(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following was excerpted from the latest edition of “ARC in the Region,” a newsletter from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The initiative to develop new angel funds involves Rain Source Capital, a partner of Knoxville-based Angel Capital Group (ACG). We described the new initiative in this teknovation.biz article from early 2017.)
A new angel investor fund, the High Country Impact Fund (HCIF), was announced today to provide financial capital and support to early stage companies in the High Country, which covers five Appalachian counties in western North Carolina and one in Tennessee.
HCIF will be the first angel investment fund serving this area and will fill a distinct need for funding, with the goal of creating good, high-paying jobs, establishing access to emerging sector opportunities, and delivering financial returns to investors. The Fund and its members will work closely with the organization Startup High Country in identifying, mentoring and supporting companies in the High Country.
During the announcement, companies made their first pitches for funding from the angel fund. Additionally, ARC participated in a roundtable discussion focused on building and growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region with HCIF, Mountain BizWorks, Ascent Business Network, the Appalachian State Center for Entrepreneurship, and the High Country Council of Governments.
“The High Country Impact Fund will invest local capital directly into the area’s small and emerging businesses,” said Earl Gohl, Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. “Each new angel fund opening in the region brings added economic opportunity to Appalachia.” HCIF is one of six new angel funds in Appalachia that have been established by assistance from ARC, working through Rain Source Capital. As of September 2017, these new angel funds had raised $8 million capital and had made 26 investments which have resulted in over 80 jobs.