Monday, April 9, 2007

Funding Technology in the South Sound

One of the mandates for the Tacoma Technology Consortium has always been to "facilitate development of capital resources to support growth of emerging local firms". That mandate has recently been fulfilled with the formation and successful launch of the South Sound's first equity investor organization.

Established last June, the TacomaAngel Network (TAN) is a non-profit alliance of accredited investors, all of whom are successful entrepreneurs, retired executives, and other business leaders who provide investment capital, strategic advice and mentoring to early-stage companies or companies embarking on major expansion efforts to help them achieve market leadership.

We helped organize TAN in order to make better connections between emerging companies and local investors. In less than one year's time, TAN has grown from 10 to 32 angel investors and is responsible for more than $2 million in funding for Northwest enterprises--and TAN offers new investment opportunities to its stable of angels nearly every month.

Angel investors are private individuals with a good deal of business experience, postgraduate education, and a high net worth. An angel can assist an emerging company with financial support but also with managerial advice and access to key contacts.

In general, angel investors:

  • Seek companies with high growth potential, proven management and financial transparency;
  • Expect returns 10-15% above Standard & Poors return on equity;
  • Invest between $50,000 and $1,000,000 in a given opportunity;
  • Prefer to finance manufacturing or product-oriented ventures, especially in the high tech field.

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