This week, SuperTalk Mississippi covered the launch of the Central Mississippi Angel Fund by invited Innovate Mississippi CEO Tony Jeff and Fund President Matthew McLaughlin on the air. The Central Mississippi Angel Fund was announced earlier this month and is expecting to both add local investors and begin considering deals as 2021 gets underway.
Host Rebecca Turner of SuperTalk Mississippi interviewed both, with Jeff and McLaughlin walking the audience through some definitions—who angel investors are, what an angel fund is, how Mississippi’s angel funds have gotten their start and what it means to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mississippi to have these angel funds organized by local investors.
McLaughlin noted that there’s also an economic development advantage that comes with these funding options since they enable the state to back more high-growth startups in the state and encourage young firms that are distinct from the more conventional manufacturing firms that economic developers are often trying to woo to a region.
Jeff told Rebecca Turner that Innovate Mississippi plans to help set up additional funds in the Delta and on the Gulf Coast, but that once the funds are set up, they’re member-managed and independent of Innovate Mississippi. Innovate may send clients and potential deals to the angel funds, but they’re free to accept or reject each deal on its merits as well as to put together deals that are pitched by others.
McLaughlin noted that “the idea has to be good” but that startups have to be able to build a good team and be willing to pivot their startup if that’s what the market dictates. He said that he looks for people who can “execute on their ideas” so that these high-growth companies can take off in Mississippi.
We’d like to thank SuperTalk Mississippi for bringing Tony and Matthew on to discuss the Central Mississippi Angel Fund and Rebecca Turner for such a great interview. We encourage you to watch the entire clip posted above.
You can learn more about the Central Mississippi Angel Fund on its website.