PDT Staff Writer
On Thursday, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced it would be awarding a $30,000 grant to Queen City Angels to start an angel investing group in the Appalachian region.
The announcement was made at The Ohio State University South Center Endeavor Center, during the Southern Ohio Business Showcase. Making the announcement was Earl Gohl, Federal Co-Chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
“Today we’re announcing a grant of $235,000 where we are going to provide support for the creation of five angel funds throughout Appalachia. We are providing cash to the Queen City Angels out of Cincinnati to expand their operations into Appalachia,Ohio” Gohl said.
According to www.qca.com, “the Queen City Angels (QCA) is the first group of experienced, accredited investors committed to accelerating the growth of outstanding early-stage businesses in the Cincinnati area and the surrounding region, via smart investments capable of producing a substantial return.
Our Angels currently include a substantial number of business leaders from the region, counting many former CEOs and founders of successful companies as investors. QCA members are eager to apply their talent and expertise to mentoring and coaching as well as to funding the right ventures.”
“We recognize this is not a lot of money, but it’s the start of some money, the start of some ideas,” Gohl said. “We know that about $20 billion a year was invested in about 62,000 start-ups in 2010, by angel funds. We also know that between 10 and 15,000 angels participate in angel funds. If Appalachia is going to participate in this national economic recovery, we can’t be sitting around lagging behind everyone else. We need to get moving”
Gohl said the first down payment on getting Appalachia moving is this grant.
“We see this as providing real access to capital for investments. It also provides technical assistance to communities and to businesses.”
Among those in attendance was Tony Shipley, founder of the Queen City Angels.
“One of the things we were asked to do is think about, how we would set this type of organization up in Piketon. We’ve basically created a straw-man, based on the founding principals that we used to setup the queen city angel group,” Shipley said. “Over the next two or three month period we’ll be working with Megan (Barnes, the Ohio State University South Centers) and other potential angels in this community to figure out criteria for people who would want to be apart of this group.”
He said once the details have been worked out the information will be presented to the investor community to seek participation.
“These guys (Queen City Angels) have a history of doing great work and have a solid organization. These guys have a track record and a long history of successful work. We are building this out of experience, instead of trying to grow our own,” Gohl said. “This is not the answer to everyone’s economic challenges, this is one more tool. We think that as we move down the road with the recovery that, there will be more angel networks developed.”
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.