Global Angel Investing
Overview

Introduction

“The Government is determined to develop Hong Kong into a knowledge-based economy and an innovation hub for technology and its application in the region.” – by Innovation and Technology Bureau, HKSAR Government (www.itb.gov.hk/en/)

Our society is experiencing a rising tide of entrepreneurship, with many young go-getters from local and different parts of the world establishing startups. Many people in Hong Kong and the Mainland are exposed to many options for investments or looking for investment opportunities. However, very few of them have received proper training in the field of Angel Investing. While there are plenty of encouragement on entrepreneurship and startups, a robust ecosystem for Angel Investing is yet to be achieved.

Angel Investors are individuals with access to capital who are interested to contribute their time and money to grow new businesses. In addition to funding, by investing in startups or early-stage companies, Angel Investors can often provide valuable management advice and important contacts, and they can help to nurture a future economy and contribute to the prosperity of the society.

Investments in startups or early-stage companies bear extremely high risks. A recent survey reported that 95% of all profits made by the venture capital industry come from 5% of the early stage investments^. While early stage venture investments represent a tremendous opportunity for investors, Fortune^ indicated that 90% of startups fail.

Identifying and nurturing early stage startup opportunities extends beyond the ability to evaluate a business plan or analyze the “what ifs” of a case study. In innovation, almost by definition, one does not know the final outcome. Because of the dynamic and unique characteristics of entrepreneurship, traditional education programs have not been successful in developing talented early-stage investors.

The dynamic and unique characteristics of entrepreneurship make it difficult for traditional education programs based upon theories and “case studies” to develop early-stage investors. Realizing this, we have spent five years developing a unique program, the Executive Diploma in Global Angel Investing (EDGAI) that brings students together with seasoned Angel Investors and successful entrepreneurs to understand the fundamentals of Angel Investing. Students will engage leading Angel Investors that provided early stage financing for companies such as Uber, Hanson Robotics, Meta, and Zappos and scrutinize “live” deals pitched by entrepreneurs.

The program will take students to innovation hot spots around the World including Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and other leading cities based upon the cohorts’ interests to help build their relationships and access to top deals. Participation in industry events such as Digital Life Design, Web Summit, Webit, and Slush will further broaden perspective and keep students abreast with the latest trends, developments, and opportunities.

The EDGAI program provides a comprehensive curriculum, real life experiences and a strong cast of successful Angel Investors to help participants get started with their Angel Investing journey. The program aims to provide students with the insights, methods and experience to learn the skills needed to identify fundable startups, negotiate fair terms, and add values. “This unique program puts you directly at the center of real deals and allows you to dissect, analyse and invest in the startups around the world. Unlike programs based upon case studies, this program offers real life experience,” Dr. Gino Yu advised.

The learning journey does not end with the program, graduates will continue to gain invaluable networking opportunities, bespoke alumni activities, and advice from the teaching team. The classes will be conducted in the Jockey Club Innovation Tower, the building that houses the School of Design with many renowned educators, design practitioners, and business leaders to make the learning experience innovative, global and distinctive. PolyU is a major contributor of education and development for Hong Kong, the Chinese Mainland and the world by connecting its education and research to the real world. Since 2011, the PolyU has launched a PolyU Micro Fund Scheme and other funding schemes, as key entrepreneurial initiatives to stimulate and ignite students’ and young graduates’ creative potential and entrepreneurial spirit. In addition to Angel Investing, there are opportunities to collaborate with the faculty and researchers from different domains to champion the new businesses along the process. This will help to build the ecology for innovation in Hong Kong, which is one of our School of Design’s Innovative Think Tank objectives.

^Source: www.fortune.com and techcrunch.com

 

Objectives

The program is designed to equip participants with professional knowledge and skills necessary to participate in Angel Investing. At the conclusion of the program, graduates will be able to critically assess investment opportunities, understand the finance structures involved in investment, and cultivate productive working relationships with entrepreneurs and fund investors. Upon completion of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the world of Angel Investing and the roles of Angel Investors in the corporate financing eco-system, from seed to angel to Series A financing;
  • Be familiar with the Angel Investing cycle, and develop own investment strategy, from founding to exit;
  • Identify Angel Investment opportunities* from entrepreneurs’ perspective;
  • Comprehend valuation and its know-how in the startup environment;
  • Learn due diligence and be able to plan, execute and manage due diligence exercises in Angel Investing situation;
  • Recognize the common pitfalls of startups, be able to mitigate risks and add value to facilitate business growth; and
  • Assess investment opportunities*, and establish network with successful Angel Investors and entrepreneurs around the globe.

*Cautionary Note
Investment involves risks. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. This program shall not constitute an invitation or solicitation to invest; nor does it constitute any investment advice or recommendation to acquire or dispose of any investment or to engage in any transactions. This program shall not be relied upon for making any investment decision. Students should consider their own risk tolerance level and financial circumstances before making any investment decisions. The Institute of Advanced Executive Education (IAEE), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (“The University”), its faculties & schools, and any staff, lecturers and guest speakers take no responsibility and liability whatsoever for any loss howsoever arising from or in reliance upon any investment/ funding knowledge gained through this program by any student before/during/after the program. Student(s) should consider carefully whether any investment, security or strategy is suitable for any particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek independent professional advice.