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Angel Investor Group Profile
Great Lakes Angels
The Great Lakes Angels (GLA) is a non-profit corporation of private investors, fireball entrepreneurs, and industry professionals that supports early-stage companies and growing ventures in the Midwest (Ontario, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan). The group aims to create jobs and business opportunities to foster the economic growth in the region by investing in valuable companies and profitable ventures. These enterprises must be commercially-viable with huge potential for growth and market opportunities. In addition, GLA focuses its financial and academic resources on industries such as Information Technology, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), life science, advanced manufacturing, and technology-based enterprises. However, the group limits its investments against family-owned business, real estate, lifestyle, and retail ventures.

Aside from providing capital funds, the group also guides its start-ups in polishing their business plan to attract second and third-round funding from other angel organizations and VC firms. However, the Great Lakes Angels does not offer recommendations, advice, and counseling to any entrepreneur unless he presents his proposal in one of the group's monthly assemblies.

GLA members meet 10 times a year, almost every month, to discuss the group's investment status, portfolio companies, and administrative issues. Shortlisted entrepreneurs present their business plans during these meetings and members provide constructive feedback and decide whether due diligence is necessary. If a sufficient interest is raised from members, the process shall continue and the entrepreneurs are guided by their investors on how to improve specific areas of their proposals. As GLA members are industry experts and business tycoons, their management guidance serves as an essential framework in turning business ideas into successful enterprises. Typical seed investment for start-up companies ranges from $50,000 up to $250,000 based on the qualifications and requirements met by the entrepreneur.

Currently, GLA is seeking private investors who can actively involve in the group's investment process and regular activities. Prospective members must be accredited investors based on the guidelines set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, members must invest a minimum of $25,000 annually in potential start-ups. Aside from equity investments in early-stage companies, GLA members also consider later rounds of financing to qualified companies as well as mezzanine and bridge investments. Moreover, members pay an annual membership due worth $1,000, attendance fees, and dinner meeting charges to support the group's operations and administrative concerns.

To date, GLA's list of portfolio companies include Self-Guided Systems, imX Solutions, NEXTEP Systems, and Accuri Instruments.

Grand Lake Angels Website

Highly informative and discursive, the Grand Lake Angels website is a good reference for entrepreneurs throughout the Midwest region who are seeking investments for their businesses. Using the site map, a diverse range of topics relating to the group's role as an angel group is provided. These topics include GLA's history, mission, investment criteria, portfolio companies, press releases, Board of Directors, and an FAQ page.

Potential investees are guided with a clear set of guidelines on how to submit their business plans and the investment criteria that determines the eligibility of proposals. The chronological phases of the application process are also discussed in detail. In addition, the online submission speeds up the application process as entrepreneurs are encouraged to send their executive summaries on the email address provided by the group. The specific content of a qualified executive summary is also listed to aid them in structuring their proposals.

The site includes resources for angel investors and entrepreneurs such as links to various angel groups, organizations, firms, institutions, business articles, and online publications. Press releases are also compiled for reference. Moreover, contact information is available on the site for feedback and inquiries regarding investment and membership.

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