Ready for the Next Phase of Your Angel Investing Journey? Apply to First Round’s Angel Track
Applications are open for our Spring 2023 cohort — get yours in by 1/29
The new year brings new beginnings, a fresh slate that’s ready to be filled with ambitious new goals. If you’ve been toying with the idea of adding “Take my angel investing to the next level” to your list of resolutions in 2023, then this is the read for you.
While it’s easy to focus on the uncertainty dominating the headlines, recent innovations and breakthroughs in everything from AI to biotech have made it an incredibly energizing time for founders and investors alike. While some may choose to sit on the sidelines, there are incredible opportunities to tap into available talent, make use of brand-new technologies, and get in on the ground floor of potentially transformational companies.
And amid the layoffs, budget cuts and market corrections, founders need that first round of funding and those crucial early believers, now more than ever. As early-stage entrepreneurs look to build more efficiently and get to traction more quickly, the right angel investor in their corner can make an outsized difference these days.
But even under the best of conditions, angel investing isn’t a game for the faint of heart. It’s a bet on the distant future. It’s a discipline where the learning curve is steep and the feedback loop is long. It can also be an incredibly lonely endeavor, given that the very nature of this solo-sport means there aren’t any partners to lean on or mentors to learn from. All this to say that even more seasoned angel investors (who’ve been at it for a few years and made several investments already) find themselves hungering for more resources, structure and support.
If you count yourself in that camp of experienced angels looking to place smarter, more focused bets and find a community of others hoping to do the same in 2023, then you’re in luck: We’re excited to announce that we’re opening up applications for the 12th cohort of Angel Track.
Since our scrappy, experimental start in 2018, we’re immensely proud that Angel Track has gone on to become the best place to scale your angel investing practice.
As we’ve expanded the program, it’s been thrilling to trace the trajectory of countless careers across our tightly-knit community of 344 alumni. There’s a wide range of paths, including:
- Leaders at exciting startups (like Carbon’s Ayo Omojola, dbt’s Julia Schottenstein and Notion’s Ben Lang)
- Full-time investors (like Variant’s Li Jin, Lightspeed’s Justin Overdorff and a16z’s David Haber)
- Community builders and creators penning can’t-miss-newsletters (like Lenny Rachitsky’s Lenny’s Newsletter, Mario Gabriele’s The Generalist, and Emily Kramer’s MKT1)
- Folks capping off incredible runs and working on their next plays (like former HelloSign CEO Joseph Walla and former Divvy SVP of Product Tyler Hogge)
- Founders leading standout companies of their own (like Column’s William Hockey, Rupa Health’s Tara Viswanathan, Loyal’s Celine Hailoua, and Rewind’s Dan Siroker).
But even as we’ve added hundreds of impressive alumni to the ranks, we’ve never stopped experimenting and raising the ambitions of Angel Track — from bringing on our first-ever dedicated GM for the program last year, to revamping the curriculum and building new tools.
As we kick off (what is somehow) our fifth year, here’s a spotlight on the shiny and new that’s in store for 2023:
Returning to our in-person roots:
The chance to build deep and authentic relationships with fellow members has always been the secret sauce of Angel Track. Much of this can be traced back to the roots of our very first cohort in 2018, which started with just 16 members meeting once a week in our San Francisco office. Of course, the formula for how we gather has since evolved by necessity, as recent years forced a remote-first approach. But over the course of 2022, we’ve seen the value of gathering in person once again, from thematic, sector-specific small group dinners to the intimate, carefully-crafted retreats for alumni we were able to put together. Now, with 11 cohorts under our belt, we’re excited to share that Angel Track will continue to remain a hybrid, distributed program, but with a lot more options for in-person gatherings in San Francisco and New York City. We’re excited to return to bringing people together in these two areas (where most of our community is still based), ramping up the frequency to make in-person, regional gatherings more of a staple of the Angel Track experience this year.
