Angel Plus, LLC and its partners and associates actively participate in the global, angel investment eco-system. We share our expertise as entrepreneurs, regularly serve as panelists and judges in a multitude of topic areas and innovation competitions, coach and mentor CEO's with their start-up's, work with accredited investors, and lecture and teach on topics like the due diligence process, the changing entrepreneur and investor investment climate, technology transfer, and a variety of other related topics. The following activities are illustrative of Angel Plus, LLC's international reach.
September 28, 2018, Shirley Gee, Panelist, "Technology Transfer - Europe, U.S. and China", Third Annual Tongxiang Economic and Trade Fair, Shanghai, China
May 23, 2018, Shirley Gee, Stanford Faculty Club Meeting on Autonomous Driving Technology, Rong Wenwei, Deputy Director of Administration Committee, Shanghai International Automobile City, and President and General Manager of Shanghai International Automobile City (Group) Co. Ltd., Dr. Robert Panes, Presentation: Autonomous Driving, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
March 22, 2017, 1:00-2:30pm, Shirley Gee, Host, Vice Mayor and Delegation from Yangpu, Shanghai, China, Stanford Faculty Club and Campus, Stanford, CA
November 14, 2016, 3:00-5:00pm, Shirley Gee, Participant, Bay Area Council, "Regional Relations with China", 353 Sacramento Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco, CA
November 2, 2016, 2:00-3:30pm, Shirley Gee, Moderator and Panelist, "Cross Border Investing" between U.S. and China, Winston & Strawn, San Francisco, CA (See interview with Chinese TV broadcast in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore- http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/Ehc2XQpke_XJlT6OlKM6vQ
October 18, 2016, 6-8pm, Shirley Gee, Panelist, "Female Founders Pitch Female Funders", Host: The Expat Woman (theexpatwoman.com) (International Female Founders), DevBootCamp, 633 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA
August 10, 2016, 6-8pm, Shirley Gee, Panelist, "Female Founders Pitch Female Funders", Host: The Expat Woman (theexpatwoman.com), Instacart, 50 Beale Street, 11th Floor, San Francisco, CA (International Female Founders)
July 26, 2016, 9:00am-10:00pm, Shirley Gee, Featured Lecturer, "Entrepreneuership & Capital, Marketing and Global Business, EMBA Exchange Program with La Salle Barcelona Students, Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA
July 26, 2015, 10:00am-12:00pm, Shirley Gee, Moderator, Panel on "Cycles of a Start-up", Marketing and Global Business, EMBA Exchange Program with La Salle Barcelona Students, Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA.
April 25, 2016, Shirley Gee, Panelist, 10am-12pm, Taiwan’s Industrial Research Technology Institute and Taiwan’s Cornerstone Intellectual Property Foundation, Winston & Strawn LLP, 275 Middlefield Rd., Suite 205, Menlo Park, CA94025
July 31, 2015, 9:00am-12:00pm, Shirley Gee, Panelist and Judge, "Pitching for Capital", Marketing and Global Business, EMBA Exchange Program with La Salle Barcelona Students, Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA.
July 30, 2015, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Shirley Gee, Lecturer, "Due Diligence 101", Marketing and Global Business, EMBA Exchange Program with La Salle Barcelona Students and EMBA Exchange Program with Peruvian Students, Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA.
July24, 2015, 12:15pm-1:5pm, Shirley Gee, Lecturer, "Due Diligence and Investors", SV Links - Immersion Program in Silicon Valley (Latin America Counties - Mexico, Argentina, and Peru), Palo Alto, CA
April 29, 2015, Shirley Gee, Panelist, 6:00pm-9:00pm, German American Business Association, "The Future Rise of Women Entrepreneur", Merrill Lynch, 101 S. Ellsworth Ave., San Mateo, CA94401
April 24, 2015, Shirley Gee, Panelist, "Tension Between Entrepreneurs and Investors & Successful Start-up's", Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute @ Winston & Strawn, LLP, 1:30pm-5:00pm, 275 Middlefield Rd., Suite 205, Menlo Park, CA94025
November 4, 2014, Shirley Gee, accredited Angel Investor at Private Event withMinistry of Science & Future Planning South Korea and Born2Global and their South Korea start-up CEO's. Also in attendance: angels, venture capitalists, U.S. CEOs, entrepreneurs, and opinion leader. Hosted by Founders Space at Reed Smith, Palo Alto, CA
October 28, 2014, Shirley Gee, Panelist, "Belgian Pitch Competition", http://www.invest-export.irisnet.be/en/a-propos (Brussels, Belgian), Reed Smith, 1510 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA
July 25, 2014, Shirley Gee, Panelist for Marketing and Global Business, EMBA Exchange Program with La Salle Barcelona. Critique business proposals from Barcelona students, Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA.
