US angel investor Bill Payne took to the stage in Dublin on Wednesday to give the keynote at Angel MeetUp, Ireland’s first ever event to link up angel investors.
The aim of Angel MeetUp 2012, which was organised by Diane Roberts, CEO of Xcell Partners, was to create a platform for connecting Ireland’s angel investing community, and also to get investors thinking about coming together to form syndicates to invest in emerging start-ups.
As for Payne, he has been operating in the angel investing space for more than three decades in the US. He has also been an entrepreneur, having co-founded Solid State Dielectrics in 1971. He went on to sell the company to DuPont in 1982.
Having graduated from the University of Illinois in 1964 with both bachelor and master degrees in materials science, Payne worked as a research engineer and manager for Interpace Corporation in the 1960s.
It was in 1980 that Payne said he made his first two angel investments. Since then, he has invested in more than 50 start-ups in the US. Think Novacap was founded in 1980, with Payne as its business angel. The company was sold to Dover in 1987 and now operates as a standalone unit. Payne also invested in Email Publishing in 1996. The venture-funded company was sold to DoubleClick in 1999.
Payne has also served as an entrepreneur-in-residence to the Kauffman Foundation, plus he has founded four angel groups in the US. And, in 2009, he gleaned the Hans Severiens Award for US angel investor of the year.
Here, in this first video extract, Payne talks about the US angel-investing climate right now. Payne also gave data insight into trends in valuations in seed and start-up companies in the US.