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  • Writer's pictureSage Growth Capital Team

ACA Awards Sage Growth Capital’s Co-Founder Kevin Learned with the Hans Severiens Lifetime Achievement Award

ACA awards Kevin Learned with Hans Severiens Award

We are beyond ecstatic and proud of our co-founder Kevin Learned for being this year’s recipient of the Angel Capital Association’s Hans Severiens Award. The Hans Severiens Award is a prestigious accolade honoring the lifetime achievement of an individual advancing the field of angel investing. Many people know about Kevin’s involvement in the angel investing industry, but we wanted to take this opportunity to further highlight his accomplishments. 


Support of the ACA


Kevin believes strongly in the importance of entrepreneurship as the driver of the American economy.  Most of his career has been devoted to creating businesses and promoting, teaching and financing entrepreneurship. One could argue that it was inevitable for him to get involved with the ACA to help build a larger and stronger network of angel investors who are supporting the foundation of new businesses and job creation. 


Kevin has taken on various roles within the ACA including being a member of the Board of Directors and serving as Founding Chair of the Education and Smart Practices Committee. Under his leadership, the ACA created the Ann and Bill Payne ACA Angel University, which has now trained thousands of angels through its ten courses offering training in basic and advanced angel investing.  


Kevin Learned giving acceptance speech at '24 ACA Summit

Never Stop Learning


Kevin has been passionate about academia throughout his entire life and continues to embark on new learning experiences even well into his retirement (he’s currently studying to become a Master Naturalist with the Idaho Fish and Game Department). He began his studies nose-deep in economics at Yale where he completed his baccalaureate, followed by earning his MBA from Wharton, where he majored in accounting.


The Entrepreneur


Kevin’s first role after his MBA was with the international accounting firm Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst and Young) in Los Angeles. After a couple of years of driving to clients’ offices on the LA freeways, he decided neither accounting nor Los Angeles were where he wanted to spend his career. It wasn’t long before his entrepreneurial spirit called upon him and drove him to starting his first venture in Boise, Idaho called Learned-Mahn. Learned-Mahn was a nation-wide developer and marketer of computer software to the financial services and healthcare industries. Kevin likes to say “we raised capital from local investors before we knew the words ‘angel capital’, and sold Learned-Mahn to a publicly traded company before we knew the term ‘exit’ ”.  


The Academic


Following the sale of Learned-Mahn, Kevin earned a Ph.D in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Texas Tech University and returned to Idaho to begin a new career as a professor in entrepreneurship.  


Kevin taught at Boise State University, twice being named by the students as the outstanding teacher in the College of Business and Economics, and served as Associate Dean of the College. In 1999 he was recruited to be the President of Albertson College of Idaho (now the College of Idaho) - a selective, private liberal arts college in Idaho. Upon retiring from the  College of Idaho he returned to Boise State where he became  the Founding Director (now Director Emeritus) of the Venture College at Boise State University. Venture College supports students and community members who want to launch businesses. He helped the businesses that launched from Venture College to gather approximately $3 million in resources during his time as Director.


The Angel


During his academic career, Kevin was one of the founders of the Boise Angel Alliance, a charter member of the Angel Capital Association.  He and his former student Denise Dunlap founded Loon Creek Capital Group, which led the effort to form and raise three angel funds in Boise, Idaho. Loon Creek expanded to provide back office support and investing expertise to angels outside their local area, and today Loon Creek is a leading provider of its high touch Fund and SPV administration services to angel groups throughout the county. He, like all active angels, wrote lots of checks, many of which resulted in losses, but some of which were highly profitable.  He now says he has “aged out” of classic angel investing.


Based upon their experiences with hundreds of angel syndicates and funds, Kevin and Denise teamed with experienced revenue financing investor Molly Otter to bring revenue capital to the angel marketplace. They formed Sage Growth Capital and are currently investing out of their second fund.  


Sage’s revenue finance model provides a more flexible funding option to companies who need growth capital but don’t fit traditional equity or bank lending, or for whom equity is not an attractive option at this time. This project represents another form of his innovative efforts to create a new asset class for angel investors and flexible capital for entrepreneurs to utilize in growing their businesses without diluting their current shareholders.  


It's Not All Business


Although Kevin has had a very successful business career as an entrepreneur, investor, and educator, he has also made a conscious effort to volunteer with numerous non-profit organizations spanning business to the arts and education including the Rotary Club, YMCA, United Way of Treasure Valley, Boise Public Schools Foundation, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and nearly every tech and commerce organization in the Boise Metro area such as the Idaho Technology Council, Idaho Tech Connect, Idaho Business Council, Boise and Caldwell Chambers of Commerce, and Boise Metro Economic Development Council.


Kevin has been an active Rotarian for more than 40 years.  He has served as President of the Boise Rotary Club, and District Governor for Southern Idaho. He has led a number of international initiatives in Mexico, Ecuador and Nigeria.


Toast to Kevin


Even if Kevin today is technically “retired” (which has happened more than once in the past five decades), he remains an advisor to Sage Growth Capital and Loon Creek Capital, and continues to serve on the Education and Smart Practices Committee for the Angel Capital Association.  He is currently working towards becoming a Master Naturalist in Idaho and monitors an undeveloped plot in Boise for pollinators as part of a citizen science project.  And he’s taking advantage of his new-found freedom to spend more time with his wife Amy, best furry friend Murphy, a golden retriever, and his grandkids. 


This award isn’t the first nor the last award for Kevin and on behalf of all us at Sage Growth Capital, we toast this incredible recognition and look forward to seeing what Kevin does next!


Kevin receiving Hans Severiens Award at ACA Summit

About Sage Growth Capital

Sage Growth Capital makes revenue-financed investments in companies at any stage who need growth capital. It is our mission to provide a more flexible funding option to growing companies who do not fit traditional equity or lending models. To learn more about Sage Growth Capital or to apply for funding visit: www.sagegrowthcapital.com.


About Revenue-Financed Capital

Revenue-financed capital (RFC), also referred to as royalty financing, revenue share or revenue-based financing (RBF), is a non-dilutive form of growth capital where investors receive a percentage of monthly revenues until a set amount has been paid. RFC differs from equity financing as the investor does not obtain ownership of the company and it differs from debt financing as there is no collateral required and payments are variable. RFC is designed to empower entrepreneurs to grow their businesses with non-dilutive capital that aligns with their sales cycles.


About Loon Creek Capital Group

Loon Creek Capital Group provides Fund and SPV formation and administration services to angel investors throughout the U.S. Our services are best suited to investor groups who desire a high level of service, need flexibility in service offerings, and value working with actual human beings. You can learn more about our services on our website.


About the Angel Capital Association (ACA)  

The Angel Capital Association (ACA) is the professional association of global angel investors to offer education, best practices, data, public policy advocacy, and significant benefits and resources to its membership of more than 15,000 accredited investors, who invest individually or through its 250+ angel  groups, accredited platforms, and family offices. Contact: Dannielle Stewart, Marketing Director for the  Angel Capital Association 720-496-3646, dstewart@angelcapitalassociation.org, for more information. 

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