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Entrepreneur FAQ

How do I apply for funding from BlueTree Allied Angels?

The first step is to read our investment criteria. If your company meets our criteria, the next step is to apply for funding on ProSeeder, our online deal management platform, by clicking here. Your application will be reviewed by our Screening Committee. You will receive a response from us in the form of either: 

    1. an invitation to present to our Formal Screening Meeting.
    2. a decline
    3. a request for more information

What happens if the application is rejected?

While we attempt to provide feedback to rejected applicants, we receive an overwhelming number of requests each year and we cannot guarantee that feedback will be provided. We receive hundreds of applications each year and have the capacity to fund 8-10 deals; thus, your rejection may be a reflection of membership interest or capacity rather than a negative reflection of your company. Reapplying at a later date is always an option.

 

What happens if the application is accepted?

If your application is approved for review, you will be invited to present at our monthly Formal Screening Meeting in Pittsburgh. At the meeting you will present to BlueTree’s Formal Screening Committee. You will be given 20 minutes*, uninterrupted, to present your investment opportunity and 15 minutes* for Q&A. The committee will then vote to determine if you meet the criteria to present at our monthly Member/Investor Meetings in Pittsburgh and Erie. You will be notified of the outcome within 7 days of the Formal Screening Meeting.

If you are selected to present to BlueTree’s Member/Investor Meetings, you will be notified of the next steps. If you are rejected following the Formal Screening Meeting, feedback will be provided regarding issues of concern. You may be invited to resubmit your application for consideration after changes are made.

 
    *subject to change
 

How much time is allocated for presentations at the Screening and Member Meetings?

Presentations at both BlueTree’s Formal Screening Meeting and Member/Investor Meetings follow the same format. You will be given 20 minutes*, uninterrupted, to present your investment opportunity, and 15 minutes* for Q&A.

 
   *subject to change 
 

What happens at BlueTree’s monthly Member/Investor Meetings?

We hold two monthly Member/Investor Meetings – one in Pittsburgh and one in Erie. Prior to the meetings, investors will have received your executive summary and other supporting materials via e-mail.  You will be given 20 minutes* to present and 15 minutes* for Q&A. The investors will then discuss your presentation and investment opportunity in private and, express a non-binding interest, and volunteer for the due diligence process. If an appropriate level of interest is expressed in your investment opportunity, we will form a team and begin due diligence.

 
*subject to change
 

What happens during the due diligence process?

BlueTree’s due diligence is performed based on National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) best practices, and includes a thorough document review and several meetings with your management team. Following due diligence, a due diligence report is created and emailed to members or presented at a subsequent meeting. At this point each member can opt to invest.  

Our due diligence process includes the following:

  • Document Review – Our due diligence process will begin with you being asked to prepare a standard package documents to upload to ProSeeder, our online deal management platform. Requested documents include financial and legal documents as well as a list of customers, suppliers, contracts, patents, etc.  
  • Meetings - The Due Diligence Committee will schedule a series of 3-4 meetings to get to know your management team and better understand your business. You should prepare presentations that provide detail on your product, markets, competition, financial projections, cap tables, etc.
  • Term Sheet - Either the Due Diligence Committee or another interested investment group outside of BlueTree will present a term sheet and use it as the basis to negotiate the basic valuation and terms of the investment. You may also present a term sheet to begin initial term sheet discussions.

What types of companies does BlueTree invest in?

BlueTree’s portfolio reflects the diversity of its membership. Members invest in companies in a variety of industries and stages of growth. We focus on early stage companies with potential for significant growth and exit potential within 3-5 years.

The group generally does not invest in research and development. Most members are more comfortable with business risk (i.e., how do you attract and retain customers) than technical risk (i.e. will the product work). Thus, companies that have completed initial product development and are executing a plan to address the business risks are more likely to receive investment.  Exceptions are sometimes made for strong management teams with prior start-up experience.

 

What is your preferred investment security?

BlueTree Allied Angels strongly prefers to invest in preferred stock, but will occasionally make exceptions for convertible notes in specific cases. We will not invest in common stock.

 

Do you invest in companies outside the tri-state (PA, OH, WV) area?

Only if we syndicate with a local lead investor or if the company is willing to relocate to the tri-state region of PA, OH, or WV. Successful angel investments often require significant hands-on effort, so we view these investments requiring some level of local support by the investment groups involved.

 

How long does the process take?

Unfortunately, there is no standard time table for the entire screening and investment process. Areas that tend to take the most time are screening and due diligence. Once a group of investors are ready to invest, a company well organized for investor due diligence can go through the process of meetings, documentation, and closing in about two months.


For additional information, please

 


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B2BCFO, Denny Kennedy
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
CIE @ CMU
Clark Hill
Duquesne University
Erie Technology Incubator
J.L.Nick Associates, Inc
KPMG
Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.
Penn State Behrend: Black School of Business
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
Pittsburgh Tech Council
Reed Smith
TJ&S
Truefit
University of Pittsburgh
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