Indiana ‘angels’ network at outing Web site’s unveiling provides avenue for state’s elite investors and entrepreneurs to link up.
When 80 people gathered last week to kick off a Web site that connects investors with entrepreneurs, it may have marked a new frontier for
J K Wall
Inrianapolis Star news
AngelNet organizers and several investors said that bringing together the traditionally far-flung group of private investors could jump-start
entrepreneurial activity in the state.
"It’s unprecedented," Marcus Chandler, an attorney at Indianapolis law firm Leagre, Chandler & Millard, said of Wednesday’s mixer held at the
house of Scott Jones, president of Escient Technologies.
"I think it encourages people," he said. "It helps when you realize what you’re doing is a group activity."
Angel investors, defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission as individuals with at least $1 million in net worth or $200,000 of
consistent individual salary, are notoriously disconnected from one another and intent on keeping their identity as investors hush-hush.
"You don’t want your name on a board somewhere because then everyone and their brother calls you," said Harold Apple, president and chief
executive officer of Vector Technologies. He went to the meeting but said he is "not a big-time angel."
The AngelNet Web site would allow business owners to tap the network of local angel investors without compromising their privacy.
Entrepreneurs can post a summary of their business plans on the Web site for investors to peruse anonymously. Investors can also ask
questions of a company’s management anonymously.
Concord Partners’ Bruce Kidd, an AngelNet organizer, demonstrated the Web site in Jones’ home theater.
AngelNet invited 300 investors from throughout the state to participate, Chandler said. The Web site went live in May, Kidd said, and has 27
deals posted, another 23 on the way, and 45 investors signed up. Kidd said
AngelNet’s goal is to facilitate six to 10 deals in its first year.
Jones said AngelNet could spur investing by allowing angels to feed off one another’s insights and experiences to size up prospects. "It helps
us get out of a state of paralysis," Jones said, "because many times we don’t know whether to make an investment or not."
Mark Hill, president of banking software firm Baker Hill Corp., attended the meeting and agreed.
"It makes sense to do angel investing in groups," said Hill, saying it allows investors to limit risks in a game where a majority of companies fail.
"The Web site is just an engine for people to get together," he said. "It’s really about creating the community."
If AngelNet succeeds in creating that community, it could partly answer the chicken-and-egg problem that plagues Indiana’s business
environment: Business owners bemoan the lack of venture capital while Midwest venture capitalists complain of too few investment-worthy
But since angel money usually comes in before a company is ready for venture capital, Chandler said AngelNet seeds Indiana for later venture
"It can help birth a base of new companies. And we need new companies," he said. "We cannot depend on General Motors and the like for our
future economic development."
AngelNet wants to host AngelNet meetings three or four times a year, Kidd said.
Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search.