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New Vantage Group  CERTIFIED

Firm Rating:

Rated 2.1 / 5.0 by 8
Track
Record
1.8
Operating
Competence
2.0
Pitching
Efficiency
2.1
Favorable
Deal Terms
2.5
Execution
Assistance
2.2

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Small Angels founded in 1997 based out of Vienna, VA, USA (US East)

FIRM DESCRIPTION: New Vantage Group creates and manages early-stage angel funds.

TEAM MEMBERS: Dan Mindus, John May,

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Tough Business, Good People

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-11

PUBLIC:

We pitched and were funded in a round led by the D’Archangels / Active Angels managed by the New Vantage Group in February 2010. I think the frustration indicated in these posts is a product of the fact that managing angel groups is like herding cats and the range of fields in which the individual angels were successful means that there are a lot of perspectives and hot buttons for the New Vantage management and the pitching entrepreneur to contend with. Imagine pitching to and trying to build an investment syndicate for a cutting edge software business from a government services sales guy, a consumer products entrepreneur, a corporate lawyer, and a celebrity chef. Even tougher when the investors have lost half of their portfolio in the public markets.

I raised over $20M in my previous company, including during the down markets of 2001-02. In 2010, I thought New Vantage was fair in their dealings with us, deliberate, and relatively efficient. Certainly no less so than regular VC’s with ‘billions under management’ and bigger staffs. The only real frustration was finalizing the final investment amount as more angels in the group decided to invest – not a terrible problem to have. New Vantage also introduced us to other angel groups outside the area who immediately joined in because of the strong relationship with New Vantage and reputation of John May.

John May and Dan Mindus were accessible during the deal and good people to work with. Dan led the deal sourcing and syndication, deal structuring, due diligence, and successfully closing of a seven figure investment in a difficult economic and funding climate. Dan was knowledgeable, creative, and driven to find common ground between the investor syndicate and the prospective portfolio company management to get the deal closed in a timely fashion. And through all this, Dan demonstrated a rare quality in venture capitalists, he was easy to work with and demonstrated common sense.

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Best Feedback in Town

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-12

PUBLIC:

I pitched to the D'Arch Angels group in 2008 and 2009 during our fundraising process(es). After the first pitch in 2008 we made some progress both with development and raising government funds so we went back to them in mid-2009 to pitch again. We were ultimately turned down but the experience was extremely valuable. The investors didn't seem very interested, but asked really good questions, which helped us refine our pitch.

The experience in 2008 was really frustrating. Everything had to go through the Sr. Associate, Sam, who was really unresponsive but strung us along enough for us to think they were interested in further meetings.

The experience in 2009 was much better. By that time a new Sr. Associate, Dan, had taken over Sam's position and was genuinely interested in our presentation. He reviewed our materials in advance of the pitch session so that he could give us advice prior to the meeting to ensure we were very prepared. Prior to the pitch meeting we asked him where he thought our weaknesses were, and he was very candid about needing to address some holes in our management team. He also indicated that our schedule slips from 2008 to 2009 were concerning. By providing the feedback we were prepared to address these issues during our formal presentation. Following the pitch at NVG I pitched to a number of other investors in the area (it was 2009 and no one was investing anyway) but no one gave us the kind of feedback Dan did. Although they didn't invest, he was very clear about telling us why and did not string us along as everyone else in town did. Because of Dan's straight-forwardness, I'd definitely considering working with them in the future if I have a new company to fundraise for.

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Operating as Network

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-10

PUBLIC:

Wrote this below about Active Angels. They also operate independantly and still are the same type. Don't know if the leadership is really professional.

Sent them exec summary no response after many emails. They have a good size portfolio but I don't know how much they funded to those companies or how active they are now

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Good Call, but They are Extra Cautious These Days

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by JustaGuy on 2009-01-23

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Good Investor Presentation Event and Good Follow Up

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by AnonMcLean on 2008-10-06

PUBLIC:

New Vantage Group’s primary group is the Active Angel Investors (AAI). We originally pitched to the screening group in March of 2008. When the new guy Dan Mindus joined New Vantage, communication really improved. He took our calls, asked good questions and ultimately arranged the full investor presentation in July. John May ran an excellent investor presentation meeting and had an impressive group of investors in the room. The investors listened, asked tough questions and talked to us after the presentation. I have been to other DC area conferences where you get the impression that the so-called investors are just people getting together to socialize. John May made sure this investor presentation was about the companies presenting and the investment opportunities on the table. Dan Mindus did an excellent job following up afterwards and promptly brought investors to our office. Ultimately, we decided not to move forward with funding and our company for other reasons.

If you are looking to raise money and are based in the DC area and pre-revenue, you need to raise Angel money before going to VC firms. If you send a good executive summary and business plan to AAI, they will give you feedback. If you can’t get an audience with them, there is probably a good reason.

PRIVATE: Members Only (339 Characters)

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Not Professional

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-01

PUBLIC:

Pitched them, got a lot of buy signs and then nothing.They missed followup phone meetings on multiple occasions. A real lack of professionlism from this firm. It seems as though they have the keys to the angel kingdom in the DC area, even NYA told us to go through them. It is very frustrating to not get any feedback. They have a new person who is taking over Sam's position hope the situation changes.

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Not Worth the Effort

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-18

PUBLIC:

We were referred to New Vantage Partners by our attorneys. We initially met with John May who asked us to submit our plan and follow up with Sam Sezak. From there things went into a black hole.

What we didn't realize is that these guys are basically gatekeepers. It doesn't appear they have any real decision making power separate from their angel investors. So, even if they like your deal, it may turn out to be a complete waste of time.

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From the Other Side of the Fence

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by tszaky on 2007-08-07

PUBLIC:

NVG moved quickly and closed a major round of funding with us. Unlike other angel groups I've worked with they moved fast and didn't push hard on the terms we presented. They subsequently reinvested with the same ease and professionalism as in the previous round. Both John May and Sam Sezak have been available for advice and help, but not overly hands on. Something, which I'm sure any entrepreneur would appreciate.

John is also active on a number of other angel groups, including Investor Circle (which focuses primarily on green companies), and was very helpful in making introductions that resulted in further financing.

I have seen the group be very aggressive (maybe to an extreme) in reviewing investments and if you can pass through the gauntlet everything is as you would hope it would be.

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Very Nice but Agree with Above

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by bootstrapper on 2007-06-22

PUBLIC:

These guys made themselves accessible, were extremely excited about our pitch and then nothing. A great bunch of guys and Sam was great to speak with; no follow-up though, even if a "no" which is disappointing - even the largest VC provide that.

PRIVATE: Members Only (356 Characters)

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Not a Good Option for Startups

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-22

PUBLIC:

From my experience with the group, it doesn't seem they have the horsepower or appetite to make early stage startup investments.

PRIVATE: Members Only (276 Characters)

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Angel or Mezzanine?

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by innovator on 2007-05-08

PUBLIC:

This is supposed to be an angel group. Their risk appetite seemed more like a mezzanine group. Made up of a bunch of speculators looking to put their money in something now that the real estate boom is over. Looking for a 30% flip in a year... works fine if you're a gas station or deli. On a positive note, John and Sam are good people and are trying their best with the group and fund structure they have.

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Like a Gladiator Fight in the Colleseum

Fund: New Vantage Group

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-30

PUBLIC:

John May deserves his credit, but the group of investors he assembled is basically composed of lawyers and dentists looking to play in the angels field - only looking to play and playing are two different things. Most aren't ready to get their feet wet.

Note you have no veto right over who will be the investors from the group that will join your company as shareholders.

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