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Key Deal Lead Responsibilities


  • Be the liaison with the entrepreneur following pitch night through deal conclusion

  • Set up discovery meetings

  • Assess member interest periodically throughout the process and make go/no go decision based on interest

  • Help to ensure the entrepreneur has a positive HBSA experience regardless of outcome


Some additional notes:


  • Remind members of confidentiality requirements.

  • Disclose any economic interest or relationships you have with the presenting company to the deal team.  In no instance can a Deal Lead be in the position of taking a transactional fee as an investment banker, fundraiser, or consultant from a presenting company

  • If your interest as Deal Lead wanes, find a substitute or terminate the process with the entrepreneur 

Zoom Scheduler for Deal Leads


 Deal Lead Playbook

  1. Pitch Night: Deal Leads are identified and assigned at Pitch Night. Their status on Gust is updated as such.

    • The Screening and Deal Chairs target two Deal Leads for any deal. If only one Deal Lead surfaces, deal may still proceed.

    • The Program Manager emails a Pitch Night Recap newsletter.  New deals and Deal Leads are announced and members are asked to indicate their interest for these companies on Gust. It typically takes a few days for those who will update their status to do so, so completing Step 2 during this process is advised.


  2. Day 1: The Program Manager emails the entrepreneur within 24 hours of Pitch Night to let them know of HBSAANY’s interest and introduce Deal Leads.


  3. Day 2-3: Deal Leads reach out to interested members and schedule Discovery meeting with entrepreneur availability from Step 2, [If desired by the Deal Lead, the Program Manager can handle this step.]

    • Create a Doodle poll to determine the best time for the Discovery Meeting.

    • Distribute this link to members by posting as a Deal Discussion on Gust. This will send an email notification to everyone interested in the deal on Gust.

    • Once a date and time are determined, communicate these details to the Program Manager, who will create all necessary events to be displayed on the Company’s Deal Page on Gust.

  4. By Day 10: Deal Leads lead the Discovery Meeting: Typically 2 hours long, the purpose of this meeting is to gain a better understanding of the company, product, management, strategy, or anything else that was not made clear during Pitch Night. TIP: The Due Diligence Checklist of questions found in the Membership Wiki section of our website can be given to the entrepreneur at least 2 days prior to the Discovery meeting to facilitate the discussion.  The typical process is as follows                                                                                                     First 90 minutes:

  • Brief introduction of company, entrepreneur(s), and the objective of the session as stated above.

  • At the beginning of the session, take attendance and begin recording, if possible.

  • Optional: Take notes unless the session is being recorded. The meeting is much more efficient if the Deal Lead keeps the conversation relevant to the question asked and makes sure it is answered before moving on to the next question.

  • Once 90 minutes have transpired, thank the entrepreneur for their time and ask them to leave the call/meeting

    Last 30 Minutes:

  • Get member feedback and determine who is still interested in moving into due diligence.

  • Post recording to Gust, if available.

  • If there is sufficient interest to continue diligence, send entrepreneurs a thank you email and let them know we are continuing diligence and will be in touch.

  • If there is NOT sufficient interest, promptly notify the entrepreneur, thank them for their time, and update the Deal Chair(s). A quick “no” is always appreciated by the entrepreneur and helps maintain our reputation.

  5. Day 10 – 25: Due Diligence:  The Deal Lead coordinates Due Diligence.  Materials are uploaded gust by the entrepreneur and the deal    team.  

  • The purpose of these meetings is to, among other things:

    • Verify information from Pitch Night and Discovery sessions.

    • Get expert opinions on the business (potential customers, product end-users, IP attorneys, etc.).

    • Review the financials

    • The number of meetings is up to the deal team.  These may be with the entrepreneur, the management team, or knowledgeable industry sources.

  • Meeting logistics.

    • Have the Program Manager notify members via Gust of all meeting details, including date/time and location.

    • Ask members for any issues they would like addressed in these meetings

    • Introduce entrepreneur and guests and HBSAANY members

    • Have one member, or Program Manager, or intern take attendance and notes/recording of what is being discussed. Post on Gust afterwards.

  • Disclose any economic interest or relationship with the presenting company to the deal team.  IN NO INSTANCE can a Deal Lead be in the position of taking a transactional fee as an investment banker, fundraiser, or consultant from a presenting company.  Also, members of the deal team should disclose any potential conflict.

  • During the course of these meetings, the Deal Lead should be keeping an eye on group interest. This does not mean a poll is necessary after each meeting, but if it is clear the group is no longer interested, notify the entrepreneur and Deal Chair(s) and conclude diligence.

