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Australian Angel Investor Activity Under the Spotlight

The level at which angel investment is propelling Australian innovation into commercial success is being put under the microscope by a new national research project.

Australian angel investors, individuals and groups who provide financial and support capital for business start-ups, are being urged to complete the latest National Angel Survey before Monday 16 January.

Conducted by Bentleys in association with The Australian Association of Angel Investors (AAAI), the survey aims to investigate the backgrounds and behaviours of local angels and what drives their investment choices. Bentleys director Heath Shonhan said angel investment is one of the fastest growing sources of innovation funding and job creation in Australia.

“Start-ups funded by angel investments contribute significantly to productivity improvements and economic growth across many industries,” said Mr Shonhan. “It is our aim to monitor that growth in order to foster the angel community and help AAAI inform future practice and policy.

“Results will also contribute to the World Business Angels Association’s comparative research on angel investments across different countries.” Survey results will be presented at the 2012 National Angels Conference on 29 February in Melbourne.

AAAI CEO Ruth Drinkwater said results were set to be of interest to the angel community, entrepreneurs, big business and government. “By better understanding what makes angel investors tick, we can all learn how to best leverage their expertise to benefit new companies, entrepreneurs and society in general,” Ms Drinkwater said.  “For example, angel investment has the potential to create thousands of jobs well into the future, not only for those directly employed by portfolio companies, but also for contractors, service providers and suppliers.”

2010 National Angel Survey respondents invested more than $3million to fund at least 22 companies, leveraging same-round co-investments of $12million.

More than sixty per cent of individual angel investments and half of angel group investments were in seed and start-up companies, with the most popular sectors life sciences, clean tech, web software and IT.

“We are predicting that life sciences will remain popular, as well as related sectors like agribusiness and medical devices,” Ms Drinkwater said. “In terms of personal contribution, angel investors spent on average 48 hours a month on their activities, with almost half that time spent advising their adopted entrepreneurs or liaising with potential investees.

“A key principle of angel investing is to contribute intellectual capital as well as financial capital, and we have found in the past that many angel groups seek formal representatives to pursue investors’ interests and to channel contributions from the entire group.”

The 2011 National Angel Survey is open to active and aspiring angel investors until Monday 16 January at

Respondents also have the opportunity to go into the draw to win a complimentary registration for the Angel Investors Annual Conference being held in Melbourne 29 February to 2 March.


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