The Frontier Angel Fund
The following article appeared in the April 2010 issue of the Flathead Business Journal, but is no longer available online.
I am an active member of the Frontier Angel Fund (Frontier), formed in 2006 to provide mentoring and capital to startup companies in northwest Montana, elsewhere in Montana and the inland Pacific Northwest. Thirty-three business-savvy investors engage with successful applicant entrepreneurs to share their personal resources, that is, capital and business experiences in growing companies. Frontier typically invests $250,000 to $400,000 in cash, half from our pooled fund and the remainder from individual members, depending on their personal interests. One or two investing members engage with portfolio companies as directors and mentors.
All Frontier members are accredited investors, that is, self-certified to be have sufficient means to make these risky investments and qualified to make such investing decisions. Like most angel investors, Frontier members are part-time investors. All tend to be retired or semi-retired businesspersons or successfully exited entrepreneurs and have many other business and personal interests. Frontier angels have strong roots in the Flathead Valley and prefer investing in local businesses. However, Frontier members also invest in startup companies located elsewhere in the region.
Entrepreneurs often need more than the $250,000 to $400,000 that Frontier can collectively invest (the pooled fund with individual angels investing alongside). When the needs arise, we call upon other angel groups and early stage VCs in the region from Minneapolis to Seattle to Boise to syndicate our deals. Angels in a specific round invest under the same terms and conditions (term sheet), as negotiated by the lead investor. The lead investor is usually local to the deal with substantial interest and business experience in the sector.
The Frontier group meets every other month, usually in Kalispell. We also participate in regional venture conferences and educational activities for angels and entrepreneurs. Our screening committee is actively looking for new deals. To apply for funding, please visit the Frontier website at www.frontierangels.com or contact our fund coordinator, Elizabeth Marchi at firstname.lastname@example.org, 307 First Street West, Suite 2, Polson, MT 59860, Office Phone 406-883-4044, Cell Phone (406) 249-0637.
Next month we will discuss the angel investing process: How do angel groups, specifically the Frontier Angel Fund, make investment decisions, and how long does the process take from application to closing.