The Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative announces the launch of the Duke Angel Network. The network will engage Duke alumni to provide financial support and advice to the Duke entrepreneurial community. Duke’s alumni base includes a remarkable breadth of technical and business aptitude and experience: bringing this resource, in addition to early stage financing, to bear on Duke entrepreneurship represents an extraordinary opportunity for impact.
The Duke alumni community includes a number of active angel investors. In addition, more than 700 Duke alumni are registered on AngelList, a leading entrepreneurial website. Vice Provost and Director of I&E EricToone predicts that the Duke Angel Network will grow to roughly 150 members during the next two to three years. Members of the Angel Network must be accredited investors as defined by the SEC. Investment opportunities will come from the larger Duke community, including current faculty, students, and staff, was well as Duke alumni and parents.
Although affinity angel groups are active at a number of schools, Duke’s approach is unique in several regards. The Duke Angel Network will operate from within the University, led by John Glushik, a Duke alumnus and seasoned venture investor. Investments by the Angel Network will be augmented by the Duke Innovation Fund, which will co-invest alongside the Angel Network under the same terms offered the angels. The Duke Innovation Fund offers a unique opportunity for donors to directly support Duke entrepreneurship through charitable giving. Our approach increases the size of potential investments and allows us to support enterprises with higher capital requirements than could typically be considered by angel investors: currently the network is targeting companies looking to raise between $300K and $3M. Contributions to the DukeInnovation Fund qualify for both capital campaign credit and a charitable gift tax benefit. More information about the DukeAngel Network and the Duke Innovation Fund, including online giving, is available here.