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Angel Investor Group Profile
Marquette University Golden Angels Network
Founded in 2003, the Golden Angels Network (GAN) is a group of private investors, business tycoons, venture capitalists, and senior executives that aims to support start-up companies and growing ventures in the Midwest region particularly in Wisconsin and Illinois. Aside from providing seed investment, the group also guides its entrepreneurs in strategic planning, corporate decisions, and attracting next rounds of financing.

GAN is looking for technology-based companies with high growth potential and wide market opportunity that can create an above-average return in its investments within a period of time. In addition, the group provides opportunities by creating jobs to fuel the economic growth in Midwest states.

Typical seed investment ranges from $250,000 up to $1.25M depending on the standards met by the entrepreneur in his proposal. Since its inception, GAN has already invested more than $4M in 7 companies and 12 financing rounds.

To date, the group is comprised of 60 members who are actively involved in the screening process, due diligence, mentoring, and closure of deals. Most of them are alumni of the University who believes in entrepreneurial development as the key to success in the region. Likewise, they are accredited investors based on the guidelines set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Network members usually take a seat in the start-up's Board of Directors and provide counseling in operations and strategies to increase sales and revenues. Furthermore, they share contacts and gain access to networks of angel groups, venture capitalist firms, and technology organizations.

Primarily, the network seeks entrepreneurs with integrity. Business experience and leadership may not be a must but entrepreneurs should be driven by a will to succeed and to see his business as one of the most successful ventures in the industry today. GAN also looks for sound business plans. Financial projections and assumptions must be supported by credible data and a critical market study. In addition, the network supports ventures with strong and competent team to manage its operations and achieve its initial milestones. Companies with unique advantage in terms of proprietary technology, patent, and intellectual property are also preferred. Moreover, GAN invests in companies with scalable market and sustainable growth that can generate wide gross margins within a period of time.

Although the screening process and due diligence are conducted as a group, investments are done individually. To clarify, GAN is not a pool of fund -- members make their personal decisions in closing deals that they believe will generate considerable returns based on their assessment.

The Golden Angels Network is an initiative by Marquette University alumni and faculty members to provide a forum for skilled professionals and new entrepreneurs to support innovative business ideas in the region. GAN's is currently working with its sponsors to increase the efficiency of operations. These firms include Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, Virchow & Krause Company, Godfrey & Kahn, and MidAmerica Bank.

Golden Angels Network Website

The Golden Angels Network website aims to inform entrepreneurs and angel investors about financing high potential start-up companies in the Midwest region. The site provides a thorough discussion of the group's investment criteria in choosing a business and the process on how an application gets considered. Prospective angels are also guided with membership requirements and benefits of being part of the group. For browsers who are interested in digging deeper about the network's history, an overview of the group's background is likewise available on the site. Quick links and resources on business proposals, presentation tips, and related articles are useful. Entrepreneurs who plan to submit their business plans are provided with a user-friendly software to upload their proposals. In general, the site is efficient and useful to both investors and entrepreneurs interested in angel investment.

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