Angel Resource Institute and Willamette MBA Announce Joint Partnership

by Rob Vaughn,

The Angel Resource Institute (ARI) and Willamette University MBA have announced a joint partnership. The Angel Resource Institute will be moving its headquarters and operations to Willamette University with locations in Portland and Salem, Oregon. The joint partnership will be named the Angel Resource Institute at Willamette University.

ARI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization devoted to providing global education and research about best practices in the field of angel investing and entrepreneurial development. Since 2007, ARI has successfully delivered nearly 400 programs nationally and globally, covering all aspects of early-stage investing and entrepreneurship. These have included programs on angel and venture investing, angel organization establishment and growth, and early-stage entrepreneurial education and training, all with the focus of growing entrepreneurial communities across the US and in 40 other countries. For more information, please visit

ARI has worked closely with Willamette University over the last ten years on academic research and education, in the fields of angel investing and entrepreneurship capital. Past collaboration resulted in two major initiatives: the HALO Report, a study published quarterly on angel investor activities and trends nationwide, and the 2015 Returns to Angel Investors in Groups, a comprehensive analysis of angel investors returns in the U.S., funded by the Kauffman Foundation and the NASDAQ Education Foundation.

ARI’s Chairman, Michael Cain said, “there is a natural fit between our two organizations. This partnership allows us to provide better service, enhance our research, and expand our training offering.” Debra Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise at Willamette University MBA noted, “this partnership extends Willamette’s positioning in the fields of angel investing and early stage entrepreneurship, and solidifies our commitment to providing MBA students with world-class, hands on learning opportunities.”

Wade Brooks has been named Executive Director for the joint venture. Brooks said, “This partnership has fantastic alignment and consolidates the work both parties have been doing for years,” Brooks said. “Working with ARI secures Willamette University’s position as the leader in early stage investment research." In addition to his new role Mr. Brooks will continue to serves as an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice at Willamette University MBA and Executive Director for the Willamette University Angel Investment Fund.

Willamette MBA has a long history in angel investing, entrepreneurship, and early stage investment research. In 2008 Willamette launched the first student run angel fund in the nation. The fund coupled with their venture investing and new ventures to launch classes, were ranked by Inc. Magazine as the top 10 best entrepreneurship classes in the nation. Willamette University MBA continues to break new ground in entrepreneurship education. Faculty have published the world’s largest study on angel investor returns, Returns to Angel Investors in Groups (2007), and one of the most widely used textbooks on entrepreneurship, Effectual Entrepreneurship (2011).

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