Entrepreneur Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Northwest Energy Angels?
- Who are NWEA members and sponsors and how many are there?
- What types of companies does NWEA fund?
- How many deals get presented to the members over a year?
- How many companies have passed screening and presented to the membership and how many have received funding?
- What is the typical range of investment sought by successful presenters?
- What is the range of monetary investments typically made by individual members of NW Energy Angels?
- How do I apply to present?
- How does NWEA invest in companies?
- What is the presentation like?
- How long does it take from when I apply until I can present?
- Who runs NWEA?
- How often does NWEA meet?
What is Northwest Energy Angels?
Northwest Energy Angels (NWEA) is a non-profit membership organization and business network of high-net worth individuals (accredited investors) who invest in emerging cleantech companies. Members have come together to access more and higher-quality deal flow, to share the work of due diligence, to leverage the experience and insight that other angels bring to the investment process and to provide entrepreneurs with an efficient means of reaching many pre-qualified investors at one time.
Who are NWEA members and sponsors and how many are there?
Currently there are about 50 members who come from many different professions. Many are present and former high-tech and cleantech entrepreneurs and executives. Other members have deep experience in finance, environmental engineering, real estate development and the utility space. The membership also includes appointed and elected officials who are moving Washington to the national forefront on clean energy and other technologies.
NWEA also has corporate sponsors including American and Canadian venture capital funds, professional services firms and others who are committed to growing the cleantech industry in the Pacific Northwest. They bring a wealth of resources, expertise and local, national and international connections to our professional business network.
What types of companies does NWEA fund?
NWEA is focused exclusively on young companies that could make a significant contribution to the emerging sustainable economy in the Pacific Northwest. Successful applicants for funding are in what is known as a "cleantech" or "greentech" business. Our preferred list of sectors in this space is here. If your company is not in one of the listed sectors, but you believe it will contribute to a sustainable future, please contact us to determine your eligibility to apply for funding.
How many deals get presented to the members over a year?
Our Screening Committee currently approves approximately 25 new companies each year to present to our members.
How many companies have passed screening and presented to the membership and how many have received funding?
Historically, we have funded about one out of every four deals that made it through our screening process. In the five years since NWEA’s founding, members have invested in 23 companies out of the approximately 90 that have been approved by the Screening Committee and presented to us.
What is the typical range of investment sought by successful presenters?
$250,000 to $1 million. It is unlikely that NWEA members themselves will collectively invest more than $500,000 in any one financing round, but we regularly syndicate deals needing up to a total of $1 million with other Pacific NW angel groups.
What is the range of monetary investments typically made by individual members of NW Energy Angels?
Individually, Northwest Energy Angel members typically invest $20,000 to $100,000 per deal.
How do I apply to present?
Applicants should follow the simple step-by-step instructions here. (You may access this page later from either the Entrepreneurs/Companies menu above or by clicking the yellow button on the top left of our Home page.) Your browser will be directed to the Angelsoft website where you fill out the application form and can optionally upload company documents and/or videos. The importance of spending enough time filling out the on-line form to make your opportunity as attractive as possible to NWEA members cannot be overemphasized, rather than relying on the documents you upload. You must also agree to our application terms and pay a non-refundable $100 application fee by credit card prior to consideration by the screening committee.
How does NWEA invest in companies?
To make the best use of entrepreneurs’ valuable time, we screen deals, hear presentations, perform due diligence and negotiate terms as a group, but we make investment decisions as individuals, i.e. our money is not pooled into a fund. If selected, after your presentation, you will be given the email addresses of the NWEA members who wish to delve deeper into your opportunity. Interested members form informal due diligence (dd) groups and share the work involved. Normally, one member takes the lead and is the principal point of contact with the company. During dd, the company will be asked for a considerable amount of detailed information and documentation. DD groups often ask to meet with company representatives a number of times. The process varies considerably depending on the entrepreneurs and members involved, the nature of your business and the complexity of the deal. The funding process, described in more detail here, may take weeks or months. If you have a well-thought-out business plan with milestones and have documented, in advance,the elements listed in selection criteria, you will generally get through dd relatively quickly.
What is the presentation like?
If selected, you will give your presentation from a podium on the stage of a conference room with a state-of-the-art audio-visual system. 30 to 50 members, their guests (who are also Accredited Investors), sponsors and staff typically attend our regular meetings. A PowerPoint or other digital presentation is strongly suggested and product (or prototype) demonstrations are very effective. Successful applicants are given 15 minutes to tell their story followed by 2 separate 5 minute Q&A sessions. This process is more fully described under funding process.
How long does it take from when I apply until I can present?
Completed, paid applications are due 45 days before the meeting at which they hope to present. If your application passes screening, you will be notified about 2-3 weeks before the presentation date.
Who runs NWEA?
NWEA is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and a paid Executive Director.
How often does NWEA meet?
NWEA meets nine times per year to hear from pre-screened companies about their investment opportunities, twice each year for social gatherings and several times per year for special member-and-sponsor-only educational events.
Companies which have previously presented are invited to the social events to update us on their progress, whether or not they have been previously funded by NWEA members. The schedule of meetings, which is subject to change is here.