  • Note:  If you as Deal Lead are not interested in continuing, please notify the Deal Chair.  See if you can find a replacement, and, if there is no substitute, terminate the process with the entrepreneur

Please include the following disclaimer at the bottom of all due diligence communications:

DISCLAIMER: This email was sent by a Member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York (HBS Alumni Angels). The HBS Alumni Angels serves as an alumni resource and educational organization in the area of private equity investing for alumni of HBS and Harvard University generally.  If you are not a Member of the HBS Alumni Angels and this email is not addressed to you, please disregard its contents and delete it from your Inbox.  All information presented and viewpoints expressed above are solely those of the Member sending the email, and not that of the HBS Alumni Angels or Harvard University.  This email is not an endorsement nor approval of the referenced company by the Member or the HBS Alumni Angels.  Each Member of the HBS Alumni Angels is individually responsible for his/her own due diligence and research before making any investments.  Any Recipient of this email shall also treat as confidential any information of any described company shared in this email.  Should a Recipient of this email choose to make an investment in any company referenced in this email, that decision should be based on the Recipient's own personal due diligence and research.  Angel investing is a high-risk activity, and you should not invest any money unless you are comfortable losing 100% of your investment.  On average, early-stage investments are illiquid for 10 years.


6. Day 30: Indication of Interest Call

The Deal Lead should schedule a call to review what has been learned, assess member interest and remaining contingencies. A good target for this is 30 days after pitch night, but some deals may need to move more quickly if the round is filling up, and some deals may have sufficient open info that more time is required.30 Days is a good checkpoint for each interested investor to provide an or investment amount on Gust.


7. Day 31: Confirm HBSAANY Deal Participation with Entrepreneur

With this information, the Deal Lead should speak with the Entrepreneur, ensure that the collective amount is reserved for members, and review the logistics of deal closing.  In some instances, the deal lead will further negotiate deal terms.


  • Assist with Closing Process

  • In most cases, the deal lead sends the list of committed investors and amounts to the company, who handles the closing process.  In some cases, the entrepreneur uploads these documents to gust.  Individual member investors review, sign, and return their own documents, and transmit their funds directly to the company.

  • Deal Completion

    • The Deal Lead should remind members to update his or her status on Gust to “Invested” and includes the investment amount.

    • The Deal Lead should inform the Deal Chair(s) that the deal is concluded.

Using Gust

Gust is the web-based tool HBSAANY uses for a variety of purposes including: (1) Processing company applications, (2) securely distributing deal information to members, (3) posting HBSAANY-related events and recording RSVPs and (4) communication between members.

Communication via Gust

While it takes some members time to get used to the interface, using Gust for the above purposes is important as it allows HBSAANY to keep all information in one, secure location. Unlike email chains, communications sent through Gust allow members to catch up on what has been discussed so far regarding a particular deal without any additional steps. As a Deal Lead, we encourage you (and all members, for that matter) to communicate exclusively through Gust when discussing matters related to HBSAANY.

There are a few types of messages on Gust, each with a particular use-case:

  1. Communications: The “big blast” of Gust. This method of communication is not generally used by Deal Leads.  However, using this feature, you can send messages to All Members or any Subgroup that has been created. Subgroups can only be created by admins. There are two types of Communications.

    • Announcements: Replies are sent only to the author of the message and are NOT posted on the communications page.

    • Discussions: Replies are sent to all recipients via email and posted to the Communications page on Gust. These look very similar to online forums.

  2. Company Discussions: These are located on each applicant company’s Deal Page and are identical in structure to the discussions above, but are focused only on the company in question. These messages go out to all members who have the “Subscribe to Deal” toggle activated. This should be the most-used method of communication for Deal Leads.

  3. Company Status Updates:  These are located on each applicant company’s Deal Page.  The Deal Lead should use the “Update Status” button on Gust to indicate current status. Please update this after each milestone of the deal process has been reached. Example: “Discovery meeting occurred on April 10th, 2016. We are now looking to identify possible customers of the Company, so please post a Discussion on Gust if you have any ideas.”

  4. Private Message: User-to-user messages. To compose, navigate to the Members page and search for the person you would like to message using the Search feature, then click the envelope icon next to their name.

Storing and Distributing Deal Documents

On each company’s Deal Page, at the bottom-right there is a section for members to upload documents relating to that deal. It is a simple file uploading tool that allows you post documents from your own device. These documents can be accessed by anyone who also has access to the deal. In HBSAANY, this almost always means the entire membership. As Deal Lead, you should use this tool to distribute all documents. This way, they are securely hosted by Gust and any member with new interest in the deal can access them.

III. Summary: Recap of Key Deal Lead Responsibilities

  1. Liaise with the entrepreneur on the likelihood and timing of HBSAANY investment. Try to ensure the entrepreneur has a positive experience even if no members invest.

  2. Oversee Discovery and Due Diligence, steps 3-5 above.

  3. Assess member interest periodically throughout the process and make the go/no go decision on behalf of HBSAANY.  When appropriate and desired by the Deal Lead and interested members, negotiate terms.

  4. If your interest as Deal Lead wanes, find a substitute or terminate the process with the entrepreneur.

  5. Use Gust throughout the process for deal documents, status updates, etc.

  6. Give deal updates throughout the process to HBSAANY membership at subsequent pitch nights.

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