July 24, 2014, Shirley Gee, Lecturer for EMBA Exchange Program with La Salle Barcelona's students. "Elements of a Good Business Presentation to Investors" and Elements of a Good Business Plan that will Pass Due Diligence", Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA.
July 2, 2014, Shirley Gee, Participant in Working Sessions and as Investor, Cross Border Angels (CBA), Marketing Innovation WorldWide (MiW), and Scaale present, "Bay Area - Israel Working Meeting". Assist Israeli start-up's with their presentations to investors, Hanson Bridgett Law Firm, San Francisco, CA.
September 26, 2013, Shirley Gee, By Invitation Only, Investment and Trade Forum, Foreign Investment Committee, Santiago, Chile, San Francisco, CA
May 23-26, 2013, Shirley Gee, Guest Speaker, Technology Transfer Conference in Istanbul, Turkey discussing the Due Diligence Process and outlining the guiding principles for effective technology transfer from educational institutions to private industry.
- May 24, 2013, Shirley Gee, "Investor Workshop - Due Diligence", Keiretsu Forum, Istanbul, Turkey
- May 23, 2013, Shirley Gee, Lecturer and Panelist, "Intellectual Property - Technology Transfer", Boğaziçi Üniversity, Istanbul Turkey
- May 3, 2012, Shirley Gee, Co-Presenter, International Investor Forum, Investors and Presenters from Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Cisco Simul-Webcast facility, San Jose, CA.
- September 28, 2011, Shirley Gee, Lecturer, "Guest Entrepreneurs from France", French American Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco, CA
Featured Article of Interview from Istanbul, Turkey
(July 07 2013)
Report on a Company’s Anatomy
An Interview with Shirley Gee
By Yusuf Ozan Ustebay
(TRANSLATED FROM TURKISH TO ENGLISH)
It is difficult for entrepreneurs to convince investors. The tips given by Shirley Gee (Chair, Life Science Committee, Keiretsu Forum Northern California and Managing Partner, Angel Plus, LLC) on "due diligence" (DD), about marketing the business, and what to take into consideration can make it easier for entrepreneurs to convince investors.
A new investment ecosystem for entrepreneurs is being built in Turkey and entrepreneurs will have to adapt to new rules and practices within that system. Getting through a DD assessment is one of these new practices. Due diligence expert, Shirley Gee, visited Turkey in May as a guest of Keiretsu Forum Istanbul and provided information about the DD process and how she sees the emerging Turkish investment ecosystem.
Why is Due Diligence (DD) important?
Due diligence is a road map to strengthen the relationship between the entrepreneur and the investor. When entrepreneurs start moving towards capital for their companies, they generally prepare a presentation, issue a lot of business cards and attend networking activities, where they can meet with investors. Although it is good to meet with investors, when it comes to raising capital, your presentation is just a few slides and your business card is seen as just another piece of paper. The only way to have concrete proof of your business and its value is by having a due diligence assessment performed on your company. A DD report is issued after a detailed investigation of such things as a company’s financial statements, business plan, business model, competition analysis and management team. It includes all the information that an investor would want to know in addition to the business plan and the strategy of the company. (There are at least 12 topics covered during a DD).
Who should conduct the Due Diligence?
There are many consultancy firms who conduct due diligence (e.g. Angel Plus, LLC). These consultancy companies are independent with specialized teams and professionally investigate entrepreneurs. This process can only be achieved with the cooperation of the company being investigated. Since entrepreneurs require a DD report in order to present to investors, it is important that the entrepreneur and the consultancy firm work collaboratively together.
What is being investigated during DD?
Due diligence is a process to understand the anatomy of a business and to access the potential of the company. During this process, the business model and the deal terms of the company are reviewed. The potential for profitability and whether it is a good deal is analyzed. Another step, is a review of the management team in order to understand the team's capability to execute the business plan. Employee curriculum vitae and references are examined.
Are the assets of the company also a part of this investigation?
