Startup founder and private equity manager Trevor Folsom wants to take tech investors back to school, launching an education program to help people become better early stage investors.
The latest project for the serial entrepreneur, who walks the talk as an angel investor, is Investible, which he co-founded with his old mate Creel Price. The duo originally started the direct sales and marketing business Blueprint Management Group together 20 years ago, selling it to ANZ in 2008 for $109 million, only to watch it collapse 12 months later as the GFC hit.
Folsom’s other day job is as partner in Elevation Capital, which has backed the likes of Canva, Posse and Ipsy. The pair launched Investible in 2015, pitching it as a “startup generator that pairs entrepreneurial education with high quality investment capital”.
Folsom says First Angel is a 12-month educational program aimed at broadening the pool and knowledge of local angel investors. The monthly sessions are being led by former Springboard Enterprises CEO Elisa-Marie Dumas, who’s signed on with Investible as head of partner development & corporate innovation.
“We want to make investing into early-stage start-ups more accessible, lucrative and hassle free and create new opportunities for experienced entrepreneurs to give back to the ecosystem,” Dumas said.
To sign up for First Angel, you need to agree to hand over $25,000, with half going to Investible and the balance being invested in at least four startups. Alongside the workshops, the trainee investors hang about with startups in Investible’s programs.
It’s a neat little fit with the other side of Folsom and Price’s business, including The Lab, the company’s 8-week startup generator: The Pad, its incubation program for companies graduating from the Lab: and The Clique which puts the startups together with businesses together with Investible’s network of entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders.
First Angel also complements Club Investible, which they launched earlier this year, where members invest $100,000 into early-stage, high growth startups.
Folsom says he wants to “improve the quality of the entire start-up ecosystem” through his program.
“Many people are interested in angel investing but are not sure where to start – they’re time poor but are eager to learn more in order feel confident they are making well-informed investment decisions,” he said.