One of Boston’s best known angel groups is making some changes to its structure, aimed at better serving local entrepreneurs. CommonAngels announced today that it’s bringing on Maia Heymann as Managing Director, alongside James Geshwiler, and the group is adjusting its funding process as well as the commitment required of its angels.
Heymann has been a member of CommonAngels since 2006 and has served on its board. She has also worked on both the VC and LP sides of venture investing.
“What entrepreneurs really want is the clarity of a fund with a handful of high quality angels,” Geshwiler told me yesterday. “Aggregating lots of different checks you don’t really know how much money you have until the very end.”
To that end, CommonAngels is centralizing the decision-making for its fund with the leadership of an eight person committee to guide its investments. Those investments will still be joined by individual angel checks, but the higher percentage coming from the fund will help speed the process and clarify for entrepreneurs how big an investment is under consideration.
The committee will seek input from the entire group in its decision-making, focusing on companies where there’s both interest from angels and relevant expertise, but it will be empowered to make decisions on its own.
Heymann emphasized that all of these changes were centered around making CommonAngels more appealing to entrepreneurs. “If you want to make money in early stage you’ve got to compete for the good deals,” she said.
The new process will require more of the angels in the group, however, including meetings every other week, closer to the cadence of a VC firm. Still, most everyone in the group is on board. ““The overwhelming majority are behind it,” Heymann said. “We think it’s the right thing to do for the market.”
The eight person committee is below: