Troy Knauss speaking to a group of entrepreneurs and investors in Florida.
Troy Knauss concludes an Angel Resource Institute workshop in Greensboro, North Carolina to an audience of local investors and entrepreneurs.
As an accredited investor, Troy Knauss has built a diverse portfolio of angel-only backed deals with some successes, a few failures, and a whole lot of opportunities. In addition to these deals, Knauss has spent time growing companies and volunteering on boards that benefit the entrepreneurial ecosystem. His recent boards include Vice Chairman of the Angel Resource Institute, a spinout of the Kauffman Foundation, the Greensboro Partnership’s Entrepreneurship Connection, The Launch Place, and Wake Forest University’s Advisory Council for the Center of Entrepreneurship. According to Knauss, “There is no greater reward than helping a fellow entrepreneur realize his/her dream. It doesn’t matter if that dream is to simply start a company to build an income or to grow a high-value business with the ability to create major wealth creation when it is sold.” Knauss expects to continue to invest in 4-5 deals per year.
One of his latest ventures is E&I Risk, an insurance company that offers affordable and complete policies to early-stage and startup companies. According to Knauss, “Most insurance agencies don’t understand the inherent risks of a startup and, given that many startups don’t have significant revenue, many insurance agents aren’t willing to put in the time and effort for a low-priced policy. That’s where E&I Risk enters the field. E&I can provide very competitive quotes that include comprehensive coverage needed to protect entrepreneurs and their investors.” Check out E&I Risk. Click here for a quick quote on a Directors & Officers insurance (D&O) policy.
If you are interested in meeting with Troy to discuss your current business or opportunity, visit www.troyknauss.com.
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New equity crowdfunding platform
supports Kiwi start ups
A new online equity
crowdfunding platform offers wholesale investors the
opportunity to invest in Kiwi start ups alongside seasoned
AngelEquity provides wholesale investors
with access to a broad selection of early stage investments
presented by angel groups from around the country.
angel investing model is the best way to invest in early
stage companies,” says Bill Murphy, founder of Bay of
Plenty angel investor group and the team behind AngelEquity,
Enterprise Angels. “Angel investors have a huge amount of
experience in early stage investments and we put every
investment opportunity through a rigorous pre-selection
process including due diligence, negotiating investor terms
and company valuation.”
All AngelEquity deals have
passed due diligence and already have a minimum of 25% angel
investment in their current funding round. “AngelEquity
opens these exciting investment opportunities up to the
wider market of wholesale investors, on the same terms
negotiated by the angels,” says Murphy.
to the definition of wholesaler investor in the Financial
Markets Conduct Act 2013, mean that more Kiwis now meet the
criteria. “We’re not just talking about banks or
institutions,” says Murphy. “Many high net-worth
individuals, or people with sophisticated knowledge and
experience of financial markets are now considered wholesale
Bridget Unsworth, Investment Director of New
Zealand Venture Investment Fund, says the AngelEquity
intiative will help deepen the pools of capital available,
as well as providing investors with the comfort of knowing
that deals have been vetted by experienced angel investors.
“Angel investment is at healthy levels, but there remains
a demand for more capital, particularly as companies develop
and need new rounds of investment to maintain their
Suse Reynolds, Executive Director of the
Angel Association of New Zealand, agrees. “Early stage,
high growth companies are always looking for capital.
Without capital the growth path is exponentially
Reynolds believes there is still plenty of room
for growth and specialisation in this end of the capital
“It’s a highly risky part of the market to
play in but absolutely vital for New Zealand’s future
economic and social wellbeing,” says Reynolds. “These
companies are the Xeros and FP Healthcare companies of the
future. And what these companies need as much as the capital
is exposure and support – the expertise and connections
that the capital can help deliver.”
that angel investing is now a vital part of the worldwide
economy. “For the past several years, angels have
invested over $50 million a year in New Zealand companies.
And it’s not just about financial return – the most
important part is the skills we put in, because that’s
where these companies really benefit. We are making a
difference by investing our time and money in exciting young
Visitors to the AngelEquity website are
able to view brief information on current and closed deals.
To protect the privacy of investors and the confidentiality
of the investee company information, only registered and
verified wholesale investors and angel group members are
able to view full details, including due diligence summaries
and investor lists.
Opportunities currently available on
the AngelEquity platform include:
• Roholm – the developer, marketer and distributor of the
world’s first Inverse Hair Conditioning system, which uses
sub-zero temperatures to lock in moisture and restore the
health, strength, condition and appearance of women’s hair
– no chemicals, no heat and no cords. The global shampoo
and conditioner market is estimated to be worth US$34B.
Roholm is seeking $500K – $1M with a pre-money valuation of
• Quantec – Quantec is an
agritech company taking its patented discovery of a novel
milk protein and developing applications in human and animal
• The world’s first non-antibiotic,
nil-milk withhold treatments for mastitis in dairy cows –
the most costly disease on dairy farms worldwide, costing
the industry over $1.5B.
• IDP milk protein
ingredient, as a naturally-derived anti-microbial and
anti-inflammatory for use in supplements and oral care
applications, where consumers are seeking naturally-derived
alternatives to synthetic active ingredients.
• IDP for
use in Skincare for conditions such as acne and eczema.
Consumers are seeking clinically-proven, cost-effective
products, without harsh chemicals.
Quantec is seeking
$750K, with a pre-money valuation of $9M.
Fund 2 – A diversified ‘sidecar’ portfolio of
investments in early stage companies across a range of
industries, spanning seed, start up and expansion phases.
Investors will have exposure to a minimum of 15 early stage
companies – all of which have passed due diligence and
have significant angel investment. This sidecar fund offers
an entry point to early stage investing and an opportunity
to realise the benefits that come from diversification and
is a good entry point to early stage investing.
Howard Morgan, the venture capitalist who helped found Pasadena-based Idealab back in 1996, and has since been Founding Partner at seed stage investment fund First Round Capital, is returning to angel investing and will not participate in First Round Capital’s new fund. According to First Round Capital, the move will become official at the end of the year. First Round Capital just filed paperwork on a new, $175M fund. Morgan has been a regular in Southern California’s high tech startup market–spending a significant amount of time at local startup pitch events and venture conferences–and was one of Idealab’s very first investors in 1996.
New England College is pleased to announce that its President’s Speaker Series will be hosting alumnus, entrepreneur, and venture and angel investor Jeffrey Finkle ’80. Mr. Finkle will speak with students and the NEC community Thursday, October 13, at 6:00 p.m., in the Simon Center Great Room. The event is free and open to the public.
Mr. Finkle is a 1980 graduate of New England College, where he earned his BA in Business Administration/Finance. He is a gifted leader and executive, and an expert in venture capital and angel investing. Recently Mr. Finkle was named one of the “25 Angel Investors in New York You Need to Know” by AlleyWatch (alleywatch.com).
Mr. Finkle presently serves as Chairman of the Evaluation Committee and Treasurer of the ARC Angel Fund, and is Co-Director of the Reitler Advisory Group: which provides mentoring and advisory services to early stage technology companies and venture fund administration services to general partners of micro VC funds.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jeff back on campus,” said New England College President Dr. Michele Perkins. “Jeff is a highly accomplished NEC graduate. His comments are sure to be thought-provoking and insightful. Our students benefit greatly from direct interaction and conversation with our guest speakers, and we look forward to hearing from Jeff as he shares his expertise, experiences, and evolution from NEC student to entrepreneur and venture and angel investor.”
Mr. Finkle is a frequent panelist, speaker, and judge on venture investing and pitch competitions in New York. He also guest lectures and holds office hours for numerous entrepreneurial incubators and accelerators. Mr. Finkle served as Chairman of Servicechannel.com until its acquisition in 2014. Prior to his work with Angel and Seed groups, he was a Partner of Odeon Capital Partners, an early-stage venture capital fund. In addition, Mr. Finkle has served in a variety of executive roles including corporate development, product management, and marketing.
