The Maine Angels are the largest angel phase investor network in the state, noted nationally for its follow-on funding for portfolio companies. Founded in 2003, the chapter has invested in over $15M in more than sixty companies. They focus on Maine start-ups with potential for national scale, though half the investments have been made across New England.
The investments Maine Angels have made have been in numerous industries including medical devices, consumer products, biotech, clean tech, education and software. The chapter membership is made up of more than sixty individuals from various backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, general management, marketing, operations, development, investment, medical and legal. While the members work closely together in the screening, review, and deep diligence analysis, each member makes his/her own investment decisions.
The process for applying to the Maine Angels is straight forward.
1 An entrepreneur submits on-line with details as described on Maine Angles.org:
Product or service idea and the unique need it fills or how it is differentiated
Market potential and competition
Intellectual property and proprietary position
Business plan in detail for next year and more general out through fifth year
Growth potential and scalability
Status of development of business (e.g. design, launch, growth)
Valuation and exit strategy
Current ask and terms
2 A screening committee reviews applications and makes selections based on:
Potential return based on valuation, terms and scalability
Initial risk and readiness
Location and expertise fit for diligence
3 Selected entrepreneurs make a member presentation and Angels judge the presenations based on:
Understanding product, direction, plan and status
Leadership capability and coachability
Portfolio fit and interest
Clarification and confirmation of material presented
Valuation determination and term negotiation
Syndication with other Angel groups if appropriate
Write-up findings (note: no recommendation to invest or not is made by the group)
5 Decisions are made by individual angels whether to invest or pass
6 Investment, mentoring and monitoring (and possibly further investment) as business progresses
7 Exit – hopefully successfully
The keys to success:
- Don’t go too early – be sure you have developed the business to prove your plan with self funding, friends & family and grants or loans, and education from programs like Top Gun.
- You are asking for money – be sure to clarify what the investor can get in return and how you have lowered the risk.
- Demonstrate leadership without arrogance, confidence with coachability, competence with compensation for shortfalls, passion with reality, and determination to the end.
- Blog by Sam Fratoni, Maine Angel
Sam Fratoni is the chair of the Maine Angels and an MCED Board member. As a business executive Sam has over 30 years of global, technical corporate leadership, focused on helping organizations apply technology to real customer needs to produce results for the company and employees. He has led business units, international regions and global business functions for Hewlett Packard and as Corporate Vice President for IDEXX Laboratories.
The Maine Angels are an MCED Sponsor
MCED sponsors understand the important role that our organization plays in supporting Maine entrepreneurs, providing ready access to the resources needed to launch and run successful companies in Maine.