ACA Angel University at The Big Launch Challenge

Date: October 13-14, 2021 
Location: North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Durham, NC

The Angel Capital Association is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments on a daily basis and how it may impact upcoming ACA activities.  As the situation progresses, ACA will post updates about the changes or contingency plans on our website, on our social channels (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) and in emails to registered attendees, speakers, presenting companies and members. 

  • All attendees are required to be vaccinated and will verify during registration.
  • We are now requiring MANDATORY masks indoors for all attending individuals, unless eating, drinking, or presenting.

Attendees will begin the two-day event with ACA Angel University and conclude with The Big Launch Challenge where 10 leading startups will compete to win $15,000 to move their ventures forward.

ACA Angel University: An Immersive, Interactive Learning Experience

Designed to increase collaboration between entrepreneurs and angel investors, these two workshops will give you powerful insights and actionable strategies to make angel investments and startups the support more successful. The workshops will be taught by leading experts in angel investing. 

Ron Weissman
Band of Angels

Peter Adams
Rockies Venture Club

Risks in Angel Investing, October 13: Angels learn how to manage their risks to build a stronger portfolio. Learn about the risks from the entrepreneur and investor perspectives, and gain insights into the due diligence that is necessary to mitigate these risks.  A case study exercise gives participants hand-on exposure to uncovering and addressing risks.

Angel Exit Strategies, October 14: This workshop teaches angels and their portfolio companies how to work together to achieve the most successful exits. The course features the drivers for high multiples and how companies can build in value from the very beginning of their ventures. The workshop finishes with the “Exit Strategy Canvas” that walks participants through the six key elements of exit strategy. 

Taken together, in these two workshops:

  • Angels will learn how to get to successful paydays—harvesting their investments by helping their companies manage risks and achieve successful exits.
  • Entrepreneurs gain a better understanding of how angels think and evaluate early-stage companies helping entrepreneurs build stronger partnerships with their investors.


The Big Launch Challenge: Leading Startups Compete for $15,000

The Big Launch Challenge is a competition targeting the best startups in the country 10 leading startups will compete for $15,000 in prize money.

The goal of the Big Launch Challenge is to provide early-stage startups the opportunity to pitch to investors, and for The Launch Place Pre-Seed and Seed Fund to generate deal flow. Every year it is a different experience, with different business ideas and founding teams.

The Launch Place has awarded $159,000 to 14 companies in the competition’s 9-year history. The majority of winners have gone on to raise additional investment and build successful companies.  VitalFlo , a rapidly growing company providing respiratory data, analysis, and care, is a great example of the impact of this program.  The organization strives to foster an environment for new and serial entrepreneurs in which they can raise capital and have access to support services they need to take their products and solutions into the marketplace.