After meeting members of New York-based Golden Seeds, Carol Clark became intrigued with its strategy of investing in women-led businesses, and decided Ohio needed a similar resource.
Clark then began rounding up established local investors, and 15 of them committed to becoming members of her angel group, X Squared Angels, at a meeting Jan. 8. The goal is to gain 10 more investors by mid-year, and have 50 total by the close of 2013.
More than half of X Squared Angels’ members are also members of Ohio TechAngels. The rest are friends and acquaintances of Clark’s who have an interest in supporting women-led businesses and women in leadership positions.
“Our founding members are leaders in these areas and not afraid to take a chance on a new endeavor,” Clark says, adding that 10 of them are women and five are men.
XSA will invest in companies in almost all markets and in all North American regions, not just Ohio.
Clark contends that the Buckeye State has a very active and successful network of angels who primarily invest in the biological sciences, advanced materials, medical technology, and information technology.
“We Ohio angels don’t usually review companies that are outside these markets, nor do we invest in companies outside of Ohio,” she adds. “And no one that I know of −and I would love to be proven wrong– is focused on women-led companies. Women are half of our economy. Perhaps if we put more investment capital into women-led companies, our economy would benefit.”
TechColumbus is serving as XSA’s fiscal agent, and has lent the group public relations and administrative support.
Meanwhile, the Ohio TechAngels have been XSA’s “guiding light” in terms of how to get an angel group started, Clark says, adding that it has helped with processes, documents, and training.
As co-founder of MindLeaders, which was established in 1981 to develop self-paced training modules for corporations, Clark understands the enterpreneur-investor experience from all sides.
“At MindLeaders, we had three venture capital organizational investors, as well as two angels and a family home office, which invested along with the VCs,” she says.
XSA is slated to launch a website mid-year for entrepreneur applications.
“Although we will not be initiating or syndicating deals during our first six months, we can accept applications and suggest other angel groups to approach, if appropriate,” she says. ”
Those interested in submitting applications should contact Clark via email at [email protected]