Through the Duke Angel Network, investors find innovative, early-stage Duke companies, while Duke entrepreneurs gain access to smart capital and mentorship to fuel their growth. The global Duke Angel Network brings the full weight of its members’ deep sector expertise and successful entrepreneurial leadership to bear to help develop our faculty, student, and alumni entrepreneurs.
Since its inception in 2015, the Duke Angel Network has invested in 36 Duke-affiliated companies. To date, these companies have raised more than $350 million in capital and have an aggregate enterprise value of nearly $1 billion. The Duke Angel Network is also a founding member of the Triangle Venture Alliance, an angel investing initiative designed to build purposeful regional partnerships in the Triangle’s thriving research ecosystem. This collaboration between the angel groups of Duke University, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and North Carolina Central University combines the power of the four universities to fund innovative companies with connections to these institutions.
Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the 2019 – 2020 academic year was a record year for the Duke Angel Network. Not only did its portfolio grow with exciting new companies, but it also increased its membership and the size of its investments. The Duke Angel Network also successfully completed its first co-investment with DUMAC and facilitated Y Combinator’s visit to Duke for meetings between Duke entrepreneurs and Y Combinator partners; twelve Duke startups were accepted into the subsequent Y Combinator cohort.
In addition to bringing significant capital and expertise to early-stage companies, the Duke Angel Network provides experiential education for graduate and professional students from across the University and Health system. Duke Angel Network Associates participate in a structured curriculum in venture capital, startups, and angel investing. They receive training in all aspects of the investment process. The value of this hands-on learning for students is transformative, providing experience with real investments. Associates complete their programs differentiated from their peers, and with experience that would be difficult to obtain anywhere else.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Duke Angel Network completed a comprehensive COVID-19 Portfolio Risk Assessment Brief and Quantitative Portfolio Risk Analysis and worked to support portfolio companies and members alike. The Duke Angel Network also provided educational opportunities for its stakeholders, hosting two webinars: “Surviving in a Market Downturn” for portfolio company founders, and “Investing in a Market Downturn” for investor members.