Ohio TechAngels invest in early-stage startups

Established in 2004, the Ohio TechAngels invest in early-stage Ohio-based ventures in the information technology, advanced materials, and medical technology fields. Money for OTA’s funds comes from the Ohio Third Frontier program and more than 280 investors, making it one of the largest angel groups in the country.

So how does the owner of a tech startup go about getting in front of such an influential group of investors? This article provides some answers.

First, entrepreneurs should submit their business plan at OhioTechAngels.com and Gust.com, which claims to be the industry standard funding application for angel groups and venture capital funds.

Usually about 100 investors attend the monthly meetings, at private clubs throughout Central Ohio, where those seeking funding can pitch their ideas, says Victor Thorne, director of OTA.

Presenters have just 13 minutes for pitches, which should include details about the problem their company is trying to address, the solution they are creating, the target customer market, the competition, their team, their financial model, their capital access plan, and an explanation of how investors will make money.

After the pitch, presenters can expect 20 minutes of questions from investors. Then they decide whether to commence due diligence.

The OTA’s Fund III has invested in seven companies, “and has dry powder to invest in about nine more,” he says. “Initial investment is typically $200,000 plus ‘sidecar’ investments made by OTAF angel members alongside the fund. Total rounds range from $500,000 to more than 3 million that usually include co-investment syndications with other Ohio angel funds.”

Each year, OTA looks at about 100 companies, invites about 20 to present, and invests in four to six. To date, OTA has had four positive exits: HTP, SageQuest, ClearSaleing, and Znode.

To learn more about Ohio TechAngels, visit OhioTechAngels.com.