Mr. Finkle also serves as Chairman of the Board of Promoting Specialized Care and Health (PSCH), a not-for-profit organization offering residential, clinical, and day programs to 9,000 individuals with developmental, psychological, and behavioral disabilities in New York City’s five boroughs and Long Island.
About the President’s Speaker Series:
Each year the President’s Speaker Series at New England College brings to campus prominent leaders and innovators from business, nonprofits, public policy, and issue areas that are interesting, insightful, and engaging for students and members of the community.
Angel investing — efforts by individuals to finance private companies owned and operated by people who are neither their friends nor their relatives — is substantially higher now than it was in 2002, when data tracking this activity first became available.
I compared data from the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, which gathers annual data on angel activity in the United States, with Census Bureau data on the number of employer businesses and the population. That comparison reveals that angel-financed companies as a fraction of U.S. businesses with employees has increased substantially since 2002. In 2013, there were 13.99 angel-backed businesses per thousand employers as compared to 7.27 in 2002.
Unfortunately, the data on the number of employer businesses isn’t available for more recent years. But we can compare the number of angel investors to the population to see what has happened with angel investing more recently. As the figure below reveals, the “active angel” fraction of the U.S. population has also risen significantly since 2002. In 2015, the fraction was 36 percent higher than it was in 2002.
Angel investment activity has also increased relative to venture capital activity. In 2002, there were 13.3 angel-backed companies for every venture capital-financed business in the United States, a comparison of National Venture Capital Association and Center for Venture Research data shows. In 2015, that ratio was 19.2.
Similar patterns can be seen by comparing angels to VC funds. In 2002 there were 108.9 active angels for every venture capital fund in operation. In 2015, there were 249.1 active angels per active VC fund.
Describing what has happened is easy; explaining why it has happened is not.
The development of equity crowdfunding can’t explain the rise in angel investment activity. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act that made equity crowdfunding possible wasn’t signed into law until 2012, and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules for non-accredited investor crowdfunding weren’t put into place until May of 2016. So equity crowdfunding’s implementation isn’t the explanation for the trends.
The growth of angel groups might account for the increase in angel investment activity between 2002 and 2007, but it cannot explain what has happened since 2007. Angel groups have not declined in number or membership since 2007 so they can’t be responsible for the post 2007 dip in angel activity. And besides, only a minority of angels are members of these groups.
If we ignore the 2011 data in the figure above, then general economic conditions are a plausible explanation for the trend. From 2002 to 2007, an economic expansion and housing boom boosted angel investment activity. That activity took a hit with the Great Recession. The subsequent recovery led to a relatively modest rebound in angel activity. Concerns about froth in the venture capital market in 2015 account for the recent dip.
The catch to this explanation is that it doesn’t explain the spike and fall in angel activity between 2010 and 2012. The per capita number of angels grew nearly 19 percent between 2010 and 2011, and then fell nearly 17 percent between 2011 and 2012, ending 2012 roughly where it had been in 2010. Not only is the size of these annual shifts improbably large, but the fact that the numbers ended up very close to where they started suggests that mis-measurement is the best explanation for what happened in 2011.
If we ignore that year, angel investment activity seems to track the economy, going up when it is good and declining when it is weak.
Image: Created from data from the Center for Venture Research and the U.S. Census Bureau
Egyptian angel investor network Cairo Angels is to host an event later this month aimed at introducing potential investors to the country’s startup ecosystem, and highlighting investment opportunities.
“The Angel Ticket” event will be held on September 27 – co-hosted by GIZ -, and will feature two panel discussions as well as a networking session.
The first panel will focus on startup opportunities, the ecosystem, and how these fit in the macro-context; with speakers to include Cornelius O’Donnell, co-founder of Rise Up; Mohamed Rahmy, managing director of Endeavor Egypt; and Dina El Shenoufy, chief information officer (CIO) at Flat6Labs.
The second panel introduces the concepts of business angels and early-stage investing. The session will walk through the experiences of the leading investors on the panel – including Hossam Allam, founder of Cairo Angels; Neveen El Tahri, chairperson at Delta Shield; and Khaled Ismail, founder of KI Angels. The panel aims to introduce the basic mechanics of early stage investing, and provide a guideline on how to become a business angel.
Cairo Angels said the organisation is hoping to attract individuals who wish to be acquainted with the startup scene and are interested in investing in startups. The objective of the event is to familiarize attendees with the ecosystem, startup opportunities and angel investment, and to attract more investors to early-stage opportunities.
Philadelphia, PA, Sept. 28, 2016 — Baker Tilly, a full-service accounting and advisory firm with specialized professionals who connect with you and your business through refreshing candor and clear industry insight, has agreed to be a sponsor of Keiretsu Forum’s 4th Angel Capital Expo. Baker Tilly has been a supporter of Keiretsu Forum mid-Atlantic since 2013 and, accordingly, a longtime supporter of the entrepreneurial community and the Angel investing community.
“Baker Tilly is an active supporter of the entrepreneurial and angel investing community,” stated James Lawson, partner with the Pittsburgh office,”and there is no better way to demonstrate this than to support the community of entrepreneurs and angel investors by partnering with Keiretsu Forum’s Pittsburgh chapter.”
The Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic Region (K4-MA) – with chapters in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, and New York, a part of the global Keiretsu Forum angel network strives to foster collaboration among early stage companies, angel groups and the larger investment community.
The Angel Capital Expo will take place on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, from 7:30am – 6:30pm at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. The Angel Capital Expo (ACE) was initiated in San Francisco as the signature event of Keiretsu Forum, (K4).
Keiretsu Forum will guarantee that the regular forum entry that obtains the highest level of votes (as the favorite presentation) from attendees will receive a investments from K4 stakeholders of $200,000.
The top early stage company will receive $25,000 in services in kind from our sponsors.
Attendees of the Angel Capital Expo will include approximately 150 accredited angel investors from the Mid-Atlantic Region and elsewhere in K4’s global network of 1500+ investors, accredited investors from other area angel groups, independent angel investors, VCs, and family wealth management professionals.
The featured presenters at the Angel Capital Expo will include 12 early stage companies in Internet-SaaS-cloud technology, healthcare-life sciences-medical devices, consumer products, cleantech/energy solutions, software-security-telecommunications technologies, and real estate.
There will also be six early–stage “Fast Pitch” presenters from various K4-MA partner technology transfer offices, college and university business plan/idea competitions, and local seed-stage programs.
“Keiretsu Forum investors have regular access to a number of quality investment opportunities” stated Howard Lubert, the founder of K4 MA. “The Angel Capital Expo will provide access to a dozen investment opportunities that have been vetted by a trusted source, opportunities to invest across diverse sectors, and entrée to other investors with comparable interests.”
Our focus on industry and service specialization means you can expect to work with business advisors who understand your competitive environment and the issues that you face.
Exceptional client service is what separates Baker Tilly from the rest. We ask. We listen. We hear you loud and clear. Learning about you, your organization, and your expectations is critical to our relationship because your definition of satisfaction is the only definition that matters. And when it comes to achieving results, our client-centric technical and industry specialists work with you and each other to deliver solutions that address your needs.
Founded in 1931, we are now one of the top 12 largest accounting and advisory firms in the US. Baker Tilly has achieved dynamic growth while maintaining a commitment to our core values.
About Keiretsu Forum Keiretsu Forum is a global angel investor network with more than 1500 accredited investor members throughout 46 chapters on four continents. Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic (http://www.KeiretsuForum-MidAtlantic.com) consists of four chapters that function as a single entity – Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh and New York. Keiretsu is a Japanese term for a group of organizations with interlocking business relationships, and Keiretsu Forum is a group of accredited investors with interlocking investment interests. Each chapter or region meets monthly to present rigorously screened candidates for investments. Keiretsu Forum’s mission is “Great Association with Quality Deal Flow.”
