[Updated] ICAD announces informational meeting for Eastern Iowa Plains Angels

[Updated] ICAD announces informational meeting for Eastern Iowa Plains Angels

UPDATE, Jan. 17, 5 p.m.: More chances for startups to present to accredited investors and more chances for investors to learn from each other – that’s the motivation for expanding Plains Angels to eastern Iowa. Mike Colwell, executive director of Des Moines’ Business Innovation Zone, said the expanded Plains Angels will likely function as one large group that hosts separate meetings. Entrepreneurs and other speakers would present at the Des Moines meetings, which fall on Mondays, before presenting in The Corridor on Tuesday. Colwell launched Plains Angels in Des Moines in 2012. The group has more than 60 accredited angels, including several from Eastern Iowa, he said. Although the meetings are already recorded and made available to members online, there is value in getting people together in the same room, he said. Colwell cited the example of an 80 year old member and a 23 year old member – both self-made entrepreneurs, with a lot in common, but who wouldn’t have met otherwise. “Iowans aren’t big on bragging on wealth – you get in a room and you meet people you didn’t know of,” he said. In the 18 months the group has been active, the Angels have seen 30 presentations and made five investments, totaling just over $1 million. The participating angels make individual investment decisions, but can work together to evaluate deals. Josh Cramer, an Iowa City entrepreneur and angel investor, said he sees benefits to both the entrepreneurs and investors who participate. For entrepreneurs, being accepted to present means a chance to meet with dozens of  investors without having to round up dozens of meetings. Investors…
Follow the money

Follow the money

Our guide to raising a round in the Creative Corridor. By Sarah Binder and Troy Miller About this page Entrepreneurs frequently lament that Iowa lacks the funding needed to launch new ventures, but success stories exist at every stage. There are well-worn paths to funding for established businesses in need of capital for an expansion, a technology update or other investment. For start-ups, it can be much harder to find the right money at the right time. It’s not that new companies don’t have options in Iowa — with government funds and support (which we’ve discussed in these pages before), grant programs, traditional bank loans and private venture capital — but that those options aren’t always easy to find, access or even understand. Within the world of private investments made in exchange for equity, commonly used terms such as seed, angel, venture and expansion capital can mean vastly different things depending on who you ask. Not all capital is created equal, and different companies have different needs at different stages. This is how we define the levels of capital in our region, and how we will use these terms in our ongoing exploration of funding for big ideas. For as long as I’ve been writing about entrepreneurship in Iowa, funding has been singled out as one of our community’s biggest challenges. We hope that the collaborative, intentional approach we’ve been seeking with “We Create Here” can shed some light on the issue. This reporting was created in conjunction with Troy Miller, a local entrepreneur who has been interested in the venture capital ecosystem for years, and a group of local entrepreneurs and fund...