BIZTIPS - November 26, 2006

Biz Tips: Nothing Imaginary About Angel Investors
Sunday,  Nov. 26, 2006
By Art Hill

They're all around us. They help new companies get started, protect growing companies from crises, and wait patiently as young companies work toward their goals. No wonder they're called angels' - in this case angel investors.

Also known by the Securities and Exchange Commission term "accredited investors" they are wealthy individuals who can invest in small companies without violating the Securities Act of 1993. That's the law that protects companies from fraudulent investors, and investors from fraudulent companies.

Besides investing in small companies, angels share another characteristic. They are very private about their investments. They may coach the business owners they support, but they do so quietly, and they certainly don't advertise.

So how do businesses that need private capital ... and are willing to give up a share of ownership to get it ... find angel investors interested in their business plans? That's where the Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum comes in (www.oef.org). The OEF has helped businesses meet angel investors since 1991. Traditionally active on the west side of the state, the OEF has recently started working the I-84 corridor, reaching out to companies and investors in eastern Oregon.

OEF programs include "Investor 101" for individuals interested in investing as angels and meeting others who already are. Then there's "Pub Talk," an informal gathering of investors and small company owners featuring short business plan presentations. With its roots in the high-tech heyday of Silicon Valley, Pub Talk continues to be a very effective forum for deal-making, or at least for initial introductions to owners and investors.

OEF regional advisory boards are now planning the first of these programs in our area during February and March. E-mail or call your BMCC Small Business Development Center, and we'll let you know as soon as the dates and times are set. The competition for capital and quality investments is tough, but no tougher than being in business in the first place. And with the right angel, the rewards can be heavenly.


Content © 2006 East Oregonian