The Mid-Atlantic Region presents approximately five deals a month, 60 a year, to its members and accredited investor guests. In 2015 Keiretsu Forum Mid Atlantic funding about 25 entities that presented to the forum. Approximately 36 funding applications are submitted each month to the K4-MA DealRoom website, www.K4-DealRoom.com and vetted by industry specialists. About 10 are then vetted by members at monthly screening meetings where they participate in a highly structured presentation-and-feedback-learning session. Three to four of the screened companies are then invited to present at subsequent monthly Forum meetings. Entrepreneurs invited to move forward to the Forum meetings must participate in mandatory professional coaching sessions to optimize the delivery of their presentations and also agree to participate in the road show to all four cities in the region, with exposure to approximately 100 investors. Subsequently, information about their companies is posted on the organization’s online global deal room for reference by all 1500+ members. For global information visit: http://www.KeiretsuForum.com.
Winston-Salem was recently nationally ranked as a “best large city to start a business.” The study was conducted by Wallethub, an online source providing tools and information consumers and small business owners need to make better financial decisions and save money.
In order to help aspiring entrepreneurs — from restaurant owners to high-tech movers and shakers — maximize their chances for long-term prosperity, WalletHub’s analysts compared the relative startup opportunities that exist in the 150 most populated U.S. cities. They did so using 16 key metrics, ranging from businesses’ five-year survival rate to office-space affordability to educational attainment of the local labor force. Winston-Salem came in 11th overall out of 150 cities, and came in 3rd for the highest average growth of number of small businesses.
One of the things that makes this small town with skyscrapers a great place for business is it is a great place to live. Winston-Salem’s cost of living is below the national average. Combine that with the amenities the city offers: a bustling downtown, parks and greenways, live theater, a symphony and opera, the Children’s Museum and SciWorks, RiverRun film festival, Black Theatre Festival, museums like SECCA and Reynolda House, an arts district and Innovation Quarter – and you have a great city with small town appeal.
Being in the right city when starting a business is important for a more reasons than just how nice it is to live there. Chief among these factors is access – to talent, investors, office/manufacturing space, and training. Winston-Salem excels in these areas.
With four colleges/universities and a nationally recognized community college within the city limits, the Camel City is regularly attracting and producing top talent in fields as wide-ranging as medicine to the arts.
Access to funding is supported by a variety of banks, including locally based BBT, providing small business loans, and entrepreneur funds such as the Piedmont Angel Network, providing investment funds.
Winston-Salem has high-quality office spaces all along the spectrum from co-working spaces to single occupancy buildings. There is also manufacturing space available in multiple locations around the city. The city boasts a great arts district with artists studios, and retail facilities downtown and throughout neighborhoods and shopping areas.
Allan Younger, Director of the Small Business Center at Forsyth Technical Community College, stresses the importance of both startup and ongoing business education. “All current and prospective small business owners should commit to on-going opportunities to enhance their skills. This is true whether they are considering starting a business, have recently started one, or have been in business for many years.”
If you are thinking of starting a business in Winston-Salem, be sure to click on the links provided above, and check into these upcoming opportunities to access some of the great supports offered to entrepreneurs:
The Small Business Center at Forsyth Tech
A variety of presentation-based educational opportunities. Topics include social media, marketing, starting a business, grant seeking/writing, and more. The expected outcome is the acquisition of business information.
Interactive discussions about a variety of topics such as customer engagement, networking, productivity, business growth, and more. The expected outcome is the acquisition of best practices leading to increased success.
These experiential learning opportunities allow business opportunities to practice their skills regarding presentation, business research, sales, LinkedIn, and more. Clinics are designed for repeated participation. The expected outcome is business skill development.
In addition to our face-to-face opportunities, online training is also offered. HP LIFE (Hewlet Packard Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs) is a free, online training program. HP LIFE is a global program that offers aspiring entrepreneurs and small business-owners valuable business skills. HP LIFE offers participants a path to realizing their business dreams. This program is self-paced, making it possible for more aspiring entrepreneurs to participate. It will help you gain the real-life business and technology skills you need to start or grow your business.
For more information, visit their website HERE to learn about various educational events. It only takes about two minutes to register for the opportunities of your choice.
An example of the events hosted by Flywheel at 525@Vine include:
Idea Tap is one part networking, one part pitch refinement, and a heap of startup support in one event! Presenters are selected in advance and have 5 minutes to pitch their startup. It can be an up-and-running company, the seeds of a someday-company, or an idea for a product—the stages of development are all over the map. With potential partners, investors and clients in the audience it’s a great opportunity to get feedback in a low pressure environment. Light snacks, drinks and great company provided!
Register to attend Idea Tap Tuesday, May 10th, from 5:30-7:30 HERE.
“How to Finance a Startup” featuring Troy Knauss, professor in the Wake Forest entrepreneurship program and one of the most successful investors in the region.
This course will provide an overview of what every founder needs to know about financing options, setting financial milestones and attracting investor capital. Learn how to get your startup investor-ready and what investors expect at seed and later stages of development. You can register for each session separately, or take the whole series at a discounted rate. More Info Registration for these classes in June HERE.
Title III Crowdfunding Crash Course:
What entrepreneurs need to know before startup financing changes forever.
Starting May 16th, small investors will be able to purchase securities from startups through registered crowdfunding portals. This means that startups will have a whole new market of potential investors to woo. However, with this new opportunity comes a slew of new rules and regulations.This is a crash course in what you need to know as a small business owner who may be interested in using this revolutionary new form of financing.
Jon Mayhugh, attorney and clinical fellow with the Wake Forest Community Law and Business Clinic, will present from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday May 11th. This presentation is sponsored by Wake Forest University and the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. This course is free, but please RSVP if you plan on attending. Register to Attend HERE .
A company that is creating a telematics device will alert car owners — and their service providers — when their vehicles need servicing.
Troy Knauss, chairman of the board of the Launch Place, said CAARMO will connect vehicle owners with their service providers when diagnostics show a potential problem, allowing vehicle owners to make necessary repairs before the vehicles actually break down.
The Launch Place announced Wednesday it is investing $50,000 in the business that will make Danville home to company headquarters. The announcement marks the 10th investment The Launch Place has made in the last two and a half years.
Vinay Raman, founder and CEO of CAARMO, said he was traveling with his father several years ago when their car broke down on the Delaware Memorial Bridge during Memorial Day weekend.
“The car was well maintained; we paid to keep our vehicles in good condition,” Vinay said of the frustrating, unexpected experience that brought traffic to a crawl and earned him very unfriendly comments from drivers trying to get around them.
The weekend was ruined for his family, all over a $10 part, Vinay said.
Vinay said he and some friends got together and compared their vehicle breakdown experiences, then started brainstorming about how such experiences could be avoided.
The goal with CAARMO is to set up a program that would install a chip in vehicles that would give both the owner and service provider up-to-date diagnostics that would signal the need for maintenance to take place before a part or system failed completely.
CAARMO’s plan is for service providers — car dealers, franchises and independent service providers — to install the chip and sign people up for the admittedly top-shelf service, Raman said, while CAARMO would provide the data and programming to make the chip work.
Raman said he is pleased with the business atmosphere in Danville and appreciated the help his company can get from the Launch Place. He has agreed to make Danville headquarters for the company and to hire two people in the next 12 months, then at least three more in the following two years.
If he meets all of the goals laid out and the product meets expectations, CAARMO could be eligible in an additional investment of up to $200,000 from the Launch place.
Grupo Guayacán, Inc. (GGI) celebró el comienzo oficial de SPRINGBOARD, su nuevo programa de desarrollo empresarial y el primero en Puerto Rico enfocado en preparar a empresas emergentes para levantar capital. El programa es auspiciado por el Growth Accelerator Fund Prize de la Agencia Federal para el Desarrollo de la Pequeña Empresa (SBA, por sus siglas en inglés) y se lleva a cabo mediante una colaboración con el Angel Resource Institute (ARI).
