New Central Arkansas angel network forms for startups

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 552 views 

The newly-formed Central Arkansas Angel Network is hosting a reception for accredited investors on January 30, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. at the Venture Center in downtown Little Rock.

The mission of this new nonprofit organization is two-fold:

• To educate individuals in Central Arkansas about how to make better investments in early-stage companies; and
• To spur economic development by bringing together investors to capitalize primarily early-stage companies with the ability to grow well-paying jobs in the State of Arkansas.

Some of CAAN’s organizers led Fund for Arkansas’ Future – a statewide “angel” investment fund – over the past 15 years, including CAAN’s director, Jeff Stinson.

“Since 2015 and across two funds, Fund for Arkansas’ Future has invested over $10 million in 36 Arkansas-based companies. In doing so, we’ve helped to launch some of our state’s fastest growing, knowledge-based companies that have created hundreds of jobs,” said Stinson. “But with this new network where members make their own decisions regarding in which companies to invest, we have the potential to dramatically expand the number of early stage investors in Arkansas.”

“In order to have a growing local market economy you have to an active angel investing network,” said John Owens, President and CEO of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. “If early stage companies can’t access capital to fund their idea or business plan, they simply go somewhere else. The North Little Rock Chamber is proud to support the Central Arkansas Angel Network and look forward to all the exciting opportunities it creates for Central Arkansas.”

CAAN’s initial four board members are Jeff Amerine, Dr. James Hendren, Bryan Hosto and Alese Stroud.

“Having a vibrant, well organized angel group that will focus on providing early-stage capital to worthy ventures while also delivering best-practice education to accredited investors is absolutely essential for the Arkansas venture scene,” said Amerine, Founder and Managing Director of Startup Junkie Consulting in Fayetteville. “I’m proud to be part of the newly forming Central Arkansas Angel Network as it fills this gap in the funding continuum.”

CAAN said it is looking for additional members and will share more information at the Jan. 30th event. For more information, visit www.CentralArkansasAngelNetwork.org.

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