Angel Investing School FAQs

What is Angel Investing?

An angel investor is an individual that finances (invests) in privately owned small businesses. They leverage their experience, expertise and network to add value and support the company through growth. They receive equity in exchange for this with the hope to share in the returns if the company experiences a liquidation event such as an IPO or acquisition.

Who is this course designed for?

The curriculum is designed for individuals who have not invested in private companies (startups) or have invested in just a handful (incl. equity crowdfunding) and want to learn how to become a more effective angel investor from other more experienced angel investors.

Whilst many founders could be interested to gain insight and empathy into angel investing, it is only suitable for founders interested in getting started with angel investing. We will not be eroding the quality of the learning experience with cross-selling e.g. from accountants and lawyers attending the class with the goal of selling services to participants.

Professionals from all backgrounds are welcome, from teachers and nurses to plumbers and creatives. We want to widen participation in this opaque asset class to professionals from all backgrounds.

What topics will the course cover?

The course will cover 6 key topics:

  • History and overview of angel investing
  • Sourcing & assessing deals
  • Transaction economics
  • Legal process (incl. term sheets and understanding tax relief)
  • Adding value beyond capital (post-deal support)
  • Developing a thesis & portfolio management

What happens after the course?

You will have lifetime access to the resources and links shared along with the network you build up. There will be a private community (AIS Alumni) that shares useful information such as demo days, deals within the network, relevant events and more.

How much does the course cost?

One-time fee of £495 with lifetime access to The AIS Alumni.

How long will this course take to complete?

The course duration is 6 weeks long, every Wednesday from 6.30pm – 8.30pm, ran virtually, so you can join from the comfort of your home.

Do I need to be in London to take this course?

No, we run one course annually in London but run a winter class remotely, which you can sign up for here.

How do I get a return on my investment?

It is important to understand that investing in privately held companies is an extremely risky asset class. Riskier than investing in buy-to-let properties, mutual funds, index funds and other asset classes. The truth is, most new businesses fail and therefore there is a high probability you may not make a return on your investment.

Andy Ayim treated his initial investments as skin in the game to gain practical learning experience rather than risk money he couldn’t afford to lose (which is not advisable).

What are the course founders & facilitator investment backgrounds?

The course was curated by Andy Ayim, who has invested in a few companies and has worked for a decade in the London startup ecosystem, firstly as a founder, before developing his craft as a product manager and more recently as an investor.

The facilitators are a diverse range of angel investors who each have experience investing in privately held companies. Most of what they will teach will be through personal stories and lessons learned.

Why did you create the course?

I personally wanted to learn how to get started with angel investing and learn from the experience and lessons learned of others. I want to democratise access to the knowledge so that people from all backgrounds can learn whether or not angel investing is right for them.

Are there any regulatory requirements for being an angel investor?

The guidance from a regulatory perspective, under the FCA rules Financial Promotion Order and Markets Act states that you can be an angel investor and make investments in a small business through your own decision if you can self-certify as either High Net Worth or Sophisticated investor.

Simply put, you need to understand the high risk associated with investing in small business and therefore be able to invest an affordable sum of money.  Don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose. Once you invest your money could be tied up for a number of years and still result in a loss. Ensure that your this money is not part of your lifestyle costs or money tied up with your monthly costs, it should be a sum of money you can afford to invest.

I know it sounds pessimistic, but it is important to level-set before even taking the course. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme or promise of any riches. There is a possibility that you could make a return on your money and potentially access some tax reliefs, which will be covered in the course.

Why do you aim for 50% of the course to be women, men of colour, LGBT and/or non-binary?

We believe the ‘opportunity cheque’ or the first money invested into a small business can be pivotal to the outcome of whether that business can grow to succeed or fail. Therefore with less than 1p in every pound going to all-female teams and the lack of funding going to diverse-led startups we believe if we can train up more diverse angel investors, more diverse startups will gain investment as a result.