Reno 'angels' group studied

Conversations will begin next month about possible creation of a Reno-based angel investment group to match early-stage entrepreneurs with investors.

Creation of an angel investor group in the Truckee Meadows is the brainchild of David Archer, chief executive officer of the Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.

The region, he says, appears to have a significant number of people who are able to invest $50,000 to $100,000 into early-stage companies, and there is no shortage of entrepreneurs with potentially marketable concepts for businesses.

Many of those potential investors, Archer said, have moved to northern Nevada from other regions with numerous channels to match creators of start-up companies with the capital they need.

But investors and entrepreneurs have difficulty finding one another in the absence of a structured conduit in the Reno area, the NCET's leadership has found.

"This is the perfect time to bring this forward," Archer said.

A process to help angel investors in Reno hook up with entrepreneurs in the area would complement the work already under way at Lake Tahoe, where the Sierra Angels have been funding startups for several years, Archer said.

While plans for inaugural meetings haven't been firmed up, Archer said last week it's likely that NCET will sponsor a couple of sessions in January to see if there's enough interest to get the idea in motion.

NCET's leaders also are kicking around the possible development of a mentor program that would allow entrepreneurs to get the advice of experienced businesspeople.

In fact, the number of calls to NCET from entrepreneurial companies that seek experts to serve on boards of advisors or boards of directors is the second most common query fielded by the agency, trailing only the number of calls from entrepreneurs seeking financial help.

In many instances, Archer said, the same people who are interested in early-stage investments in young companies may be willing to serve as mentors.


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