• Certified Business Angel

    ISO-certified program for business angels

The Certified Business Angel (CBA) is the world’s first independent, international certification of individual business angels.

Excellent business angels should get excellent deals. However, while there are many people calling themselves business angels, not all of them show the same level of professionalism. Startups are looking for smart money. How can they know who to trust? And how can potential co-investors know?

What is the CBA?

The Certified Business Angel (CBA) is the world’s first independent, international certification of individual business angels (ISO 17024). It is a registered trademark and is based on the verification of a candidate’s grasp of the standardized CBA Body of Knowledge (see below).

Prerequisites for the CBA certification

In order to be eligible for a CBA certification, it is necessary to complete our CBA course as preparation OR have a documented, at least one, successful exit. After the passed course you can register for the CBA Certification at one of our independent ISO-certified examination partners.


Candidates who have positively passed a written and an oral exam with one of our independent ISO-certified examination partners will receive the right to hold the CBA. As CBAs, they will be expected to abide by the CBA Code of Ethics. They will also receive membership in the exclusive alumni club.

What is the CBA?

  • The world’s first certification for individual business angels (ISO 17024)
  • Following the official CBA Body of Knowledge
  • Awarded by the ISO accredited incite academy

Quality Seal

Being a CBA (Certified Business Angel) serves as an internationally recognized signal of quality and seriousness. CBAs will benefit from better deal flow, better-negotiating positions, international contacts to equally professional angels, and ongoing education services addressing common challenges.

Details regarding the admission requirements, the process, etc. are available on the website of the certification institution.

How to become a Licensee?

If you would like to become a licensee of BAI and offer our program in your country, you have to complete the Train-the-Trainer course with us. In this course, you will get all the knowledge you need to sell the CBA program in your country and will receive all the knowledge of angel investing.

You will get all the support you need from us to establish the CBA Program in your country.

For more detailed information, please write an email to our General Secretary, Mr. Berthold Baurek-Karlic: board@businessangelinstitute.org.

Body of Knowledge

Overall Approach

  • Angel business
    • Nature of startups
    • Nature of angels
    • Relationship between business angels and entrepreneurs
  • Types of investments
    • Direct investments
    • Co-investments
    • Club investments
  • Investment process
    • Timeline and milestones
    • Strategic analysis
    • Investment criteria
    • Development
    • Follow-up investments / De-Investment


  • Ecosystem
    • Key players
    • Networking
    • Events
    • Clubs
  • Sources of knowledge
    • Sources of information
    • Sources of innovation
    • Understanding, finding, and following trends


  • Personal investment strategy
    • Focus
      • Sectors / themes
      • Deal size
    • Standardized screening process
  • Key questions
    • Fit with investors
    • Right team
    • Superior proprietary products
    • Clear need in a large market
    • Requested investment sufficient
    • Compelling business opportunity
    • Attractive investment opportunity
  • Passing

Due Diligence

  • Appropriate timing
  • Due diligence process
  • Roles of different investors
  • Business plans
  • Focus areas
    • Team
    • Industry
    • Growth potential
  • Detailed due diligence
    • General background
    • People
    • Market opportunity (problem)
      • Comparing companies and business cases
      • Market risk
    • Product and technology (solution)
      • USP
      • Development risk
    • IP ownership
      • Previous employers
      • Analysis and screening methods of intellectual property rights
    • Marketing and sales
    • Competition
      • Types of competition
        • Category competition
        • Substitute competition
        • Budget competition
      • Anticipated responses
      • Competition risk
    • Financials
    • Other legal
  • Asking the right questions
  • Development of standard due diligence for early-stage investments


  • Early-stage valuation basics
    • Qualitative versus quantitative
    • Rate of Return
    • Pre-money and post-money
    • Multiples
    • Deal terms influencing the valuation
      • Milestones
      • Ratchets
      • Liquidation preferences
      • Convertibles
      • Options
      • Loans
    • Dilution
    • Market fundamentals
  • Differences between sectors
    • Expectations in ICT, life sciences, etc.
    • Development stages of sectors
  • Effects of later stages
    • Effects of specific further rounds
    • Effects of general later stage trends on angel rounds
  • Pre-revenue valuation methods
    • Benchmarking
    • Replacement method
    • Modified Berkus method
    • Rule of thirds
    • Standard value
    • IPR valuation
      • IPR piracy
      • IPR erosion
      • IPR dilution
    • Value later
  • Pre-money myth

Additional capital

  • Syndication
    • Syndication process
    • Due diligence for syndication
  • Sidecar funds (pre-committed capital pools)
    • Size
    • Advantages
    • Cautions


  • Negotiation fundamentals
    • Separating people and deal terms
    • Focusing on interests rather than positions
    • Inventing options for mutual gain
    • Using objective criteria and fair procedures
  • Negotiation strategy
  • Negotiation tactics
  • Negotiating specific deal terms
    • Deal structure
    • Amount of money invested
    • Valuation
    • Use of proceeds
    • Takedowns
    • Dividends
    • Conversion features
    • Stock option plan
    • Vesting
    • Right of first refusal
    • Voting and veto rights
    • Redemption
    • Liquidation preference
    • Anti-dilution
    • Redemption
    • Board seats
    • Information rights
    • Closing conditions
    • Closing date
    • Expenses

Typical documents

  • Accredited investor declaration
  • Term sheet
    • Term sheet usage
    • Term sheet content
      • Basic information
      • Proposed investment details
      • Type of security
      • Deal terms
    • Key terms
  • Shareholder agreement
  • Subscription agreement
  • Stock options agreement
  • Voting trust

Helping portfolio companies

  • Roles
    • Board member
    • Networker
    • Advisor
    • Coach
    • Operational
  • Background knowledge
    • External awareness
      • Political factors
      • Economic Factors
      • Social factors
      • Technological factors
      • Legal factors
      • Environmental factors
    • General business
      • Business structures
      • Business processes
      • Functional disciplines
      • Management
    • Startup teams
      • Building
      • Reinforcing
      • Managing
  • Company focus
    • Operations
    • Agenda
    • Drivers
    • Strategic fit
    • Commercial benefits

Later rounds of investment

  • Shifts in expectations
  • Dilution
  • Angel protection
  • Successful follow-ons
  • IPOs
  • Alternative sources


  • Types of exits
  • Dealing with losses
    • Understanding
    • Respecting
    • Letting go