CAV Angels is a non-profit, angel investor and educational network dedicated to connecting high-potential startups with a strong connection to UVA with UVA-affiliated angel investors for possible equity investment. In addition to capital, CAV Angels offers a wide range of educational programming, due diligence engagement, and internship opportunities to its members in order to contribute to their success (or future success) as early-stage investors.
CAV Angels typically invests $250K – $1M in Seed or Series A rounds of venture-appropriate startups with a strong management team, demonstrated market traction, and a rapidly growing customer base. CAV Angels can also participate in syndicated deals requiring more than $1M in funding
UVA’s alumni base of over 200,000 people is a source of pride for all those who have graduated from UVA. Our alums include successful, experienced, active investors and entrepreneurs. There is also a strong alumni base just starting down their paths as investors who can benefit from CAV Angels’ educational opportunities and networking events. CAV Angels provides the platform for matching these different groups of alums with one another.
CAV Angels is committed to improving the UVA entrepreneurial ecosystem in many ways. We believe there is a desire for UVA alumni to connect to other UVA alumni, but there needs to be a proper forum and purpose to ensure that the connection is sustainable and meaningful. CAV Angels provides an opportunity for potential investors and mentors in the broader UVA community to connect with high-potential, UVA-related startups. In addition to helping UVA alum’s startups get connected, funded, and mentored, CAV Angels will also donate a portion of profits from carried interest to UVA entrepreneurial efforts and other UVA foundations and funds. The donation amounts and beneficiaries will be decided by a committee of the members.
CAV Angel members are UVA alumni, or individuals otherwise affiliated with UVA. This includes alumni, students, faculty/staff, researchers, parents, and others with a strong UVA affiliation. For full membership eligibility, you must qualify as an “Accredited Investor“
Angel investors generally are successful individuals who invest their own funds in early stage and startup companies. In addition to providing funds, angels often also provide advice, referrals, and mentorship to the companies they invest in. Though many individual angels invest on their own, more and more are discovering the benefits of the diverse experience/knowledge base and higher quality deal flow that comes from membership with an angel network.
Additionally, many more individual angels are finding the satisfaction and advantages of working with “affinity” angel networks like CAV Angels. In addition to finding high potential startup investments for our investor/members, we also provide additional funding avenues for UVA Alumni startups from all over the country, increasing networking/mentoring opportunities and improving the UVA entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Once a startup applies for funding via the Gust angel investment website, our Executive Committee conducts an initial review to ensure that the opportunity broadly aligns with our target investment criteria. The deal is then presented to a group of members who attend a weekly Tuesday pipeline call (open to all members). If there is enough interest in the opportunity from that group, a due diligence team is formed and a member of that team is chosen as the lead reviewer. Once a diligence report is completed and the Executive Committee signs off, a virtual pitch (live and recorded) is scheduled for the CAV Angels membership.
On the basis of the pitch, due diligence report, and access to a startup’s deal room, CAV Angels full members will decide on whether and how much of their own capital to invest in the company in question. Anticipated minimum investment per opportunity is $25,000 per member (including a reserve for annual administrative expenses), with an anticipated minimum total round size of $250K. As CAV Angels is an “opt-in” network, each active member may choose whether or not to invest in any particular opportunity. If a critical mass of interest to invest is reached (ten members or $250K), CAV Angels will form a single-purpose LLC to invest in the startup.
CAV Angels relies on the expertise of its diverse and knowledgeable member base to lead the screening and due diligence of applicants. CAV Angels also employs a small staff of experienced professionals who supervise UVA graduate and undergraduate students in gathering due diligence and related information for the members.
Like most angel groups, CAV Angels does not recommend or endorse companies for funding. Instead, investment decisions will be made by individual members based on the due diligence information provided by the applicant companies and thoughts/opinions shared between members.
Angel investing, and early stage investment in general, is very risky. Even with the most thorough due diligence and research, angel investors can expect about half or more of their investments to fail or barely return the amount invested. So angel investment is only appropriate for experienced and knowledgeable investors (SEC accredited investors) who can make their own investment decisions, will take the time to build a diverse portfolio of investments, and can absorb the expected financial losses in anticipation of the few “winners” that angel investment may bring.
For more information on angel investing and industry returns, please see the ACA (Angel Capital Association).
Our international investment network of UVA-connected members is growing year over year. CAV Angels uses industry leading IT platforms, including the Gust online angel investment platform, to ensure that this network finds, and is found by, the most promising early-stage startups. The Gust platform provides for the posting of all the necessary company information for investor review and due diligence, at their leisure. Additionally, all company pitches and member meetings are held virtually via Zoom, and many are recorded and archived for confidential use by members.
We prefer to invest in high-growth potential startups looking for Seed or Series A funding, with a strong team and a working product or prototype in an industry that CAV Angels is currently interested in funding. A founder, major investor, or board member should be an alum of UVA or otherwise affiliated with UVA (parent, faculty, researcher, or other).
Assuming that the company passes all vetting and due diligence, and the members vote favorably to invest, CAV Angels will generally invest between $250K – $1M in any one opportunity. As all active members make their own investment decision, any actual investment total depends on the company’s needs and member interest in investing.
Yes, CAV Angels will generally invest and collaborate with other angel groups and investment funds.
CAV Angels uses the online angel funding platform Gust for startup funding submissions. The Gust system is an industry standard platform for the startup/angel funding industry used by entrepreneurs, individual angels and angel groups across the country.
Please see the Entrepreneur Information page for additional details.
Please see FAQ > For Investors > What does the investment process look like? for details on what you can expect.