The Louisville-based venture firm has partnered with the Angel Capital Association to host a 9-week course for those interested in angel investing,
With the spring semester around the corner for many students, Render Capital will be starting a classroom initiative of its own next month to help create more angel investors in the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Called the Render Capital Angel Investment Network, the Louisville-based venture capital firm has partnered with the Angel Capital Association (ACA) to host a nine-week course — both online and in-person at its NuLu office — for anyone interested in becoming an angel investor.
The first set of classes will start on Tuesday, Jan. 17, and run every Tuesday until March 14. The content will be drawn from the nine workshop modules created by ACA’s Angel University and facilitated by Jeb Jarrell, who has been brought in to serve as the network’s director.
“We want to be able to get it out there and start talking to people,” said Jarrell, who also works as a certified financial planner in Louisville through his business, Plentiful Wealth.
Jarrell added that he and his team believe they could be the first arrangement of having an angel network attached to a venture capital fund. Currently, Render provides funding to 50 startups out of its approximately $30 million in two similar-sized funds, the second of which we reported on in September.
Courses will cover a variety of topics, including the fundamentals and risks of angel investing, portfolio returns, due diligence and valuations. If enrollees attend at least six of the courses, he or she will receive a basics of angel investing certification. Those who complete all nine will receive an advanced certification.
Enrollment for the network — and all offered classes — will start at $150 for the first three months, before going to its regular $750 after that time. Those interested in enrolling can do so by clicking here and sending a message to Jarrell.
“It’s going to be a pretty big discount, because we’re excited about what we have going on here, and we want people to jump on,” Jarrell told me.
Although the program will initially use the ACA’s material, Jarrell said that in the long-term, the curriculum would most likely be provided in-house. Additionally, the Render Capital team will be creating extra classes that are not covered by the ACA.
Addressing the decline in angels
Jarrell provided a statistic from the ACA’s 2021 Angel Founders Report, saying that, on average, $100,000 invested through angel groups leads to on average 5.8 direct jobs, $458,000 in wages, $2.1 million in economic output and $37,000 in state and local revenue.
In 2020, $9.75 million in capital from angel investors was raised by 16 Kentucky-based startups, according to data from PitchBook. That number dipped slightly in 2021 with $9.3 million by 11 startups. In 2022, the current total stands at $2.26 million in eight startups.
According to the 2022 list from the Kentucky Angel Investment Act, there were 61 qualified investors registered in the state and available for up to $3 million in collective tax credits through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA).
In October, we reported that there had been $2.5 million in 45 deals for the year at that point, generating $617,000 in tax credit for investors through the tax credit. Of note: Applications for 2023 opened on Dec. 15.
Patrick Henshaw, the managing director of Render Capital, said that network enrollees do not have to be an accredited investor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — and have to meet the list of financial criteria of having a net worth over $1 million and individual income of $200,000 or a household income of $300,000.
Instead, anyone at any income level is welcome to enroll in the program.
“We believe that it’s an all-boats-will-rise mentality,” Henshaw told me. “We just got to get the boats in the ocean. Right now, they're playing around on land and fishing from the pier. But we got to get them into the ocean and say, ‘Look at all this beautiful opportunity that’s out here.'”
Angel investors-in-training can also keep their anonymity throughout the courses by doing the entire program remotely.
“You can ask any question and all questions,” Henshaw said. “We don’t care who you are, where you came from, what your background is … As long as you're excited about growing the region’s startup autonomy, we want you to be a part of it.”
About Render Capital
Render Capital is an investment firm focused on unlocking capital for entrepreneurs in Louisville and Southern Indiana. We work to support the very best startups in our region with the right capital for their business. We want to establish the greater Louisville region as a national leader in innovation, entrepreneurship and creative capital essential for our collective success. Learn more at http://render.capital.