportionally and appropriate incentivize all parties.

Deal terms?


Companies typically like to pitch to the Band as much to interest one of our members to join the board as to acquire seed capital. Most companies that receive funding from the Band also receive at least one Band members as a board member.

Board seat?


The Band likes high technology companies with strong teams, promising technology, big potential markets, solid barriers to entry, and IPO prospects. Since we like to be the first money into the deal we recognize that for seed stage companies being certain that a company is all of these things is impossible—that is what makes investing at this stage risky. However, the more a company is like this, the more likely it will succeed in raising money from the Band. Because we do invest very early, preferably the first money into the deal, valuation expectations are very low. 

Company stage?


Our preference is to invest in companies located in Northern California so that we can remain active with our portfolio throughout the early stages of development. There are exceptions to this rule with investments in Southern California, as well as a scattering around the country. However, 95% of the Band's portfolio companies are local and generally non-local deals will not be reviewed by the Deal Screening Committee.

Company location?


Your plan needs to offer us enough information to determine the strength of your team, market and technology. Beyond that we need to understand your business model and financial projections as well as your capital requirements and the milestones you will reach with this investment. Your executive summary should also include specific information on your customers and competition. However, it must do all this in an incredibly concise way. If selected to attend the Deal Screening committee your company will be required to write an executive summary that includes all this information in one page. Why not do that now? Companies that can accurately convey themselves within a one page narrative are much more likely to score well in the pre-screening process?

What should the Executive Summary cover?


Since we receive so many plans our policy is not to sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) or confidentiality agreements. The Band prides itself on our practice of the highest respect and care of the confidentiality of all information received; aiming to treat you as we ourselves wish to be treated. However, you should not, under any circumstance, forward confidential or proprietary information to us.

Do you sign NDAs?


There are no fees to submit or present to the Band of Angels. In fact, companies selected for presentation to the Band receive several valuable things for free: several hours of speech coaching and document preparation, feedback from venture experts, and dinner and lunch at the presentation meetings. Additionally, Band members provide numerous hours of free mentoring to early stage entrepreneurs at the monthly industry-specific Special Interest Groups (SiGs), Office Hours, and at the annual Mentor Day. Companies that succeed at raising money from the Band are asked to voluntarily allow the Band of Angels, LLC to purchase a small amount of common stock at fair market value - Right to Invest in Common (RTIC).

Do you charge any fees to entrepreneurs?