Become a Smarter Investor While Saving Hours on Due Diligence
As a VITALIZE Angels member, you'll join a diverse community open to all investors, learn the ins and outs of angel investing from our team at VITALIZE Venture Capital, and have the opportunity to invest as little as $1K into two to four vetted startups each month.
If you're a founder looking to get funding from VITALIZE Angels, which invests in pre-seed companies, learn more here.
100X Returns. Not 10%.
Angel investing offers the potential for larger returns than any other asset class. We're not talking the 8-10% historical annual returns in the stock market, but the 10x, 100x, or even 1000x+ that investors have made on a single investment. The outcomes of angel investing are nonlinear, giving you the opportunity to achieve an out-sized return if you make a good pick!
Angel investing also gives you the opportunity to engage with ambitious founders who are trying to build the next great company. Your investment helps support them in the early stages of their journey.
The challenges for individual angels?
- Finding great companies
- Getting access to deals
- Choosing which companies to invest in
- Having enough money to invest and build a portfolio
- Becoming an accredited investor ($200k/year in income or $1M+ net worth)
With the VITALIZE Angels community, we solve all of these challenges for our members. We dive into each below.
How VITALIZE Angels Works
Finding great companies
You get access to high potential companies through our team at VITALIZE which reviews over 500 investment opportunities per month, bringing the best two to four companies to the community.
We source deals through the 700+ co-investors in our network, founder referrals, and inbound from social media channels.
VITALIZE brings deal flow to the table. I've got my own sources, but it's always helpful to have another source of deal flow where what’s coming to the table has already been vetted to some extent. So that's number one. Number two is the team aspect of it. I've worked for companies, and I've worked for myself over the course of my career, and I've always found I do my best work when I'm working with a partner or partners. And so that's a key aspect of VITALIZE – the fact that you've got many partners you're investing with. And VITALIZE facilitates the meetings for the partners to discuss the deals. I find that extremely valuable. - Michael Vermillion, VITALIZE Angels Member
Getting access to deals
Finding a deal is one thing, getting access is another. Leveraging the VITALIZE brand, our reputation built from working with founders since 2012, and our diverse investing community, we're able to get into great deals.
In the past year, we've even come across founders making room specifically for VITALIZE Angels in order to diversify their cap table.
Choosing which companies to invest in
As a VITALIZE Angels member, you get access to full diligence reports provided via Notion for every deal, saving you hours of research time.
Furthermore, you're able to learn through on-demand and live angel investing education sessions, including discussions of our pipeline, deal reviews, a library of angel investing content, and guest speakers which have previously included Charles Hudson, Stella Garber, David Chang, and Brett Munster.
All of this education and diligence is provided to help you not only become a better investor, but to make an informed investment decision on each deal.
Having enough money to invest and build a portfolio
Building a portfolio of 15-20 startup investments over a few years is important for diversifying your risk and setting the stage to achieve strong returns. Historically, most founders required that angels invest a minimum of $25K or $50K, which is not feasible for many people.
We made it easier to get started, allowing you to invest as little as $1K per deal as a VITALIZE Angels member.
Being part of the VITALIZE Angels community is really interesting because there is a lot more due diligence done. Each deal has champions, people who can speak for it, people who know the entrepreneurs. There's lots of variety of opinions and one of the things I really like about the group is that you can participate in a deal and you personally only have to put in $1,000. - Waverly Deutsch, VITALIZE Angels Member
Becoming an accredited investor
Startup investing is typically only accessible if you're an accredited investor, where you make $200K/year for at least two years or have a net worth of at least $1M, or through public crowdfunding where you have to sort through thousands of deals.
We created a new model.
We leverage crowdfunding on the backend to power our community's investments, so you don't have to be an accredited investor to join or make investments.
What does this mean? We've created angel investing for everyone, aligning with our big vision of making this asset class more accessible, and diversifying the entire industry.
