First Angels

First Angels is an angel network formed to make financial and intellectual capital available for early stage and growing entrepreneurial companies in Southwest Michigan. The members of the network seek a balance among risk-adjusted returns, enhanced job creation and economic development in the region.

The investment process continues to evolve over time, but adheres to this basic structure:

  1. Screening: An evaluation of the company will be performed to determine if the company is "ready" for angel funding.
  2. Presentation to Potential Angel Investors: Companies which advance past the screening step will be scheduled to make a 30-minute presentation to members of First Angels at a monthly meeting.
  3. Due Diligence: If a group of investors is interested in making an investment, a team will be formed to complete due diligence. The team will engage the services of a professional (i.e. lawyer) as needed.
  4. Investment Recommendation: Upon completion of due diligence, the team will make an investment recommendation, allowing each individual investor/angel to make an investment decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did we launch an Angel Network in Kalamazoo?

It is Southwest Michigan First's belief that a company can never have too much early stage capital. To address the funding gap for companies looking for an investment between $250,000 and $1 million, Southwest Michigan First formed First Angels to fill the money gap and provide an excellent source of mentors for early stage companies.

How does the angel network operate in relation to Southwest Michigan First?

Southwest Michigan First supplies the leadership and financial resources required to launch and sustain the network.

How are investment decisions made?

Each accredited angel investor makes his or her own investment decisions. A minimum investment of $10,000-$25,000 per deal may exist, based on a common term sheet. The type of investment, convertible debt, equity, etc., depends on each individual deal.

What is the structure of the angel network?

The structure is a not-for-profit entity that is member-led. That is, each individual member makes his or her own investment decisions, and the angels interested in any deal complete due diligence as a team. Therefore, it is very important to build a culture of active investors willing to contribute to the large amount of work involved in deal flow, vetting opportunities, presentation preparation, due diligence, negotiation and post-investment monitoring.

How do I submit my business plan?

Please submit your business plan through our Idea Portal.

How do I learn more?

Contact Jill Bland, Director of First Angels at 269.553.9588.