La clase inaugural de SPRINGBOARD incluye a AgroTropical, Aseguratec, Semila y Join-a-Join, todos ganadores de EnterPRize, así como a School Climate Solutions, Stellup y Tix.By, participantes de Parallel18. El grupo es completado por OBA Learn, ganadores de una subvención del Fideicomiso de Ciencia y Tecnología, Codetrotters, y Pick My Stuff.
SPRINGBOARD ofrecerá a 10 start-ups de alto potencial el conocimiento, las herramientas y los recursos que necesitan para levantar el capital que les permitirá llegar al próximo nivel. El programa ofrece una serie de talleres educativos, sesiones de coaching, y mentoría. Los participantes representan una variedad de industrias e incluyen graduados de otros programas locales de desarrollo empresarial, incluyendo I-Corps Puerto Rico, EnterPRize y Parallel18.
El currículo del programa fue diseñado por ARI, en colaboración con GGI, e incluye una serie de seis talleres educativos así como varias oportunidades de practicar el pitch y recibir insumo de un grupo de inversionistas ángeles que forman parte de la red de ARI. SPRINGBOARD concluye en diciembre con un Demo Day donde los participantes podrán presentar sus empresas ante un panel de inversionistas locales e internacionales. Durante el Demo Day, Guayacán también ofrecerá hasta $50,000 en capital semilla para las empresas más destacadas.
“Este año, Guayacán celebra su 20 aniversario y estamos orgullosos de continuar innovando en nuestro ofrecimiento para la comunidad empresarial en Puerto Rico, adaptando los programas a las áreas de mayor necesidad en el ecosistema local y a las necesidades particulares de los emprendedores en distintas etapas de desarrollo. A través de SPRINGBOARD, atendemos un área crítica en el ecosistema empresarial de Puerto Rico, el acceso a la educación sobre la inversión en empresas en etapa temprana. El programa permitirá a los participantes aprender a mirar sus proyectos desde el punto de vista de un inversionista. Además, se beneficiarán de una mirada única al proceso de presentar a inversionistas, y de negociar y estructurar las inversiones”, dijo Laura Cantero, Directora Ejecutiva de GGI.
El programa es liderado por Troy Knauss, Vice-Presidente de la Junta de ARI y experimentado inversionista ángel. Susan Preston, Co-Presidenta de la Junta de ARI, se unirá a Knauss como instructora. Preston es experta reconocida a nivel global en temas de capital de riesgo e inversionistas ángeles, así como también autora y socia en varios fondos en la región oeste de los Estados Unidos.
“En ARI estamos orgullosos de continuar fortaleciendo nuestra alianza con Grupo Guayacán. A través de mis visitas a Puerto Rico, he podido ver como un ecosistema empresarial emergente continúa desarrollándose y fortaleciéndose. Susan y yo estamos ansiosos de compartir conocimientos y experiencias con algunas de las empresas más prometedoras de la comunidad de start-ups en Puerto Rico y de continuar contribuyendo a su desarrollo a través de SPRINGBOARD”, dijo Knauss quién se ha comprometido a invertir en al menos una de las empresas participantes.
Un componente integral de SPRINGBOARD, es el acceso a un grupo de experimentados mentores que apoyarán a las empresas participantes a través del programa. “Como inversionista, estoy emocionado de ser parte de este nuevo programa que ayudará a familiarizar a los start-ups con el proceso de levantar capital y las expectativas de los inversionistas ángeles. En mi experiencia, la falta de alineamiento en expectativas entre inversionistas y emprendedores es uno de los obstáculos principales a la hora de concretar una inversión en una empresa en etapa temprana. Además, como mentor, me encanta tener la oportunidad de apoyar a algunas de las compañías emergentes más destacadas de Puerto Rico,” dijo Rodolfo Sánchez-Colberg, Socio de Parliament Capital, firma que maneja un fondo de capital privado en Puerto Rico. Los mentores de SPRINGBOARD participaron de un exclusivo taller ofrecido por Knauss previo al comienzo oficial del programa.