Q: How long does the WSA investment process take?
This varies on a case-by-case basis. The time frame has been as short as 1 month, but the average is 2-3 months. West Suburban Angels will perform thorough diligence on all of the companies we consider, as we only invest when we strongly believe a company will succeed and gain from our involvement. Whether the group ultimately invests in your company or not, this process is also to your benefit. You will have a chance to meet mentors and other investors who can become invaluable for your continued growth and success. Along the way, we will expose you to the kinds of questions and concerns that customers and later stage investment circles will ask as well.
Q: Is there any way to expedite the review process?
If you have a pressing deadline to close a round, we encourage you to let us know. That said, we don’t cut corners in our diligence process, and we will be honest about whether or not we can meet your constraint. Creating an artificial deadline simply to move the process faster will not be helpful.
Q: What does the diligence timeline generally look like from application to investment?
Every company that applies through Gust is first assigned to an associate who will review your application materials and contact you for a discussion. Following that, the associate then presents your company at our bi-weekly committee meeting, where all associates and members of the screening committee will discuss your venture.
Opportunities that then move forward are then discussed at the bi-weekly screening committee call. The screening committee call consists of WSA angel members with domain expertise in your company’s field.
Companies with demonstrated member interest will then likely be invited to our online fast pitch event. Following the fast pitch event, the investor presentation and pitches happen based on each fiscal quarter, and they are chances for companies to pitch live in front of the members of West Suburban Angels. If members leave interested and we believe we can agree on terms, the companies will then enter the final rounds of detailed diligence.
Q: If West Suburban Angels as a group passes on my company, can I still receive investment from individual angel members?
Yes. One of the biggest advantages of our process is that you will meet new angel investors and mentors along the way. You are certainly welcome and encouraged to maintain these individual relationships whether or not a group deal is made. It is not uncommon for individual members to choose to invest in companies that make it to the later stages of the process regardless of group interest.
Q: If denied, am I allowed to reapply in the future?
Yes. Many of the companies that are not funded upfront return to us when they have encouraging updates or have delivered on specific issues we had identified in the initial application. We hope you will stay in touch with our associates even after an initial application.
Q: Who are the WSA associates?
WSA associates are current MBA candidates from Kellogg who are planning to make careers in Venture Capital. Many of them already have years of investment experience, startup operating experience, and/or industry domain expertise.
Q: Will an actual investor review my application as well?
Yes. Applications reviewed by associates are checked by members of the investment screening committee and more thoroughly reviewed during their due process.
Q: Will you sign our Non-Disclosure Agreement?
As with nearly all angel and venture capital groups, WSA does not sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). WSA sees a high volume of ideas, and often there is some overlap between companies. If our group members were to sign NDAs, it would be impossible to keep track of the potential legal issues that could arise. In turn, we will never steal your idea or pass sensitive information along to other companies or outside individuals.