Innovate Mississippi is proud to support the launch of South Mississippi Angel Fund I, a new regional angel fund focused from Hattiesburg to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The fund is open to additional interest from accredited investors. The fund currently has 20 members and is targeting to be a $1 million fund.
The fund’s founding members formed the South Mississippi Angel Fund with the help of Innovate Mississippi, which has been forming regional funds from its statewide angel investor network. The Appalachian Investors Alliance has been hired to support the fund by assisting with due diligence, deal negotiation, and closing on potential investments. AIA also manages the North Mississippi Angel fund, and associating with AIA allows the South Mississippi Angel Fund members to share their native deals with the AIA network funds and participate in deals funded by other funds that are part of the AIA network.
“When a new fund launches, we at AIA love to help them get some early wins by exposing them to deals across our network,” said Jeremy Turner, Business Development Officer at AIA. “That gets them into the investment process to see some early positive activity, which further emboldens them as they move through the lifecycle of their fund.”
Turner said every fund develops an initial “investment thesis” that guides the types of companies and deals the fund may prefer to invest in, and the geographic scope within which the fund will focus. The member-managed South Mississippi Angel Fund is no different.
“As is typical with new funds, South Mississippi is still working through some of these details, but they want to invest primarily in Mississippi deals,” he said. “That’s not to say that they won’t invest outside of the region as deals may come to them from the AIA network funds, but they and the North Mississippi Angel Fund alike are keen on investing in Mississippi.”
Turner said that CoBuilders Mississippi’s Pitch Day and other regional startups that have interfaced with Innovate Mississippi and other programs on that coast are already giving the fund a pipeline of deals to consider.
The South Mississippi Angel Fund will have a website up within the month, Turner said, where accredited investors and entrepreneurs can get in touch with the fund members to learn more.
“As we have worked to form regional angel funds around Mississippi, we’ve seen that giving investors a choice of how to participate – in a fund or on their own – increases deals being closed,” said Tony. “These regional funds are also a real asset for their community because they help fund growth of regional businesses.”
Companies looking to pitch to the South Mississippi Fund or investors interested in learning more should reach out to Tasha Bibb (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lindsey Benefield (email@example.com) at Innovate Mississippi.