Blake Petty

The Aggie Angel Network (AAN) has announced an operational agreement with the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) in Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. The AAN is a private, not-for-profit investor network that links early-stage entrepreneurial ventures with capital from early-stage investors (also called “Angel Investors”). CNVE Director Blake Petty will concurrently serve as executive director of the Aggie Angel Network, in an ex-officio role.

Under the agreement, CNVE will provide operational and programmatic support to AAN and its membership of individual and institutional Angel Investors. Through its affiliation with CNVE, the AAN aims to grow a closer relationship to Texas A&M, broadening the scope and reach of its investment influence and impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in and around the university.

AAN will continue to be managed by an independent board of directors, who have named CNVE Director Blake Petty to concurrently serve as executive director of the Aggie Angel Network, in an ex-officio role. Petty has been a member of the AAN board of directors since 2013, but will step down from the board to serve in this new capacity.

In addition to his leadership in campus-wide student and faculty entrepreneurship initiatives through the CNVE, Petty brings more than a decade of experience in technology commercialization and industry-sponsored research program development. “I’ve seen a growing number of universities recognize the value of having sustained access to an angel investor network. Many are beginning to establish their own affinity-based angel networks to fill a tremendous gap in the university’s commercialization, entrepreneurship, and economic development efforts,” said Petty, who is a two-degree alumnus of Texas A&M and has worked at the university for 17 years.

“We’re fortunate that the Aggie Angel Network, launched in 2010 by former students and local community leaders, already has an established reputation as a leading angel network amongst its peers,” he continued. “I am excited about the opportunity to build even closer ties between AAN and Texas A&M, and envision the CNVE leveraging this affiliation toward meaningful engagement opportunities for our entrepreneurial students ¬- both current and former.”

Richard Lester, executive director of the CNVE since 2007, said he is equally excited about the collaboration. “This relationship has the potential to significantly move forward all our entrepreneurial programs, from Startup Aggieland to 3-Day Startup,” he said. “Closer ties between the AAN and our entrepreneurially minded students will benefit all.”

As AAN executive director, Petty lists among his early goals the development of a strategy for growth and increased involvement of the membership, along with educational and mentorship opportunities for both network members and student apprentices interested in becoming involved, either as entrepreneurs or as potential Aggie Angels in the future.

AAN screens and mentors early stage companies, extending to qualified candidates an invitation to pitch to the membership for potential investment. AAN does not manage an investment fund, nor does AAN invest directly in any companies. AAN does not provide its members or others any investment guidance or advice and is not endorsing or offering prospective investment opportunities. Members are solely responsible for their individual and independent investment decisions.

AAN consists of more than 50 SEC-accredited individual investors, including two independent institutional fund members. AAN individual members self-certify their qualifications as high-net-worth individual investors and provide an annual membership fee to cover administrative and meeting expenses. AAN hosts six pitch meetings annually, typically showcasing five candidate companies at each, and offers access to a larger portfolio of opportunities through its memberships in the Angel Capital Association (ACA) and the Alliance of Texas Angel Networks (ATAN).

From 2010 through 2014, AAN members invested over $8.5 million across 27 early-stage companies in a variety of industries. Investments by AAN members typically average $300,000, but have varied widely, ranging from as small as $5,000 to as large as $1.5 million per company.

For more information or to join the Aggie Angel Network, visit or contact Petty at

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.