AICA holds 3-4 pitching sessions per year. Usually in March, July and October.
As the decision to apply is generally a function of product/team readiness and need for financing, it is up to the entrepreneurs to decide when these two conditions are most opportune.
AICA operates as a traditional Angel network and is a platform that brings together Angel Members on one side and start-ups on the other. Accordingly, AICA Executive Staff do not make any decisions on which companies to invest in.
Instead, Angel Members themselves make proprietary investment decisions, on an individual basis, on those companies that are of interest.
No, in case there is interest on a specific start-up company, the interested Angel Member/s conduct negotiations, agree on deal terms and follow up on their investments. Apart from meeting coordination and scheduling, AICA staff do not advise or assist at any stage of the process.
AICA’s Selection Committee does not have specific guidance or limitations with regard to above matters. Instead it views positively start-ups that have innovative approaches, scalable business models, as well as teams with multi-geography market focus.
Other matters considered when evaluating companies to be short-listed for the forthcoming pitching session, are team diversity and commitment, product market fit, distribution channel considerations, competition, financials and others.
Given time constraints, unfortunately not all applying teams can be present at the pitch day. Accordingly, AICA Selection Committee needs to evaluate above listed factors when making a decision on short listing. It is not uncommon that those firms that cannot be invited due to rigorous competition are approached to pitch at the following pitching round. Moreover, start-ups which have undergone significant changes and growth, are encouraged to reapply. There is no fee for application.
The minimum fundraising that start-ups apply for is 25000USD.
There are no limitations to the upside, but the investment raised per round and company, have to date amounted to the triple of the above sum.
Entrepreneur’s preference for faster answers is valid and understandable. Yet given the risky nature of angel/venture investment, it should be expected that investors take time in their evaluation of the teams and their ideas. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to keep the communication lines open, be diligent and active in their communications. And if any Angel Member, has not come to a positive investment decision at that particular moment, they may make an opposite judgement when a new milestone is hit by the start-up team.
It is AICA’s goal to initiate and to facilitate communication between the parties. Accordingly its staff will be in touch with entrepreneurs and may invite companies that were not yet financed, to subsequent events if substantial progress has been registered and/or new Angel Members have joined.
AICA’s mission is to promote the dynamism of the Armenian private sector in general and the start-up and innovation scene in particular. More specifically, firms can be registered in an international domicile, but the operational teams need to be based in Armenia.
AICA is registered as a non-profit and its staff contribute on a purely volunteer basis. AICA’s costs such as event organization and marketing are financed by annual membership fees (donations) from its members.
AICA and its Executive Staff prides itself with the accumulated experience, knowledge and thought leadership gathered within its network. Its Members are seasoned professionals with decades of long-going and successful experience in different domains, positions and geographies. These are Presidents, Co-founders, Entrepreneurs and Investors both from Armenia and abroad.
Besides AICA’s mission to facilitate investment into Armenia’s rising entrepreneur-stars, its parallel objective is to facilitate knowledge exchange between Angel Members and start-up teams. It is to help Armenian’s entrepreneurs get access to sector based experience and market insights that will result in even better strategic decisions. This will in turn raise the probability of their successful company establishment.
AICA’s Angel Members come from a multitude of geographies and domains. They are all successful and seasoned professionals that share the passion of contributing to the success of Armenia’s private sector and its innovative dynamism.
There are no specific requirements on who can join AICA as a member, but usually cultural fit, time commitment and abilities to contribute financially are important considerations for the Member Selection Committee of AICA.