Southeast Angel Investor Research Project

Launched by the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2006 with the support of Michael Cain and the Wilmington Investor Network (WIN) this project aimed to begin collecting and analyzing data from Angel groups located throughout the Southeastern United States. Over thirty Angel groups were identified within this region, which at the time was relatively under-served in terms of research. However the Southeast region was growing rapidly in terms of group formation, equity investment, and entrepreneurial activity and as a result the Angel community was expanding quickly with the average group age being 3.8 years old.

Angel Groups have been extensively researched using data relevant through July 2009. Some initial conclusions and trends have been identified, shared with participating Angel Groups and presented at investment conferences including the 2008 Angel Capital Association – Southeast Conference. Although the initial funding has expired all stakeholders are working hard to identify another $7,500 – $15,000 in funding to continue the study.

Research Methodology: In designing the research methodology for this project, a comprehensive approach that focused on three key areas was designed:

Angel Investment Process: the most complex part of the methodology with the most quantitative data points. The process was based on deal flow from initial awareness by the Angel Group through to the Exit (regardless of a liquidity event) and every step in between. It takes into account all deals that an Angel Group becomes aware of including those immediately discarded, quick screened, etc.

Angel Group Member Profiles: the goal was to better understand the demographics, psychology and those most likely to be attracted to Angel Investment Groups. Data analysis included (but not limited too) member age, professional background, gender, etc)

Deals/Entrepreneur: the goal was to identify the types of deals that Angel Groups were investing in to identify trends, industries, valuations, and stages of development. This also allowed the researchers to continue following the deals to see if there was an exit, additional investment, and/or valuation change.

Economic Development: the purpose of this area is a longer term goal of the project and includes taking all the data around investment, members, and deal companies to look at the measurable impact an Angel Group has on a local, state, regional and national level for economic development including job creation, tax proceeds, economic growth, etc.

Research Files (PDF)

A Process Model of Academic Entrepreneurship

Date: August 19, 2010
Author: Matthew Wood
Outlet: Accepted for publication in Business Horizons (a well respected journal for research that speaks to a dual audience of academics and practitioners).

Summary: A growing source for the ideas and core technologies that drive entrepreneurial endeavors is the innovations that come from research conducted on university campuses.   This trend has lead to the development of the term “academic entrepreneurship” and the objective of the article is to develop a multi-stage process model of academic entrepreneurship. This model is intended to guide potential stakeholders through the application of academic entrepreneurship with a focus on improving the odds of success and concludes by highlighting the benefits of engaging in academic entrepreneurship for a variety of potential stakeholders. 

The Production of Entrepreneurial Opportunity: A Constructivist Perspective

Date: August 19, 2010
Authors: Matthew Wood and William McKinley
Outlet: Published in Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, volume 4: pages 66-84. (one of the premier academic journals in entrepreneurship).

Summary: This paper develops a theoretical model that depicts the process of opportunity production.  The model assumes that opportunity production proceeds through several stages, including perception of a possible opportunity by an entrepreneur, objectification of that opportunity, and enactment of the opportunity.  However, not all perceived opportunities survive this process and some opportunities are abandoned due to inadequate objectification or due to insufficient resource support.  We identify variables that determine whether perceived opportunities are objectified and other variables that determine whether objectified opportunities are enacted.

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