Fundamentals: Angel Investing Courses - Angel 101 and Angel 201

Angel Investing Courses 101 and 201As the Seraf Compass was approaching its four year anniversary, our attention turned to more active forms of learning. We collected Compass insights and developed them into a suite of comprehensive courses allowing active learners to access the Compass materials in course form. As the project progressed, we partnered with the Angel Capital Association to co-brand the materials and allow the ACA to use them in their education efforts. Since we share the same mission and values as the ACA, we are very proud to be their official Education Partner. There are eight basic courses organized into four collections. Each course is available in electronic format or as part of a hard-copy book, available in both a student edition and an instructor edition with detailed teaching notes and classroom exercises.

What material is covered in Angel 101 and 201?

Angel 101 introduces six key topics that all angel investors need to understand as they make investments and ultimately build a successful portfolio of early stage companies:

  1. What an angel is and where they invest

  2. Financial concepts used to build a successful angel portfolio

  3. The angel investing process from start to finish

  4. Where to find interesting investment opportunities

  5. Why it’s important to undertake due diligence before investing

  6. The importance of investing both financial and human capital

Angel 201 helps you understand the basic concepts involved in negotiating a deal with an early stage company and how these companies are financed from inception to successful exit. The course will provide detailed material in six main areas:

  1. Introduction to investment deal terms on a termsheet

  2. Introduction to establishing a fair valuation for a startup company

  3. Company capitalization tables

  4. Thinking about later follow-on rounds

  5. Ways in which companies exit and return capital to investors

  6. Some key angel-focused tax issues

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Classroom Exercises

To help increase engagement with students and to improve retention of the course material, we encourage course instructors to add one or more exercises as part of the classroom experience. The format of these courses assumes some teaching time is devoted to exercises and discussion but we recommend instructors consider breaking it up and using a longer time window to allow for lots of interactive exercises. The Instructor Edition of each course contains extensive descriptions of suggested classroom exercises. Exercise descriptions should be reviewed in detail prior to teaching a class and an appropriate version of each classroom exercise should be developed for your particular teaching scenario. The Introduction to Angel Investing courses cover a lot of material in a short period of time, so students will benefit from taking a deeper dive into one or more of the topics covered by these courses.

Notes on Accessing the Content for Classroom Instruction

There are several documents that are part of the course content for these two classes. The student slide decks are in PDF format. They are published online and can be downloaded by going to the following URLs:

The instructor slide decks, which include speaker notes, are also in PDF format. They too are published online and can be downloaded at the following URLs:

Embedded within the speaker notes you will find web links to more detailed content on the topics covered in the slides. For the PDF files, you can click on these links to access the in-depth content. If you prefer a hard copy edition, you can purchase the printed books at Amazon.


To learn more about building an angel portfolio and developing the key skills needed to make great investments: