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Entrepreneurs, Startups, Service Providers Learn About Angel Investing at TechConnect Workshop

Nearly 40 entrepreneurs, owners of startup companies, and several service providers who support them gathered at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park on September 19 to learn how angel investors select – and de-select – their investments.

The workshop, entitled, Pitching Angel Investors: What to Expect and How to Prepare, was led by Eric Dobson, CEO of Angel Capital Group (ACG), and Scott Ewing, COO of ACG.

Eric Dobson, CEO of Angel Capital Group, shares insights at TechConnectWV’s recent “Pitching Angel Investors: What to Expect and How to Prepare” workshop.

ACG is a Nashville, Tennessee-based syndicate of angel funds across the Appalachian region and is identifying opportunities for investment in West Virginia early-stage and existing companies. That exploration includes assessing those companies’ market potential, evaluating their readiness to seek investment, and working to match individual companies with funds and investors that are the best fit for their products and stages of development.

While reality tv shows might give viewers a sense of how angel investor pitches work, TechConnectWV’s workshop gave attendees an in-depth, real-world look at the due diligence process that investors go through when evaluating investment opportunities.

Participants also learned what should and should not go into a presentation to angel investors.

In ACG, the workshop also gave entrepreneurs and early-stage companies a unique opportunity to meet representatives of a regional angel investor network.

The September event was TechConnectWV’s second Pitching Angel Investors: What to Expect and How to Prepare workshop. The first was held in Fairmont in early June. Entrepreneurs and early-stage companies at both workshops represented a wide range of technology, agriculture, transportation, public safety and educational products and services.

Anne Barth, TechConnectWV’s executive director, said the workshops met the goal of helping to bridge the gap between West Virginia entrepreneurs and the angel capital market.

“We are extremely pleased with these workshops, and the feedback has been very positive,” Barth said. “The broad range of products, services and ideas that the entrepreneurs brought to the discussion was fantastic. They represented the very real potential we have in West Virginia to grow a more entrepreneur-based economy.”

Barth also credited ACG’s work in developing a curriculum that delivered a clear understanding of how angel investing works.

“ACG is a great partner for us as we work to increase access to angel capital for West Virginia’s entrepreneurs and startups.”

Both workshops were a part of TechConnectWV’s NextUp West Virginia project. Made possible by the generous support of U.S. Economic Development Administration and The Benedum Foundation, one of NextUp West Virginia’s goals is to help more entrepreneurs and small businesses in West Virginia become better prepared to access angel investor resources.