Welcome to Hyde Park Angels new blog. You can check back to this space to learn more about HPA, HPA’s portfolio companies and learn about what HPA has been up to. The co-founders started up HPA in April of 2007. We have come a long way thanks to a tremendous amount of help from our angels, our sponsors, our student associates and the Polsky Center at the University of Chicago. HPA success or failure doesn’t accrue to any one individual. Each part of our organization is entrepreneurial, and contributes to make one growing pie. This blog is the newest ingredient to that pie. There were several missions when we started HPA. One was making a little return on our investments! The other was a little more esoteric. When we started researching angel funding we found that the city of Chicago had some, but could do better. Certainly, there were established angel groups here, and a couple of incubators. But what we didn’t find was the same sort of entrepreneurial attitude that seems to be in the air when you walk through San Jose, California. So, we thought an educational piece was a necessary part of our organization. When you come back here over time, you will find some educational pieces written by our angels, our student associates, entrepreneurs, and of course, the wise old professors from the University of Chicago! Look for free downloadable e-books, tips, how to’s, and other information that are pertinent to you being a success in your business. We are here to help you succeed. Then, once you start that business and gain your footing, we hope you will visit the other part of our website and click the link to submit a business plan. From our Executive Director, Sam Guren to our Managing Director Ira Weiss, right through our angels and our student associates, we love to work with all entrepreneurs. Your ideas, your plans are important to us. Interact with us on this blog. Post some photos, upload some videos of things you are doing. If there is an entrepreneur meet up somewhere, or a networking event, post it here. Tell us how we are doing via the comments. There are a lot of really neat people in Chicago doing some really cool things. We want to hear from you.When researching angel groups in Chicago, we found out some things. Chicago seemed to have a few informal groups of people that invested, a couple of more formal angel groups, but nothing like the angel groups that you find on the American coasts. There just wasn’t that formal structure in place here yet. It had been tried, but never sustained. We have spoken to many individuals that have made investments in different start up companies. One guy told us, “I have invested in 25 of these and all have lost money.” They got discouraged. That’s a story that you hear time and again. We have a few “fallen angels” around the city! HPA would like to help them get back up. You will find that when screening deals at HPA, you are not looking at that deal from your perspective only. You get to see how other angels from very diverse backgrounds view that deal. The deal becomes like a round rough cut diamond that you get to pick up and examine from different angles. Combine these experienced perspectives with a structured due diligence process and we think it mitigates a lot of the risk inherent in angel investing. So, if you are curious about investing in start up companies, check us out. We list our current members on the web. Our membership will be capped at 100 members, so don’t delay. There are other ways to interact with us. We have a Facebook Group. Join it. Post on our wall. One entrepreneur advised us to be in LinkedIN, so we have a very structured group there. But the best way to interact with us is to become a part of us. If you are interested in investing, mentoring and interacting with entrepreneurs, join. If you are an entrepreneur, chase your dream. Build your company. Submit a deal to us. We are here to help.