Continue Your Angel Education and Improve Your Investing Skills

Our popular Seraf Compass eBooks are now available in hard copy for purchase at

Full Chapter List


Here's the complete chapter list. Don't miss out on this awesome content.

Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4


Chapter 5


Chapter 6


Chapter 7


Chapter 8


Chapter 9


Chapter 10 


Chapter 11


Chapter 12


Chapter 13


Chapter 14


Chapter 15


Chapter 16


Jonas Kent

Creative, W, Entertainment

These guys are the best at what they do - they know their stuff. Just reading their various ebooks will be proof enough.

Jane Doe

CEO/Founder, GoodWork Inc.

These guys are the best at what they do - they know their stuff. Just reading their various ebooks will be proof enough.

Seraf: Portfolio Management for Angel Investors

A Guide to the Principles, Skills and Concepts Every Angel Investor Needs to Succeed 

Part I - A Primer for Angel Investors - is designed to review the fundamental concepts of angel investing, including: • The basics of building an angel portfolio • Expectations for return on investment • The theory and practice of asset allocation • Expectations for timing exits • The importance of due diligence • The risks inherent in early stage companies • The importance of investing both financial and human capital 

Part II - The 4 Critical Skills Every Angel Investor Should Master - helps angel investors develop key skills needed to make great investments in early stage companies, including: • How to evaluate a startup's management team • How to evaluate products and market opportunities • How to stage financial capital and make sure a company is properly financed • How to plan, optimize and manage an angel portfolio in a tax-efficient and organized manner 

Part III - Understanding Early-Stage Deal Terms - helps investors understand the concept behind key deal terms and how they can affect risk and returns. The section allows investors to navigate these sometimes very complicated deals by focusing on: • The fundamentals of equity deal terms • Mapping key deal terms to investor concerns • Deal term economics • Understanding Investor Rights/Protection provisions • Understanding Governance, Management & Control Issues • How deal terms affect exits and liquidity • Navigating angel investing documents 

Fundamentals of Angel Investing

By Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile

- 180 Page Softcover Desk Reference -

Leaders Wanted: Making Startup Deals Happen

Advanced Techniques in Deal Leadership and Due Diligence for Early Stage Investors

Part I - Guide to Due Diligence in Early Stage Companies 
Over the years and after working with many smart investors while making investments in more than 100 companies, we evolved a Due Diligence process that is intended to be quick, efficient and focused on the key issues which underpin the key risks. Part I is filled with many real world examples of what we run into when trying to wrap our arms around a potential new investment. Alongside our “war stories” are practical examples of the tools and techniques we use on a daily basis. 

Part II - The Art and Science of Deal Leadership 
This section provides the reader with the guidance of a great process and insights about how to implement it in the real world so more people can step up to serve as much-needed deal leads. As you work your way through this section, and the tools and checklists included as appendices, you will benefit from the learnings of very experienced investors who have honed their process over many years. Early stage investing networks can struggle with motivating members to step up and get involved in deal leadership and due diligence. Part of the issue is fear of the unknown and being overwhelmed by a sense of not knowing where to start. We put this section together in order to help people get over the hump and get involved.  

By Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile

- 260 Page Softcover Desk Reference -

An Overview of the Principles, Skills and Concepts Every Early Stage Company Board Member Needs to Succeed.

Part I - How to Be an Effective Board Member in Early Stage Companies - is designed to review the fundamental concepts early stage board members need to know, including: • Building a Great Board • Board Structure and Mechanics • How Boards Support Management Teams • How Early Stage Board Directors Add Value • Building Great Director-CEO Communication • A Guide to Startup Board Meeting Prep • How to Run a Great Board Meeting • The Importance of Board Relationships • How to Make a CEO Successful in the Role • Helping CEOs Build Great Teams • Recruiting A New Director • Fundamentals of Director Compensation • Legal Duties for Directors • Basic Financial Controls • Liability Insurance for Directors

Part II - Perspectives and Techniques for Maximizing Investment Returns - helps board members understand the underlying concepts in creating great shareholder outcomes in an early stage company, including: • An Introduction to Angels and Exits • Understanding Key Deal Terms and How They Affect Your Returns • The Importance of Alignment Between Investors and Management • Angel Investing Exits:  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly • How to Plan for an Exit and Understand the Timeline • Timing Exits to Coincide with Key Company Inflection Points • Finding the Right Buyer for Your Company • Raising the Right Amount of Financing to Achieve a Successful Exit for the Investors • Why Early Exits are So Critical to an Angel Portfolio

Part III - Tools and Templates - These guides and templates make it easy to put into everyday use the practical advice outlined in Part I and II of the book: • Guidelines for Successful Board Meetings • Sample Board Meeting Dashboards • Sample Board Meeting Minutes • A Guide for Evaluating Board Performance • Recruiting Guide for Early Stage Company Boards • How to Conduct a CEO Performance Review • IRS Section 83(b) Election Form • Directors & Officers Insurance Concepts • Checklist for Planning Exits

Based on a wealth of practical experience, this guide boils down this sometimes tricky subject matter into a very clear, concise handbook board members and investors of all experience levels will want to keep as a regular reference.

Guide, Advise and Inspire: How Startup Boards Drive Growth and Exits

By Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile

- 268 Page Softcover Desk Reference -

An in-depth guide for angel investors and entrepreneurs on early stage investing economics

Written by two of Boston’s most active and experienced angel investors, Angel Investing by the Numbers is a handbook and desk reference for both investors and entrepreneurs looking to better understand the numbers side of angel investing. In the book, we discuss in detail what you should know about the financial mechanics of early stage investing, including how valuation works, what effect it has on returns, and how the companies in your portfolio work together to drive your overall results. Just like the baseball team manager using a MoneyBall approach needs to really understand the statistics of the game, the successful investor employing our approach needs to understand the financial mechanics of investing.

