SOURCE: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

February 23, 2007 10:00 ET

Angel Capital Education Foundation Becomes Independent Organization

Plans to Expand Research and Educational Programs on Angel Investing

KANSAS CITY, MO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 23, 2007 --The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Angel Capital Education Foundation (ACEF) jointly announced today that ACEF will become an independent, charitable education and research organization focused on the growing field of angel investing.

This will allow ACEF to grow its infrastructure and expand its program offerings by providing added flexibility in attracting and developing financial sponsorships and strategic partnerships.

ACEF was founded in 2005 out of a program at the Kauffman Foundation developed in response to the growing demand for accurate and accessible information about angel investing that was evident among academic communities, federal and state agencies concerned with economic development, and private investors and entrepreneurs. The Kauffman Foundation will continue its support of ACEF with a multi-year grant.

"We believe that the research ACEF supports and the educational and training programs ACEF runs will make researchers, policy-makers, and current and future investors and entrepreneurs better able to understand and take advantage of this important type of early-stage financing," said Marianne Hudson, Executive Director of ACEF.

Hudson said that the additional opportunities ACEF has as an independent, 501(c)(3) organization will allow it to expand its education and research efforts. Despite the fact that angel investors and angel investor groups provide an estimated 90 percent of outside equity capital -- after family and friends -- for start-up and early stage ventures, there are few resources people can turn to for information documenting this important role angel investment plays in the capital markets or explaining how they can effectively participate in this sector.

To address this shortage of information, ACEF plans to broaden its Power of Angel Investing seminar and workshop series to more than 40 communities this year, launch several research projects on the formation and performance of angel investor groups, and issue a new series of best practices guidelines on starting and operating angel groups. All information and educational tools are available to the public through a newsletter, white papers, and a website, www.angelcapitaleducation.org. The website also contains links to the websites of nearly 200 angel groups and other capital resources in the United States and Canada.

"This marks another milestone of the Kauffman Foundation in developing and launching innovative programs that promote greater understanding of important trends contributing to the growth of our entrepreneurial economy, particularly those relating to high impact entrepreneurs," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation.

"We are still in the early stages of understanding the size, behavior, dynamics and returns of angel investment," said James Geshwiler, Chairman of ACEF's nine-member board of directors. "The research we pursue and the educational programs that we implement in the coming years should have a broad effect on investing, entrepreneurship, and the economy."

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