49th state angel fund: connecting ideas and investment.

Author:Anderson, Tasha

There are two key elements to any successful business: a good idea and capital. Flinging money at infrastructure and personnel without a strong idea and clear goals is just as ineffective as someone with a great idea stalled by a lack of workspace or the ability to hire support staff.

In March of 2012 Mayor Dan Sullivan announced that the 49th State Angel Fund, created to bring entrepreneurs and investors together, was open for business.

The fund was started through an allocation from the US Department of Treasury's State Small Business Credit Initiative to the tune of $13.2 million dollars, specifically earmarked to provide capital to Anchorage entrepreneurs and create a network of Angel investors. The second part of that statement isn't a throwaway, as the Angel Resource Institute doesn't focus singly on providing money to startup businesses but also invests in investors, educating those with the means and interest in supporting small business and entrepreneurship responsibly.

The Angel Resource Institute

The Angel Resource Institute is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit charitable organization founded in 2006 in order to encourage and support "angel" investing. It was initially called the Angel Capital Education Foundation and focused on providing education, training, and information on best practices in the field of investing.

A large part of any education is up-to-date information, which today the Angel Resource Institute provides through the Halo Report, "a great, relatively new report that were doing on Angel investing," says Susan Preston, general partner of the Clean Energy Angel Fund based in California. It's a collection of research that highlights angel investment activity and trends in North America, published quarterly and available online to any interested party.

The most recent Halo Report, Q1 2014, includes information on recent investment trends, the most active angel groups, regional statistics, and trends by industry sector.

Additionally, the Angel Resource Institute has recognized that the collaborative process between angels and entrepreneurs is as valuable as the funds angels provide and is expanding its mission to include post investment activities such as governance and mentoring.

Preston, who in addition to being the general partner of an angel fund is also an Angel Resource Institute Lead Instructor, came to Anchorage in July to present an all-day forum to further these education and training goals.

The morning session...

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