Overview of Contents: 

1) How to read, understand and utilize a Capitalization Table 

2) How to place a proper value on an early stage company with a limited track record 

3) What are some of the different financial pathways that can lead to a successful exit for companies and their angel investors 

4) How to construct a portfolio that will improve the likelihood of successful returns 

5) What the underlying financial math looks like in a top tier angel portfolio 

6) What approaches to use to exercise options and buy restricted stock that minimize taxes and optimize your financial outcome 

Having a solid understanding of valuations, exit paths and portfolio construction might not sound like as much fun as baseball for many of our readers. But trust us, after investing in startups for a combined 25+ years and 100+ companies, we have learned the hard way and fully embrace the importance of mastering these important topics. Just because finance wasn’t a focus in your career doesn't mean you can’t understand the financial mechanics of angel investing - which is good because you cannot afford to ignore these realities! 

Angel Investing by the Numbers

By Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile

- 144 Page Softcover Desk Reference -

Valuation, Capitalization, Portfolio Construction and Startup Economics

A Guide to Fund Formation and Management 

Written by two of Boston’s most active and experienced early stage investors, Venture Capital: A Practical Guide to Fund Formation and Management is a handbook and desk reference written for fund managers who are launching new venture capital funds, and those who aspire to start funds in the near future. Experience has taught us there is more to running a successful venture fund than finding companies and hoping for big exits. In this book, we will discuss:

7 Critical Questions That All Venture Fund Managers Need To Consider:

1. What are the key factors to consider in defining your fund’s investment strategy?
2. How do you go about raising capital for your fund?
3. What are some of the biggest challenges faced by a fund manager?
4. How do you structure a fund from both a legal and accounting standpoint?
5. What types of skills do you need on your fund’s management team?
6. What are the economics behind running a fund?
7. How should a fund manager report fund activity and results to the fund stakeholders (i.e. investors or Limited Partners)?

Running an early stage venture fund can be interesting and rewarding work. But setting up and managing an investment fund takes significant time and effort. Given the relatively long life cycle of a startup company investment -- typically 10+ years before a successful investor outcome -- fund managers must be willing to commit their time and effort for at least a decade. Not everyone is willing to commit at that level. Whether you are thinking about setting up a new fund or already managing an active fund, make sure you know what the best practices are in fund management. This book will help you grasp the magnitude of the effort and determine whether you have what it takes to be successful.

Venture Capital: A Practical Guide

By Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile

- 190 Page Softcover Desk Reference -

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If you spend enough time working with startups, certain recurring themes emerge. This book explores key themes by telling the stories of 17 different companies. The authors have chosen specific startups to illustrate:

1) The challenges of driving customer awareness
2) The importance of founding teams
3) The hurdles of investing in hardware products
4) The fateful role timing plays in the outcome of startups
5) The difficulties startups face getting acquired

Lord, Mirabile and Mandato have been founders, senior management team members, or board members for over three dozen early stage companies. Collectively, they have decades of startup investing experience in hundreds of companies. It is rare to find so much startup experience in one concise volume, and the fascinating narrative stories of these startups and their founders make for a very enjoyable way to acquire this collective wisdom.

The Entrepreneur's Journey

By Hambleton Lord, Christopher Mirabile and Joseph Mandato


- Available in Paperback and Kindle formats -

Hambleton (Ham) Lord is an active member of the Boston entrepreneurial community. In the early part of his career he was on the founding team of three software companies: MicroChem Technologies, Polygen and Advanced Visual Systems.

In addition to his role as a Co-Founder of Seraf, Ham is the Chairman of Launchpad Venture Group, an angel investment group focused on seed and early-stage investments in technology-oriented companies. Through his involvement with Launchpad, Ham has built a personal portfolio of 75+ early stage investments. In addition, he is a general partner and Managing Director of early stage fund Race Point Capital Fund II and a board member or board observer for Cambridge Bancorp, Qstream, and Repsly.

Ham regularly publishes articles and eBooks on all aspects of early stage investing and has co-authored six books which are available at Due to the combination of roles as an author, advisor and angel group leader, Ham was honored in 2021 with the Hans Severiens Award. This award, presented by the Angel Capital Association, was given in recognition of Ham’s work in advancing the field of angel investing.

Listen to this podcast interview to learn more about Ham's background and approach to investing: Super Angel Investor & Startup Founder: A Conversation with Ham Lord.

About the Authors

Christopher Mirabile is the Chair Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association, Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group, and a general partner and Managing Director in early stage funds Race Point Capital Fund I & II. Earlier in his career Christopher served as a public CFO with IONA Technologies PLC, a management consultant with Price Waterhouse's Strategic Consulting Group, and as a corporate and securities lawyer with Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault.

In addition to his role as a Co-Founder of Seraf, Christopher is a full-time angel and an active member of the Boston-area angel investing community. Not only does he help manage Launchpad’s portfolio of 70+ companies, he has personally invested in over 65 start-up companies and is a limited partner in five specialized angel funds. Christopher is also a board member, advisor and mentor to numerous start-ups, and a frequent panelist and speaker on entrepreneurship and angel-related topics.

He serves as an adjunct lecturer in Entrepreneurship in the MBA program at Babson, regularly publishes articles and eBooks on all aspects of early stage investing, and has co-authored several books which are available at For these reasons he was honored in 2021 with the Angel Capital Association’s Hans Severiens Award, a national award given in recognition of the recipient’s work in advancing the field of angel investing.

Listen to this podcast interview to learn more about Christopher's background and approach to investing: Angel with a Plan: A Conversation with Christopher Mirabile.