The Mississippi Angel Network (“The Network”) is a group of accredited investors interested in reviewing fundraising presentations from Mississippi-based technology companies seeking seed and growth capital. The Network is comprised of several chapters around the state. The Network is administered by Innovate Mississippi and is comprised of accredited individual and institutional investors from inside and outside of the state. Companies typically seek funding ranging from $300,000 to $3 million and represent many technologies such as software, life sciences, and communications. Companies seeking funding via the Network must either be headquartered in Mississippi or have substantial operations within the state.
Innovate Mississippi generally does not work with companies in retail services, oil and gas exploration and production franchisees, real estate development, management and investment companies or any technology or non-technology firms that do not have a proprietary product or service. However, firms will not be disqualified because their customers are in such industries. The Small Business Development Centers and the Mississippi Development Authority have resources to assist entrepreneurs in areas outside the scope of Innovate Mississippi.
There is a “funding gap” in Mississippi – technology entrepreneurs have trouble finding seed and early stage capital with which to build their companies. Historically there has been no organized, statewide network of accredited investors interested in early stage Mississippi companies. The Mississippi Angel Network was formed to organize these investors and provide entrepreneurs a more effective means to gain access to early stage capital.
The mission of Innovate Mississippi is to champion innovation and technology- based economic development for the state of Mississippi. One of the ways we achieve that mission is through delivering support and services to promote investment and business development for technology- focused companies and organizations. Operating the Mississippi Angel Network is one of the services provided to contribute to the business and investment climate of the state.
Innovate Mississippi serves both the investors and the entrepreneurs. For entrepreneurs, Innovate Mississippi identifies promising Mississippi companies seeking seed or growth capital, provides feedback on their fundraising strategy and materials, and prepares these companies before they present to the Network. This screening and preparation serves investors by insuring that only the highest quality company presents to the Network. Innovate Mississippi also manages recruitment for the Network and coordinates all meetings including distributing materials on presenting companies prior to meetings.
All due diligence responsibilities and investment decisions remain with the investors. Although Innovate Mississippi cannot guarantee the outcome of any investment opportunity, it is our hope that the quality deal flow presented to the Network will encourage investors to remain engaged in, and potentially invest in entrepreneurial activities in the state. Also, the Network serves as a forum for social and professional interaction between members who may be fundamental to future technological pursuits in Mississippi. The success and growth of such entrepreneurial endeavors will play a vital role creating higher-paying jobs, and a more diverse, stable, competitive economy for the state.
Where do I start?
Contact Nick Coughlin to obtain tools for developing your executive summary.
Why is an Executive Summary so important?
The executive summary is typically the first portion of your business plan that an investor will want to review. If your executive summary is not prepared properly, it could be the end of an investor’s potential interest in your concept. A good executive summary is essentially a condensed but powerful summary of your entire business plan. It creates a first impression to the investor’s of both you and your business. It is important to use words that command attention, and that get the investor excited about the opportunity you are presenting.
What type of information is included in an Executive Summary?
An executive summary should briefly describe the company, the problem your product or service is solving, the market size, a description of the product or service, the competitive differentiation of your product or service, the revenue model, the management team, financial highlights, and your capital needs. The Mississippi Angel Network prefers to view BRIEF (one to three pages, 10 pt. font or higher) executive summaries. Please provide the following information at the top of the first page or on a title page: Company name, contact name, phone and email contact.
How do I update my submission to the Network?
Returning entrepreneurs click here.
What are the steps in the selection process?
Executive Summaries are subject to an initial screening by Innovate Mississippi staff. Upon passage of this stage, summaries are presented to the Selection Committee, which determines the 2-4 companies which are most appropriate to appear before the upcoming Network meeting. From the presentations, investors decide on an individual basis which companies they would like to follow up with and possibly invest in.
Click here for a sample investor presentation.
How often does the Network meet?
The Network has meetings where companies pitch their businesses in locations all around the state - usually four times a year in each location. In these meetings, each company gives a 20 minute presentation followed by Q&A and networking time before and after the presentation. Innovate Mississippi will coordinate follow-up with investors from around the state who express interest in a particular deal.
What is the cost of proposing a plan to the Network?
There are no costs associated with submitting materials to the Network.
What is the difference between an Angel Network and an Angel Fund?
The Mississippi Angel Network allows investors to make their decisions on an individual basis with their own capital. An Angel Fund allows investors pool their capital and have a professional manager make investment decisions on behalf of the fund.
Does the Mississippi Angel Network fund projects outside of Mississippi?
No. Companies seeking funding through the Network must be headquartered in Mississippi or have a substantial operation within the state. However, the Network does have investors from out of the state interested in reviewing opportunities within Mississippi.
Why would I want to participate in the Mississippi Angel Network?
If you make personal investments in early stage companies either for yourself, or directly representing others, such as a fund, you may find the following benefits:
- Access to potential investment opportunities
- A forum for interaction with other investors around Mississippi from various disciplines to share due diligence resources and collaborate on investments.
- Confidential access to a secure, online, updated database of early stage Mississippi technology companies seeking investment capital.
What are the qualifications/criteria for participation?
To participate in the Mississippi Angel Network, you must be an "accredited investor" as defined under Rule 501 of the SEC regulations (which defines the same as: "any natural person whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with that person's spouse, at the time of her purchase exceeds $1,000,000" or "any natural person who had an individual income in excess of $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with that person's spouse in excess of $300,000 in each of those years and who reasonably expects to reach the same income level in the current year"), or an official of a firm which is making investments.
You must also have the interest in supporting emerging Mississippi technology companies.
What is expected of me?
A $500 annual fee will cover all your costs of participation, meetings, access to the database, and communications. You must also show an interest and willingness to evaluate opportunities and to invest in deals. It is our sincere desire to have you commit your time to hear the presentations from companies in whom you have an interest.
How many Mississippi Angel Network companies have been funded?
Several Mississippi companies have been funded from members of the Mississippi Angel Network. We also intend to closely track the follow-up and investment in other presenting companies.
Does the Mississippi Angel Network have a fund?
The Mississippi Angel Network is structured as a network with several chapters around the state, rather than a fund. This means that all members conduct their own due diligence and make investment decisions on an individual basis. However it is expected that syndicates of investors might form to fund a presenting company to further distribute individual risk.
How often does the network meet?
The Network conducts meetings in Jackson and Tupelo Mississippi, in February, April, June, September, and November of each year. Other chapters meet on a different schedule. Each presenter is given 25 minutes for their presentation and questions from the audience.
How do I join the Mississippi Angel Network?
Accredited investors can contact Nick Coughlin.