Business plans run dry for angel network

March 19, 2010
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This is unprecedented. Halo Capital Group, the angel investor network, cancelled its bimonthly meeting this week because there weren’t enough potential deals to parade before the 20 members.

Jim Jay, who organizes the meetings as CEO of TechPoint, the not-for-profit group that promotes the state’s technology sector, says he can’t remember a time in Halo’s 20 months of existence when it wasn’t worth meeting.

“We’re looking for certain types of deals. We have to be selective,” Jay says. “We’re not going to have a meeting for meeting’s sake.”

The meetings, which move among members’ homes and offices, usually feature two business plan presentations.

Jay hastens to add that Halo has closed 13 deals for a total of $13 million, and that another is set to close soon. So it isn’t as if the group is going dormant.

The problem is a lack of deals like the ones Halo members want, he says. That’s a technology company with proven markets and executives. A revenue stream isn’t necessary, but is a plus.

Jay says the pipeline for the next meeting is “good.” But he says the economy might be putting a damper on entrepreneurs’ spirits. And those who are pushing ahead may be getting plenty of attention from investors.

“There are certainly deals still getting done,” he says.

What are your thoughts? Why would Halo struggle to find good deals?

  • Relax
    Relax folks. So there are no deals to do this week -- and maybe no more the rest of the month. The initial tsunami of pent up tech deals has smoothed out. The "need" to do deals is the emotional response of an immature investor and creates an instant path to investment loss. Patience. Good deals will show on the radar when they are ready. It's much better to wait for good deals than to jump into any deal. With so little funding available for tech deals in Indiana, Halo will have their opportunities soon. In the mean time, relax, have a cup of coffee, and enjoy the downtime.
  • Pick me! Pick me!

    If their pipeline is momentarily dry, I'd love to have spent a few minutes.

    I'm not at the business plan stage, but I've been scratching notes, etc. on something which might have some mild interest to the business|tech world. I have had Google building a living knowledge base for it.

    I should have started when I originally thought of it, as I'd be in a better position re: time & market growth.

    I've had a couple of people sniffing around â?? with the standard NDA in hand â?? wondering what I'm up to.

    I *am* going to be ready before the Indy Startup Weekend.

    I hate writing lots of stuff when a few minutes of give & take can determine if/when something is feasible or has a different direction, based upon that conversation. A little formal than the traditional "Beer & Napkin" meeting.

    I used to write business/technology white papers, looking ahead 12-14 months. Conjecture there wasn't an issue.

    I'm more or less a "Blue Sky Guy". And ... I have a *very* thick skin when it comes to tossing something onto the table. [3]



    [1] Beer & Napkin? "Screw that idea, Clinton". [2] You want a good place to one-up that? Try Bravo!. They have formal tablecloths, but have a raft of 3.5' x 3.5' slices of butcher paper. They empty the table, pull off the old paper, put a new one down, restore the various bricâ??aâ??brac and ... If you unfold the napkin you're using with beer â?? as if you could write with it splayed, how can that approach something with the paper?

    [2] From "First Blood" (1982)

    [3] "Some critics have amused their readers with the wildness of the schemes I have occasionally thrown out; and I myself have sometimes smiled along with them. But such sparks may kindle the energies of other minds more favorably circumstanced for pursuing the inquiries."
    â?? Charles Babbage

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.