Investing in Virginia’s Future: Inside 757 Angels’ Exclusive Membership Benefits

June 24, 2024
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The 757 Angels recently convened for our triannual membership meeting, where members gathered to reconnect, expand their networks, and, most importantly, engage with three high-potential startups based in Virginia, all seeking investment.

Recognized as one of the most active angel groups in the U.S. (to date, 757 Angels’ members have invested more than $100M across 50 companies and the network has been recognized as a Top 10 angel group in North America in 2019 and 2020, and a Top 3 in 2021), our members enjoy exclusive access to carefully curated seed-stage deals at each meeting. We provide the necessary education and resources to empower our members to capitalize on these opportunities; plus, our board members take the deep dive on due diligence so you don’t have to. 

757 Angels members and 757 Collab staff networking

“The wonderful thing is that we get the opportunity to get immersed with some of the early-stage companies that have the potential to shift how we live, play, and work; it’s an asset class that not a lot of people can get into,” Charles Corprew, Sr. Venture Partner with 757 Collab said. “Being part of the 757 Angels brings [you] to the forefront where [you] can experience these companies, get in very early, watch them scale and grow, and then reap the benefits of being part of that early stage growth.

In each meeting cycle, 30 to 60 startup applicants from various industries are considered, from financial and health tech to consumer packaged goods, uncrewed systems, and more. Over a nearly 6-week vetting process, our team uses their due diligence expertise to whittle the pool down to just 3 companies to be presented to our members as an investment opportunity to be confident in.

“We all want to know that we’re seeing the bottom of the funnel, where [startups] have gone to the top of the funnel and been vetted and weeded out. By the time we see them, we know that they’re quality deals,” Marty Kaszubowski, a technology venture consultant who has been involved with 757 Angels since our inception, said. 

757 Angels members asking questions during the Pitch Event

Kaszubowski describes our angel group’s origin as coming from an identified need to bring people interested in investments off the sidelines.

“We’ve always known there was wealth here,” Kaszubowski said. “And [those people] want to do these kinds of deals, but they don’t know how. [It brings] tremendous value to the region and tremendous value to the investors to see the deals that are vetted and learn how to do these deals.”

While 757 Angel’s main focus is on funding organizations in the greater Hampton Roads region, our recently established partnership with VentureSouth provides members with even greater deal flow and investment options as we’re able to evaluate companies all over the Southeast in addition to the Commonwealth.

“The more companies you see, the more comfortable you are hearing pitches and understanding what they mean. Really understanding the minutia will allow you to say “I want to get in early with this company,” Corprew said.

For potential investors who may be interested in more than just monetary involvement, you’ve come to the right place. 757 Collab, 757 Angels’ parent organization, is proud to be the only entrepreneurial support organization (aka “venture hub”) in the Commonwealth with an incubator, accelerator, revenue-generating arm, and robust angel network all under one common brand. 

“You will be hard-pressed to find another organization in Virginia that has all of these components aligned in such a manner,” Paul Nolde, Executive Director of 757 Angels said. “I like to point that out because there are a number of ways you can get involved apart from investing.”

The major benefits of membership meetings are threefold: 1.) investors are introduced to promising startups, 2.) members are able to network and learn from each other, and 3.) startups are introduced to capital opportunities in Hampton Roads.

But, our presenting startups may stand to gain just as much as our members through this process by accessing the expertise of our board members.

For VeteranCrowd, a veteran-led initiative to empower the military community to take advantage of all discounts offered to them, pitching at our membership meeting was the first time they’d done so as a group. They described the entire vetting process to get into the room in front of our angels as clarifying, both helping to crystallize ideas and prepare them for answering the high caliber questions they may receive. 

Startup VeteranCrowd pitching at the June 2024 Pitch Event

“Going through the crucible has given us some discipline to really understand how to articulate what we’re trying to put together but do it in a concise way. That, for me, has been very valuable,” Mike Feurer, VeteranCrowd Chief Operating Officer, said.

Greg Scott, founder and CEO of SRT Labs, benefitted from the vetting process and the advice he was given after not being chosen to present in the previous cycle. He said the board members who vetted his company, which is pioneering innovative solutions in building technology, helped him make the complex ideas relatable to a wider variety of investors in this cycle.

“Being able to pitch to other Virginia folk who understand the region, who understand the needs, who have a wide variety of experiences – being able to have local investors who are excited about growing Virginia companies… we’re excited to have all these pieces together,” Scott said.

Greg Scott, founder and CEO of SRT Labs, at 757 Angels’ June 2024 Pitch Event

757 Angels stands as a pivotal force in the Virginia startup ecosystem, offering unparalleled opportunities for both investors and entrepreneurs alike. Entrepreneurs benefit not only from potential funding but also from the invaluable mentorship and guidance provided by our experienced board members. To discover how our network can propel your startup’s growth journey, visit our entrepreneurs page

To investors looking to make a meaningful impact in Virginia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, we invite you to explore the wealth of opportunities available through 757 Angels. Visit our investor page to learn more about becoming a member and participating in our upcoming meetings. Together, we can continue to drive innovation, foster economic growth, and build a thriving community of success stories in Hampton Roads and beyond.