Angel Fund

Willamette MBA

Author Archive

Choosing Ventures that Might be Valuable: Lightning »

  In the new venture world, being struck by lightning is not always a bad thing. In fact, it’s exactly what we hope for. In my last post, I talked about what distinguishes effectual startups from causal startups, and why we believe effectual heuristics help a new venture survive. But what happens after a company […]

Choosing Ventures that Might not Die: Effectuation »

  Being in an MBA program and encountering the concept of “effectual entrepreneurship” for the first time can be jarring. Effectuation is everything corporate finance is not. We are used to the “causal” thinking of large and established businesses, where deep pockets require extensive planning and oversight, and obviate the need for a more flexible […]

Follow-On Investing and the Dilution Bogeyman »

  Many of our angel partners are surprised to learn the Willamette Angel Fund typically avoids follow-on rounds. Investors use the term ‘follow-on” to describe subsequent investments into a company you previously invested in. When the subject comes up, many investors can’t believe we don’t participate in investment rounds after our initial seed investment, in […]

A Decade of Success »

When the Willamette Angel Fund was started nearly ten years ago, the idea was met with skepticism. Could a group of students successfully integrate themselves into the opaque world of angel investing? Could yearly cohorts of students possibly compete with dedicated seasoned professionals? Ten years in, our research indicates the answer is “yes.” Each semester, […]

The Power of Multiples »

If you follow financial news, you probably notice how much attention price-to-earnings ratios receive. For the uninitiated, price-to-earnings is a company’s share price divided by its earnings (profit) per share. As of November 10, 2018, the average P/E ratio for the S&P 500 is just under 16. This means that the share price of an […]

Ahead of Schedule and Deeply Technical »

Although the Angel class operates as a partnership of students, setting its own agenda and deciding which opportunities to pursue, there are checkpoints built into the schedule which usually determine the pace. The most notable are our board of advisor meetings. The class has a wonderfully experienced and supportive board, made up of local entrepreneurs […]

How to Capture the Attention of People Richer than You »

In the Willamette Angel Fund, we see hundreds of entrepreneurs over the course of two short semesters. Often, we can’t help but sympathize with them. These are people who have spent countless sleepless nights and double-mortgaged their family homes to pursue a dream. In fact, many of the students in our fund are entrepreneurs themselves. […]

A Partnership of Angels, in the City of Angels »

Anyone thinking the Willamette Angel Fund is a sequestered student activity should have been with us earlier this month, where class kicked off quickly by taking three of us to Southern California for a delicious dinner and rousing breakfast meeting with our regional partners. A mere two-and-a-half weeks into the semester, our first trio of […]

Why We Don’t Vote »

The easy answer? Because Rob Wiltbank says so. But that’s only the start of the story. It’s the second day of class, and we’re discussing our investment methodology — how we screen companies, how we evaluate the companies we select, and how we decide to write a $50,000 check. With nine students in the class […]