As economic engines, local economies lose their innovators to larger ecosystems when the startups are unable to get the resources they need. Often at the early stages, those resources are small amounts of investment. This is not because the local community does not have the wealth to invest in those startups, but more often that the community is not aware of the innovation process.
In the US, about 10% of the population is “Accredited” by Federal Law. It essentially means that your Net Worth or your income is high enough to take the risk - Link to Wikipedia
Most regions of over a million people will have the capacity for hundreds of people to be angel investing.
What is the barrier to this investing? For the most part, people are unaware of this asset class, or they think this is only available to the uber-wealthy. The other reason is that they do not know where to start.
The startup journey is a peculiar one, which is much different than the regular small business or the corporate experience. Gathering together people who have some experience in the startup process and then helping to share that with others can build the capacity of a community to grow active Angel Investors who are funding local innovation companies.
The Mossy Ventures programs are aimed at this task. The Seattle Angel Conference has grown over 600 new Angel Investors in the region, funded more than 30 companies, and created local wealth in the returns from the funds.
These programs are aimed at feeding new Angel Investors into the local market. At this point, all of the existing Angel groups in the community (nine of them) have alumni from the Angel Conference process.
We are working to expand this process to other places. We have helped Alaska, British Columbia and San Diego put programs together. We now have a Trans-Atlantic program focused on building bridges to Europe.
We are looking for community members that want to grow new Angel Investing culture in their local community.