What is Red Bear Angels?

Red Bear Angels is the group of angel investors & helpful individuals who invest in and support companies founded or led by Cornell University alumni, faculty, and students. We leverage the varied domain experts in our membership for every investment we make.

Red Bear Angel Group is led by Cornell alumni and is not officially sponsored or endorsed by Cornell University.

Who is involved?

Red Bear Angels is a group of 330+ people, most of whom are Cornell University’s particularly esteemed alums in the venture community who came together to double down on the entrepreneurial talent emerging from their alma mater.

RBA’s full-time Managing Director and part-time Cornell MBA Associates source, vet and facilitate all investments with the support of a hands-on Advisory Board.

How can I get involved in RBA, (and what do I get out of it)?

There are four ways to be involved:

  1. Investor Members are those who have access to deal flow, a full diligence service, & pitch events and enjoy networking & educational programming provided by RBA Management. ($2k/year)
  2. Young Members may not be in a place to invest yet, but they are encouraged to provide valuable expertise and/or industry introductions to budding Cornell entrepreneurs. ($250-500/year)
  3. Affiliates are our industry or functional experts publicly listed on the RBA web site who are on-call to advise relevant companies in the pipeline and guide diligence in their respective fields.
  4. Ambassadors are typically younger alumni who are interested in promoting RBA to their network of fellow Cornell alumni and whose main contribution to RBA is to be a source of deal flow to the group.   We are targeting 1-2 ambassadors for each major city in the US.

What is RBA’s sector & stage focus?

We are sector and stage agnostic.

We have a talent thesis: We are capitalizing on the fact that Cornell University is home to the country’s best engineering program attached to the widest set of vocationally focused niches – from hospitality and agriculture to ergonomics and labor relations. And what better time to support this pool of talent than at the launch of the much-anticipated Cornell Tech campus.

We usually invest at the seed stage with an average check size of $250k.

What is your AUM/Committed capital?

RBA currently sources capital from our active and passive investor network on a deal-by-deal basis.  

For Potential Investor Members

What are the requirements for joining RBA?

RBA offers a one-year membership to accredited investors at $2,000*, and includes access to deal flow, a professional diligence service, angel education events, and exclusive invitations to network initiatives with fellow alumni and venture investing hobbyists. RBA will accept accredited investors, regardless of affiliation to Cornell.

RBA also offers a Young Membership program with tiered pricing (based on graduation year) to younger alumni who are not necessarily in a place to make angel investments.

*The paid membership model will be enforced beginning July 2016.

What is the Young Membership program?

The Young Membership program is a vehicle for alumni to offer valuable industry insights and introductions to budding Cornell entrepreneurs.

Young Members receive invitations to all events and conversations to which Investor members or privy, with the exception of sensitive diligence and fundraising documents.

It is not expected that Young Members make any angel investments.

Membership is priced based on undergraduate year of convocation. Please inquire at meghan@rbangels.com.

Who is on the Advisory Board?

The Advisory Board is comprised of 7 seasoned investment professionals and entrepreneurs who meet every two weeks with the Managing Director to advise on deal flow in a two-year term. www.rbangels.com/team

How are deals structured?

Red Bear Angels does not take a management fee, though the investment team realizes a 15% carried interest fee.

The membership fee does not go towards any investments. It is put entirely towards Red Bear Angels Management operating expenses.

Where do I sign up?

Email Meghan@RBAngels.com for a sampling of our deal flow, invite to the next pitch event, and more info.

For Entrepreneurs

What affiliation with Cornell is required for an investment to be considered?

Startups must have a founder, board member, executive, or investor that is a graduate, student, or faculty member of Cornell.


How long is RBA’s decision process?

6-8 weeks

What is RBA’s investment decision process?

  1. Email us: Entrepreneurs who see RBA as a potentially good fit are encouraged to share their information on Proseeder here and notifying meghan@rbangels.com after doing so.
  2. Chat with the Investment team: The Managing Director or investment team member will meet with a founder for a 30-minute screening call. The purpose of the meeting is to vet market, management and product as a potential fit for RBA members’ interests.
  3. Present to the Board: The investment team will select two companies every two weeks to present to the RBA Advisory Board. After a vote (at least x-1 board members present), the Board will proceed to the Diligence deep-dive. Diligence check list is available upon request.
  4. Pitch to the group: 2-3 companies will be invited to pitch per month. Based on diligence check list and interviews with RBA members with relevant domain expertise, the Investment team and Advisory Board will vote on 2-3 companies to present at the next monthly pitch meeting.

Regardless of an investment, our pledge is to connect entrepreneurs with truly helpful people, so long as there is a clear strategic fit with someone in our membership and/or wider network. You may follow up at any time with updates on your company or your timing constraints, though please know if you haven’t heard back yet, it’s because we do not yet have someone who is the right fit.

Any tips for this process?


RBA’s investment decision process will take 6-8 weeks. Please feel free to share updates in that time with the Managing Director, but please do not reach out to Advisory Board members or RBA members directly during this time. We want to make sure all members are privy to the information and updates you share, and we cannot do that without a streamlined communication channel. Thank you for your understanding!

You can also have a look at some best practices that our MD provided for you, here,

What are RBA’s typical requirements for presenting a deal to the Advisory Committee?

The following are a broad range of requirements that should be met for a transaction to be presented to the Advisory Committee:

  1. Sound business plan
  2. Experienced management team
  3. Sustainable competitive advantage in a growing market
  4. Viable exit strategy

What will RBA not invest in?

RBA will typically avoid deals that are capital intensive and have particularly long investment horizons. The investments will be limited to the US in terms of geography.

How much will RBA invest in a particular opportunity?

Most transaction sizes will range from $250-$500k.

If only one member has made a commitment to a given opportunity, RBA will recommend that he or she invests directly into the company, outside of the RBA investment vehicle.

What are RBA’s term sheet guidelines?

RBA seeks plain vanilla, market standard, founder-friendly terms that show sophistication on the the team’s part. Convertible notes, SAFEs, and preferred equity rounds are all welcome. RBA may request an active advisory role in circumstances where it makes sense.