Optional ACA Education is available on Wednesday morning. Select the right session for you during registration

2019 ACA "Best of the Midwest" Regional Meeting

(As of 10/2/19)
Wednesday, October 16
8:30 AM - 12:00 Noon

Optional Add-on Educational Workshops

Fundamentals of Angel Investing – In-depth program designed for new angels or accredited investors interested in learning more about angel investing or joining an angel group.  Includes a detailed presentation delivered by a certified ACA instructor who leads the session and moderates experienced panelist discussions, with angels and experts from the community.  Interactive course with considerable time for Q&A. 

Term Sheet Basics – Term sheets outline the key provisions of the agreement between the investors and the startup.  This half-day introductory seminar provides clear, practical information on early-stage term sheets, focused on helping newer angel investors understand deal terms.  The course includes lectures, interviews and an engaging and fun exercise to build understanding of sound term sheets aligned with the interests of both entrepreneurs and early-stage investors. 
1:15 PM

Driving Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Ed:  Why University of Cincinnati is Investing Millions in the Start-Up Ecosystem

David Adams, Chief Innovation Officer, University of Cincinnati
Spotlight on the Region
  • The Midwest:  Survey of ACA Group Leaders   Gain learnings from the results of a customized survey of Midwest angel groups covering membership trends, deal terms, and more.
  • ACA Data Analytics:  A Deep Dive into the Midwest  Learn about the latest insights compiled by ACA data partner Hockeystick, with a particular focus on data from Midwest angel groups.

Spotlight on Smart Practices:  Concurrent Breakout Sessions

First Session:  2:30-3:00

(choose one)
  • Building a larger, more diverse membership
    Ann Mooney, Queen City Angels
  • What Bad Blood can teach angels about due diligence and governance
    John Huston, ACA Chair Emeritus
  • Doing Good and Doing Well:  Unlocking Value with Revenue-Based Financing to Drive Impact Investing
    Bill Tucker, Executive Director, Flywheel Social Enterprise
    Brett Smith, Founding Director, Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Miami Univ.
    Brendan Cosgrove, Consultant, Capital Access Lab, Kauffman Foundation
Networking Break

Second Session:  3:30-4:00

(choose one)
  • Driving syndication:  How one state has made syndication routine
    Parker MacDonell, Managing Director, OTAF/Rev1; Past ACA Board
    Todd Federman, Managing Director, North Coast Angel Fund
  • Pre-due diligence checklist:  How to keep you (and the entrepreneur) from wasting a lot of time
    Marcia Dawood, ACA Board Member and Head of Operations, Portfolia
  • Why South Korean delegations are beating a path to Milwaukee:  A model to help portfolio companies participate in the global value chain
    Teresa Esser, Managing Director, Silicon Pastures
Spotlight on Entrepreneurs:  An inspiring story from an unusual entrepreneur followed by a curated set of pitches from promising companies currently raising funds.
  • Update on 2018 “Best of the Midwest” DSM LLC Fund Last year’s ACA Midwest Regional Meeting in Des Moines included an opportunity for groups to invest in nine companies via a Special Purpose Entity, the “Best of the Midwest” DSM Fund.  Hear an update on the Fund and how those companies are performing.

    Mike Colwell, Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Greater Des Moines Partnership
    2018 ACA Midwest Regional Meeting Chair
  • “An Angel Goes into a Bar…”  Reflections on entrepreneurship from a noted businesswoman and mixologist, accompanied by a pre-dinner cocktail created especially for the Meeting by the entrepreneur.

    Molly Wellman, Entrepreneur and Mixologist; 2019 Bar-Owner of the Year
  • Entrepreneur Showcase:  Hear from seven companies who will be raising funds at the time of the Regional Meeting.  These companies will be selected out of nominations from around the region.  In addition to inspiring stories, we expect these companies and their lead angel group investors to offer important syndication opportunities.

    Moderator:  TBA
Wednesday Program Concludes
Optional Networking Reception and Dinner  Enjoy time with fellow meeting attendees at one of Cincinnati’s pre-eminent breweries, Rhinegeist.  Spend time with our entrepreneurs as well.  The event includes dinner and fully hosted beer, wine and soft drinks all evening.  Rhinegeist is one of the fastest growing and most widely acclaimed regional breweries in the U.S.
Thursday, October 17
7:30 AM
Continental Breakfast

Welcome and ACA Update

Tony Shipley, Chair, ACA

Sarah Dickey, Program Director, ACA
Spotlight on Economic Development
  • Revitalizing a City:  How a Mid-Sized, Midwestern City Became a Cool Place for Start-ups  Hear about how Cincinnati has brought together investors, big corporates, accelerators and entrepreneurs to attract investable innovations and drive dramatically better deal flow.

    Pete Blackshaw, CEO, Cintrifuse, in conversation with James Zimmerman, Partner-in-Charge, Taft (Cincinnati)
  • Regional Economic Development  What Midwestern states are doing to support entrepreneurship and drive economic development.

    Jim McGraw, Corporate Partner, KMK Law and CEO, KMK Consulting
    Skip Sims, Senior VP, Ann Arbor SPARK; Managing Member, Michigan Angel Fund
    Wade Williams, Vice President of Business Development, REDI Cincinnati
Networking Break
Spotlight on Collaborating
  • Panel Discussion:  Why Bigco’s See Working with Start-ups as a Strategic Imperative  Executives from large companies will share how they are partnering with start-ups to mutual benefit.

    Patricia Felts, Vice President, Strategic Investments, Fifth Third Bank
    Naashom Marx, Senior Manager, Strategic Innovation, Kenton County Airport Board
    Kevin Willey, Kroger Executive-in Residence at Cintrifuse

Demystifying Software IP – The Latest from the USPTO

Vance VanDrake, Patent Attorney, Ulmer & Byrne LLP: Author, The Patent Game


Remarks by Pat Gouhin, newly appointed CEO of the ACA


Closing Keynote:  Interview with J.D. Vance
In conversation with David J. Willbrand, Partner, and Chair, Early Stage & Emerging Company Practice, Thompson Hine LLP


The Meeting concludes with an engaging conversation with J.D. Vance.  Noted author of the New York Times bestselling Hillbilly Elegy, Mr. Vance is an early stage venture investor and passionate advocate for directing capital to underserved geographies.     Mr. Vance has joined with Steve Case on their “Rise of the Rest” effort to bring attention to communities outside of Silicon Valley, New York and Boston (many of these in the Midwest).  Mr. Vance will provide his perspectives on the importance of seed stage investing to drive economic development and deliver attractive returns, while sharing stories of his family and upbringing that helped shape his professional priorities.  Includes Q&A with meeting attendees.
Meeting Concludes