investor stories

The Outsized ROI of Angel Squad’s Compounding Network

Angel investing has historically been limited to the super wealthy or super connected. 

Angel Squad enables aspiring investors from all personal and professional backgrounds to multiply their networks, learn about the industry from seasoned pros, and write checks starting at $1K for Hustle Fund’s portfolio. Tess Frugé is one of those up-and-coming angels. 

After 15+ years in eCom, she’s a seasoned strategy exec and fractional COO who supports early-stage founders at companies like Minted and Zuzu Drinks. 

We sat down with Tess for a deep dive into her Angel Squad experience, covering: 

  1. How Angel Squad develops your first investment frameworks
  2. The unmatched value of legit, real-time deal flow to practice on
  3. Why financial accessibility in investing is a priority within Angel Squad

“I love how Angel Squad provides a conscious education. They have a built-in curriculum and give us so much access to venture partners at Hustle Fund.” 

Angel Squad provides a top-tier education & community

Since joining Angel Squad, Tess has found her experience enriching — in two distinct ways. 

Developing compounding investment frameworks

Squad lessons cover a wide range of topics, but Tess especially enjoyed the framework sessions. These cover the value and how-to of establishing a structure for how you evaluate every deal you encounter. 

She came away with two influential learnings: 

  1. Document everything — Put all of your thoughts and eventual deal decisions into a spreadsheet to record how and why you invested or not. This allows you to look back and evaluate how your instincts played out. 
  2. Trust your gut vs. the evidence — It sounds basic, but Tess joined Angel Squad to learn best practices for knowing when to invest vs. when to pass. Her Squad sessions provided clarity on when to trust her gut vs. when to double-check the numbers. 

Angel Squad’s “no assholes” philosophy

Tess feels at home with the energy at Angel Squad. 

Hustle Fund’s networking events usually end up with smaller breakout groups and friendly vibes, which she attributes to our “no assholes philosophy.” In her words: 

“This group is way more down-to-earth than many people in the general venture ecosystem.” 

The kind of people involved with Hustle Fund are generally serious operators, investors, founders, etc. — who don't take themselves too seriously. 

In other words, investing can feel more fun with the right crowd at Angel Squad. 

“You experience diligence and pre-vetting by a group of investors with a ton of expertise. They’re willing to share their perspectives with you on what makes a good investment. That’s a real opportunity to learn.” 

Build hands-on investing skills by working on live deals

The Angel Squad experience is definitely unlike the classic case studies you get at biz school. 

Here, Squad members get to think through and handle active investments. Tess highlights three reasons why this dramatically accelerates learning for a young investor. 

1. Get exposed to a breadth of investment scenarios

Since Hustle Fund invests in early-stage ventures (some of them are truly young teams and companies), you parse through all of the different industries and opportunities out there. 

The breadth and depth of exposure to investment scenarios is impressive. 

2. Navigate growing pains with a built-in community of early investors

Angel Squad also organizes communities for discussing and working through deal flow. (We call them your “deal buddies.”) Tess meets with her deal buddies once a month to talk through deals and share wide-ranging perspectives. 

3. Learn what it’s actually like to invest

Part of the Squad learning experience is putting real money on the line. 

Case studies are totally abstract experiments. Angel Squad sets up the opposite situation: 

Your decision-making process changes drastically when your own money is at play. 

Angel Squad’s dedication to accessible investing

Angel Squad has a minimum check size of $1,000 across the board for Squad members. 

That’s far more accessible than, let’s say, becoming an LP at Hustle Fund, which requires a $100,000–200,000 commitment. 

For Tess, she’s actually built her personal investment strategy around that minimum amount. 

She’s gone higher than $1K before, but she tends to limit her checks to that size for two reasons: 

  1. Broad exposure in your investments spreads out risk
  2. Building a broader array of smaller investments creates more learning opportunities

“It’s one thing to think in the abstract or hypothetical for a case study. But when you’re actually putting your money on the line, you might make a different decision on whether or not to invest.”