Seminar aims to link investors, entrepreneurs

Biloxi, MS — In challenging lending times, entrepreneurs need to be developing as many capital sources as they can, including angel investors.

A free Angel Capital Seminar on June 11 will be hosted by The Innovation Center in Biloxi, the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology and the Mississippi Technology Alliance. It’s designed to bring together innovators, inventors and firms seeking capital with investors, securities professionals and academics who can help them succeed.

“We’re throwing a broad net because we’re hoping to pull people from both sides of the equation,” said Stephen Whitt, executive director of The Innovation Center.

“Angel capital is a form of investment that’s usually represented by local interests,” said Charlie Beasley, president of the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology at Stennis Space Center. Typically a group of investors in a geographic area who have money may want to look at alternative ways to invest.

They combine their capital into one fund. Start-up technology companies and others with marketable ideas in the area make a pitch. If successful they can draw on the fund.

The seminar begins with Chris Reed, who runs My, discussing entrepreneurial resources. Keith Voigts will tell how Wiseman Technologies secured financing. The company started at the Stennis incubator before transferring to The Innovation Center.

“They have had angel capital injections into their firm in the past,” said Whitt, and can advise other companies how to overcome the roadblocks and be successful. Tony Jeff, vice president of the Mississippi Technology Alliance, and investment manager Lylla Joe will guide participants through the angel capital process.

“This type of investment is something that can propel a business to very fast growth,” Beasley said.

Companies that might be considered are those with a new green product or an energy-saving device.

The key is providing a forum that can match high-growth projects to angel investors, Beasley said.

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