9 Portfolio Companies. Nearly $1M Invested.
At VITALIZE Angels, we focus on investing in pre-seed startups in The Work Revolution, defined as people-first, data-driven, category-defining businesses in the future of work.
Since launching VITALIZE Angels in 2021, we've invested in:
- AIRIA: A self-learning spatial analytics platform used by safety, facilities and IT teams to manage resources, maximize capabilities and improve safety response and planning.
- Balloon: A research-backed platform that unlocks ideas and feedback from a group by eliminating groupthink and amplifying voices.
- Cyber Popup: An on-demand cybersecurity service platform that makes cybersecurity accessible to businesses of all sizes.
- Happioh: A SaaS platform that improves the effectiveness of meetings and reduces meeting-related burnout by helping employees track takeaways and provide accountability for post-meeting deliverables.
- Hound: A platform for finding the best veterinary jobs.
- Lectrium: A full-service platform for EV home charging with a mission to make every home EV-ready.
- Lunch: Payment infrastructure for the offline economy providing cash flow services to companies of all sizes, starting with vendors in the scholastic vertical.
- OpenAxis: A platform to easily visualize, share, and collaborate with data to tell stories.
- Virtual Sapiens: A machine learning platform to help client-facing professionals master communication skills over video.
Hear from a couple of our founders on their experience with VITALIZE Angels:
Learn from an Experienced Team
VITALIZE Angels was created and is run by our team at VITALIZE Venture Capital, a seed-stage venture fund, and we bring that experience to you each month in how we source and analyze deals.
You'll have access to on-demand education created by our team as well as live sessions discussing deals and the nuances of investing.
Here are a few members of the team you'll be learning from:
Gale Wilkinson is the founder and Managing Partner at VITALIZE. Previously, Wilkinson founded IrishAngels, one of the largest angel groups in the world. Gale has led $65M+ in early-stage deals across 125+ startups. Her experience prior to VC includes founding two failed startups, consulting for new product launches with Nielsen, and strategy with Orbitz.
Caroline Casson is a Partner at VITALIZE, where she spends her time sourcing potential investments, assisting portfolio companies, and managing the due diligence process for VITALIZE. Prior to joining VITALIZE in 2018, Caroline worked for GE Ventures in San Francisco where she helped incubate and operate a startup in the drone space.
Justin Gordon is the Director of Marketing at VITALIZE, hosts our show, The VITALIZE Podcast, and writes our newsletter, Re:VITALIZE. Since 2018, Justin has hosted the Just Go Grind Podcast, a show with 80,000+ downloads featuring 300+ interviews with entrepreneurs and investors.
Larissa Insogna is the Community Manager at VITALIZE, where she's growing the largest, most diverse angel investing community in the world. Previously, Larissa was Founder and Head of International Operations at Quility Wine Partners, where she launched and scaled a global wine distribution company.
Anand Engineer is an investment associate at VITALIZE and has been with us since December of 2021. He's a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, an avid Lakers fan, and a ping pong wizard.
John Hayes is an investment associate at VITALIZE and joined us in May of 2021. He's a JD/MBA Candidate at Northwestern University and also hosts the Founders Trust Podcast.
How This All Started
Justin Gordon, our Director of Marketing, and Gale Wilkinson, our Founder and Managing Partner talk more about the origins of VITALIZE Angels and why we started this community.
Q & A
What makes VITALIZE Angels different?
A few things:
- We’re empowering both accredited and non-accredited investors to invest in the startups we curate through our platform, and we anticipate that our community will be extremely diverse.
- Our community members can invest relatively small checks into startups ($1K minimum to $25K maximum).
- We have a fund in addition to our angel community, meaning that we’re able to invest in the next round of companies that this community invests in, providing some of our VITALIZE Angels companies with additional firepower down the road.
What types of companies will I be able to invest in?
