Inspired by Thunderbird Angels, an Arizona investment network affiliated with the Thurderbird School of Global Management (David’s alma mater), the husband and wife duo have their sights set on formally organizing a small yet diverse group of accredited Minnesota angel investors. Gopher Angels is not a fund of pooled capital, rather a network of structure, collaboration, and leverage.
“We see both the need and the opportunity,” says Sara. “This is our next endeavor,” David adds, describing their own entrepreneurial past, which includes Bagster, a novel disposal business they started in 2005 and sold to Waste Management two years ago.
“Our backgrounds are strong in many areas, but not all…if there’s one thing we know, it’s that surrounding yourself with smart people can make all the difference. In this sense, we realize how active the tech startup community is here and are recruiting accredited investors with a strong IT/SaaS and similar knowledge base who want exposure to quality dealflow plus a team capable of co-investing.”
Gopher Angels intends to have 10 members ready in January to start looking at deals by February. From there, they see room for up to 30 accredited investors to join by the end of 2012. Some of the membership guidelines they’ve outlined include:
- Accredited investors as defined under SEC rule 501, Reg D
- Attendance of regular screening and diligence meetings
- $950/year membership fee for social and overhead expenses
- Expectation of investing a minimum of $50k over a two year period
“We’ll be working collaboratively with other angel groups, VC’s, educational institutions, entrepreneurial networks and others who are passionate about seeing more investment activity in Minnesota startups,” said David, who can be reached by email at: email@example.com