Layering on a thematic focus:
Each Angel Track cohort feels quite distinct due to the unique combination of its members. We’re always seeking to strike the right balance between common threads that stitch folks together and diverse perspectives that everyone can learn from. This year, we’re trying something new by leaning a bit more into specific verticals (namely, SaaS, Data/Developer Tools, AI/ML, Health, and Fintech), carving out new groups within our community to sharpen angels’ ability to build conviction and support founders in those sectors. (So if you invest in these particular areas, we’re especially interested to hear from you as we consider applications!)
Leveling up the curriculum:
We’ve found that most of our cohort members are looking for incredibly tactical angel investing frameworks that dive into the actual nuts and bolts of how to be more than just a check. That’s why we’ve continued to refine and iterate on our custom-built curriculum, which is tailored to accelerate learning across every aspect of angel investing — from sourcing techniques and frameworks for evaluating pre-product companies, to tactics for supporting founders and strategies for structuring your portfolio. We’ve recently introduced case studies, a new format that gives cohort members the chance to dive even deeper by examining real-word investment decisions, walking through practical exercises and hearing from the founders and investors who were actually involved.
How to apply:
If you’re eager to experience these benefits firsthand and supercharge your own angel investing career, we encourage you to toss in your application for the Spring 2023 cohort of Angel Track — or share the link with someone who you think could be a great fit. Applications close on January 29th at 12 AM PST. (We’ll be accepting applications on a rolling basis before then.)
You could be a great fit if:
- You’ve made between 5–15 angel investments already, but you’re looking to take things to the next level and start thinking more strategically.
- You’re particularly interested in backing founders building in SaaS, Data/Developer Tools, AI/ML, Health, and Fintech.
Meet our Fall 2022 Cohort:
If you’re curious to learn more about the community you’ll be joining, we’ll end by introducing you to the newest faces who are joining the ranks of Angel Track alumni — the 37 incredible additions from the Fall 2022 cohort that just wrapped:
- Alex Cohen, Sr. Director, Product @ Carbon Health
- Andrew Blachman, Partner @ Marketplace Capital
- Andy Coravos, CEO/co-founder @ HumanFirst
- Ben Eidelson, Advisor & investor, formerly @ Stripe
- Dan Carroll, Co-founder @ Clever
- Danika Koenig, Head of Payments & GM @ Ness
- David Nunez, Former Head of Internal Docs @ Stripe
- David Green, CEO @ Earnest
- David Ongchoco, Growth Lead @ Rutter
- Dun Wang, former Chief Product & Growth Officer @ Calm
- Ekin Oflazer, Product Lead @ Notion
- Gallant Chen, Growth Advisor @ Gallant Growth
- Genevieve Sheehan, VP of Product & GM, Confluence @ Atlassian
- James Herbert, SVP, Strategy @ First Republic Bank
- Jim Esposito, COO @ Moonpay
- Jon Bell, CEO, Co-Founder @ Entrée
- Julie Blanc, VP Operations & Strategy @ Array
- Julie Maresca, Head of Global Accounts and Strategic Verticals @ Atlassian
- Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran, CEO @ Luminai
- Kunal Bisla, Former PM @ Robinhood & Netflix
- Laura Spiekerman, Co-Founder & CRO @ Alloy
- Lindon Gao, VP of Engineering @ Instacart
- Momo Ong, President & Co-Founder @ HeadsUp.ai
- Omri Mor, CEO @ Routable Inc.
- Patrick Peterson, Founder @ Ceibaworks
- Sahir Jaggi, Product Strategy @ Oscar Health
- Sandy Varatharajah, Director, Operations @ firsthand
- Sarah Heck, Head of Entrepreneurship @ Stripe
- Sarah Koo, Head of Product @ Gem
- Sean Byrnes, Former CEO @ Outlier AI
- Thianh Lu, VP of Product @ Blockchain.com
- Ting Ting Luo, VP of Marketing @ Orum
- Todd Johnson, Director, Product Management @ SoFi
- Tracy Meng, Head of Crypto Revenue @ Plaid
- Uma Chingunde, VP of Engineering @ Render
- Warren Shaeffer, VP @ Medium
- Wes Donohoe, CEO @ Helpful
Looking forward to meeting all of the new names who will be joining our community in the year ahead!