We’re focused on The Work Revolution at VITALIZE (defined as people-first, data-driven, category-defining businesses in the future of work) and will offer up high-potential software startups in these areas as potential investments.
Themes include personalization, productivity, collaboration, virtual, community, and augmented reality. We look for a proprietary data application with every company we invest in, as we believe the best companies will leverage data in unique ways to create barriers to entry.
Who is this community for?
Anyone over the age of 18 who wants to learn how to invest in startups and actually start writing checks and building their very own portfolio now! Investors can be located anywhere in the world (*with a few exceptions in Canada), though our investments must be Delaware c-corps.
*Please note the following from the Wefunder website: “We have investors from all around the world…The only exceptions are the Provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Alberta which have requested that we bar their residents from investing.”
What's expected of me as a member?
- Keep the community a safe place. Treat others with respect, always, and bring up any safety concerns immediately to a member of the VITALIZE team.
- Learn. Take a look at the resources available in the resource center, join our calls with experts, and ask questions in our investors-only Slack group.
- Make investments. The minimum investment in our deals is $1,000, and investors are encouraged to make 2-5 investments per year. While not mandatory, building a portfolio of companies is advised to have the best potential for returns. Once you commit to an investment, you’re in.
- Help companies. Provide product feedback at the alpha/beta stage, make customer and employee intros, offer any functional expertise you can provide, and generally be willing to lend a hand to founders. With a community of our size, we have the unique ability to provide real value to the companies we invest in – let’s leverage that to help our community get into the best deals. As a guideline, each investor should strive to help at least once per month.
- Support diversity and inclusion. This community is built upon the foundational belief that everyone should be able to build an angel portfolio, regardless of background. We want to do everything we can to further DEI in venture capital. While the VITALIZE team does not take a carry in any of the angel deals, all angel investors will have the opportunity to donate up to 15% of their profits from a distribution to an NFP partner that will sponsor scholarships to help individuals (including some of our own angel investors hopefully!) get hired for internships with our partner VCs.
How is the learning structured?
We’ll have a library of content for you to learn from as well as events every month for your continued education. It’ll be a self-paced learning environment.
What is the process for actually investing?
We have partnered with Wefunder, a crowdfunding platform, that will handle all of the deal closings. The process has been designed to be extremely simple for our community members! If you are located in Canada, please note this from the Wefunder site: “We have investors from all around the world…The only exceptions are the Provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Alberta which have requested that we bar their residents from investing.”
Will I make money from my investments?
There is no guarantee of any return. You should only invest an amount of cash that you can truly afford to lose. While we hope you make money, there is zero guarantee of getting any return on the VITALIZE Angels deals (or any angel deal). This is extremely important to understand before you invest with us.
How much can I invest per deal?
$1,000 is the minimum investment per company, and $25,000 is the max.
Can I invest through an LLC or trust?
Yes, you can! Investments can be made through an SSN or entity’s EIN.
What if there is limited allocation in a deal and VITALIZE Angels has more interest from the group than what is available?
Allocation will be managed through Wefunder on a first-come, first-served basis. We will always see if the founder is willing to take more money, but this isn’t always possible. Please make sure you commit to deals as soon as you know you’d like to invest.
How will we review deals and commit to an investment?
Each deal will have a Notion page that includes due diligence and analysis. We will have a live webinar or a recorded call with the founder for each opportunity. Investors who want to commit to a deal will click on the deal-specific Wefunder link and fill out some their name / bank account info. The process to commit takes < 2 minutes.
Do I get pro-rata rights for the VITALIZE Angels deals I invest in?
The short answer is that it depends. If possible, we will offer pro rata rights to our VITALIZE Angels members, with first priority going to those who invested in the initial round. However, there is no guarantee that we will receive pro rata rights, and it is possible that the VITALIZE fund and/or its LPs will utilize the pro rata rights from time to time.
What else should I know about investing through Wefunder?
Check out their FAQ for investors for detailed info!