A well prepared DD report includes a detailed financial assessment of the company. At this level, our goal is to understand how careful a company utilizes its financial resources. For example, in an early seed stage company, we want to know, "are they using their seed capital for product development to create value and to get their product to market faster or are they using it for office space or furniture." The crucial aspect of this assessment is whether the company is focused on adding value for every penny spent. Although it is not realistic to expect a high level of added value from all expenditures from early stage companies, investors wants to see that the entrepreneur will spend their investment funds carefully and are trying hard to give investors a good return on their investments.
Are the goods and services of the early stage companies also analyzed?
Most certainly. The product being offered and the competitive market for it are also analyzed. At this stage, the quality of the product is reviewed. For example, whether the product is offering a solution to a problem important. If so, the product will probably sell itself. Since protecting the intellectual property is part of a company's strategy (e.g., to create barriers to prevent entry by others), getting patents granted for the product is crucial. Also important is determining the size and competitive landscape in the marketplace for the product as this set the profitability of product and timeline to achieve it. The pricing model to be pursued, therefore, would also be evaluated.
When conducting such detailed reports, valuation should be set through this process. How do you determine valuation of a company?
Every section of the DD report are prepared by its respective topic specialists. The final valuation number can be instructed by the facts found during the DD. A valuation amount helps companies to gauge their progress and strategy for future funding. (A precise valuation is performed by another consultancy service).
Are there any other subjects that are evaluated during DD?
During the DD stage, a review is made of which industry sector the company falls into. Some sectors like pharma or other medical areas and agriculture are highly specialized and may take longer to prepare a DD.
Other subjects in DD report would include quality control and its systems and processes, the company's supply chain, insurance and risks assessments, and succession planning in case the head of the company leaves.
Do you also investigate the future of the company?
The goals of the company are also investigated. The entrepreneur should define its end goal with respect to the capital being solicited. The company needs to define the actual milestones and how it expects to reach them. For example; an internet company’s milestone might be to reach a 1,000,000 user mark in a 12-month period with the funds being raised (I.e., achieving this milestone would allow them to be acquired). Entrepreneur should be able to convince the investor that they can reach this goal with the capital provided by the investor.
You described the Due Diligence process as a determinant factor for the entrepreneur – investor relationship. During DD is the post-investment relationship of the entrepreneur and investor also analyzed?
Analysis of exit strategy shapes the post-investment relationship (as all investors want a liquidation event to achieve a return on investment). An exit strategy should be in alignment with the company’s business plan. If there is alignment, the short and long-term plans and capital to implement it will be clearly defined and it will be clearly evident that it is leading to an exit.
From what I understand, the Due Diligence is a process requires really hard work. Do you think it is possible for early-stage companies to pass such a detailed process?
DD covers all aspects of the company. Although it looks like too detailed of a process for early-stage companies, they definitely should still get a DD perform on their company. Having all of the necessary elements in place early will allow company to scale up eventually. In my opinion, entrepreneurs should always be reminded to be prepared to pass a DD (an early DD can avoid common mistakes later). Moreover, there are many research papers that show the direct correlation between having a comprehensiveness DD (not only in getting funding), but having a higher return for investors. Therefore, DD is an important process for success.
What do you think about the entrepreneur-investor ecosystem in Turkey?
I believe that Turkey, while new to the investment ecosystem, has a high potential for excelling in this investment ecosystem. Although the systems are not exactly the same (given their respect histories), I think there is a real exciting "energy" emerging within the Turkey ecosystem that is similar to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Goods and services sold in Turkey are a part of the commercial ecosystem. This passion for commerce and economic success are important elements for a vibrant investment ecosystem. Turkey's youth are studying business abroad and returning to Turkey showing their great faith in Turkey’s potential.
In order to realize Turkey’s investment ecosystem, supportive public policies will need to play a key role. To the extent possible, the investment ecosystem should be allowed to operate without too much intervention and intellectual property rights should be protected to encourage participation by all. When you look at Silicon Valley, you see an ecosystem where innovation and ideas are liberally shared. The US government is a partner and supports this. Intellectual property rights are protected and new ideas are transferred from universities to private industry as fast as possible.
This freedom to operate increases the number of innovative companies, creates employment and attracts investors. This, in turn, creates a sustainable ecosystem. If supportive investment regulations, strong intellectual property protections, and effective processes to raise investor confidence are developed within Turkey, an equally successful investment ecosystem can be achieved.