(Norfolk, VA) 757 Angels continues to be a vital source of capital for startup and early stage businesses across the Commonwealth. As noted in its just-released 2020 Five-Year Impact Report, 757 Angels has invested nearly $64 million into 28 early stage companies since its launch in 2015. Approximately 90% of its capital has been invested in Hampton Roads, resulting in diversification and fueling of the regional economy.
757 Angels is enhancing Hampton Roads’ regional reputation. 757 Angels was recently named as a “Top Group in the Southeast” by the Angel Resource Institute’s 2019 Halo Report. In 2018, the Angel Capital Association named 757 Angels as a Top Ten Group in North America. According to Nancy Grden, Chair of 757 Angels, “We attribute our recognition and success to our members, who continue to share their experience and capital to support, mentor and invest in early stage companies. Their involvement in supporting entrepreneurs is critical as well to our Region’s economic development.”
In its 2020 Impact Report, 757 Angels highlights robust investment activity and increased applications:
- The Group’s capital investment led to creation of over 500 high paying jobs, paying an average wage ($67k) greater than that of Hampton Roads (average $45k) or Virginia (average $51k);
- 757 Angels is proud to fund diverse companies, with 95% of portfolio companies reporting inclusion of a female, person of color, or a veteran in executive ranks; and
- Portfolio companies continue to grow, with 95% earning revenue and 50% reporting an increase in revenue.
757 Angels delivers value beyond capital. Almost all portfolio companies have reported that in addition to capital, 757 Angels has provided mentorship, talent, customers and board members. Jeff Conroy, Founder and CEO of Norfolk-based Embody Parts, stated, “Our association with 757 Angels has enabled us to build credibility with other investors, allowed us to attract world-class surgeon advisors, and played a key role in securing additional non-dilutive funding with the US Air Force. 757 Angels, and the relationships it has fostered, has been invaluable to our growth.”
Despite strong investment activities in 2018 and 2019, the current economic climate has presented challenges for early stage companies and investors. 757 Angels portfolio companies adapted quickly to the pandemic, with almost all receiving PPP loans and 52% pivoting to pursue alternative revenue streams. The current climate has created reluctance from some investors, but as the pandemic lingers, many investors are starting to shift cash to the stability of long term investments which bodes well for startup and early stage investment.
According to Monique Adams, Executive Director of 757 Angels, “757 Angels will continue to seek opportunistic investments in promising early stage companies. We hold fast to the belief that innovation will lead progress and that entrepreneurs are the engine of the future”.
A recent article by Startup Genome echoes Adams’ sentiment, stating “Policymakers should be aware that startups contribute meaningfully to both local communities and to the global startup economy as a whole. With that in mind, they should be laser focused on helping startup companies and the wider ecosystem get through the COVID-19 crisis intact”, adding: “Venture capitalists and local economies that worked to save promising startups in 2000 and 2008 reaped incredible benefits in the next economic cycle.”
Download the 2020 757 Angels Impact Report here
About 757 Angels
757 Angels was formed in February 2015. 757 Angels seeks to catalyze the Hampton Roads economy by supporting investment in the entrepreneurial community. 757 Angels accepts applications from promising Hampton Roads entrepreneurs on its online application site. Applications are reviewed through a standardized process (see 757angelsgroup.com for more information on our process) and our group of 120+ members/investors meets 3 times a year to listen to pitches by 2-3 of the most compelling companies selected from that cycle’s application pool.