Contributing to a healthy society by fostering, supporting and incubating a sustainable and vibrant free press.

Fourth Estate Angels
Investing in the future of the news business

The Fourth Estate Angels are a member led group of accredited angel investors who invest seeking venture rates of return in extraordinary entrepreneurs with new, unique and/or disruptive solutions at the intersection of journalism, technology, data and community.

Fourth Estate Angels contribute smart money into to the companies they fund and welcome the opportunity to actively work with entrepreneurs who are open to taking advice, yet have the intelligence and determination to make their venture successful on their own.

 

Selected Members of the Fourth Estate Angel Group

Investor membership in the Fourth Estate Angels is by invitation only, and is extended to individuals who share our vision and will actively contribute to our process and success of portfolio companies. if you are interested in Fourth Estate Angel Group membership, please Contact Us.
Jeff Brown
Angel Investor
Mike O'Donnell
Angel Investor
Scott Dresden, MD, PhD
Angel Investor

Submit A Business Plan

Much more than an application. It’s an introduction.

We invest in extraordinary entrepreneurs with new, unique and/or disruptive solutions at the intersection of journalism, technology, data and community.

Please note that there is a $25 processing fee for each application. This is the only fee we charge throughout our entire process.

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More Information

The Investment Process

Investment Critera

Submit an Application

Companies that are interested in pursuing funding from our groups will apply for funding by Submitting an Application and completing a questionnaire, executive summary and pitch deck. Please note we charge a nominal – one-time – $25 non-refundable application fee to offset the costs associated with processing and handling the funding application.

Screening

We review all applications and select the most promising. We interact with companies that appear to be potential candidates for funding. After the initial interactions, companies are scored across a standard set of categories. Those companies receiving the highest scores will proceed to formal due diligence.

Due Dilligence

Whenever a company enters due diligence, we will assemble a due diligence team comprised of Fourth Estate staff and investor members that have experience and/or knowledge applicable to a particular company. As well, we look for any investor members that have a high level of interest in an opportunity to join the due diligence teams. During due diligence we will evaluate opportunities from head to toe. This will be an interactive process where we spend time with the management team to fully understand the plan and how the plan will be executed. We often work with teams to further refine the plan in order to improve the end result. Once a company successfully completes due diligence and is deemed worthy or ready for investment, the company will be allowed to present to the Fourth Estate Angels.

Presentations

Upon successful completion of due diligence, companies will have an opportunity to present to our group. Companies will have 25 minutes to present and 20 minutes to answer questions from our investors. Following the question and answer period, a member of the due diligence team will give a 10 minute report to the membership on the findings and answer any additional questions from our investor members.

Termsheet and Funding

Our members have a two weeks after the final presentation to make their investment decision. Information such as the business plan, due diligence report, and video of the presentation will be distributed to all members. When appropriate we aggregate all of the individual investments into a single investment vehicle and invest as a single shareholder in the target company.

Post Funding

Closing the funding is only the beginning of the angel funding process. Portfolio companies now have access to a network of contacts and experienced professionals who can provide valuable guidance for the growth and success of their company. As a partner, we are here to provide support in any way possible. Front-line support comes in the form of board representation. We receive board representation for all of our investments. Investing members will elect board representation from within the group.

Take a look at our basic investment criteria. If you believe your company meets our criteria, we would like to hear from you. You may submit an application for funding by Clicking Here.

Investment Size

The Fourth Estate Angels typically invests between $5000 to $250,000 with the following characteristics:

We like startups and early stage companies. Typically, we like to provide the first outside money that a company raises. However, we may also fund expansion rounds for early stage companies, particularly if we were the original investors.

Capital Efficiency

We look for companies that can generate (or expand) revenue with a relatively modest amount of capital. Capital efficient companies run a tight ship and can take a round of capital and grow a profitable business within a few years. The quicker a company can produce revenue, the more excited we become about the opportunity.

Industry Focus

We will consider investing in companies with new, unique and/or disruptive solutions at the intersection of journalism, technology, data and community. We like companies that address major problems for large target markets and possess highly scalable and efficient business models.

Management Team

We invest in people. Talented people are the biggest driver of success. People are our single most important criteria in making an investment decision. We like relevant experience and track record, but passion, drive and unique insight are a must.

Technology

We prefer to invest in first-of-a-kind new ideas, rather than incremental enhancements to common products and services. However, we approach highly complex, esoteric technologies with caution. The concept behind the technology must be proven and verifiable. Further, we avoid science projects that don’t demonstrate a clear path to commercialization. Any breakthrough innovation must be accompanied by a strong business plan.

Competitive Advantage

Companies must have features that distinguish them from potential competitors or provide barriers to entry that prevent other companies from capturing their customers with a similar offering. Companies must also demonstrate that these advantages are sustainable over time.

Pre-Money Valuation

We typically only consider deals with pre-money valuations less than $500,000 for pre-revenue companies. However, if a company has existing revenues, we will consider deals with pre-money valuations that exceed $$500,000.

Expected Return

We invest in companies that could return at least 5X to 10X our investment within a three to five year window. This level of return on investment is essential due to the level of risk and the likelihood of failure among early stage ventures.

Location

We prefer to invest in deals located in the United States but will consider any company located elsewhere if it presents a unique opportunity.