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December 04, 2014 | Tom Ballard

InCrowd Capital making good progress

InCrowd CapitalBy Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

One year after its launch, InCrowd Capital has completed five deals totaling more than $550,000, according to Phil Shmerling, the organization’s Chief Executive Officer.

We last profiled the Nashville resident in October 2013, shortly after his inaugural event that attracted more than 125 people. When we caught-up with Shmerling recently in Nashville, he was clearly pleased with the progress thus far, both in companies funded and in members of InCrowd Capital.

“We are approaching 40 members,” he said, adding that 15 have good angel experience. “The others had limited or no experience in angel investing,” before joining InCrowd.

One of Shmerling’s goals has been to attract people that have been on the angel investing sidelines. His InCrowd model makes it simple, allowing each person to invest as little as $5,000 in each opportunity they choose to fund and taking care of the complicated aspects of angel investing.

“We provide them a gateway,” he says.

All five of the deals funded thus far are Nashville-based, and two are in the healthcare sector.

Shmerling says that, in addition to Nashville, he has shown companies from both Knoxville and Memphis to the InCrowd members at their monthly gathering that is generally on the third Wednesday of each month at The Nashville Entrepreneur Center. He is always scouting for companies, but reminds us of an important criteria.

“If you’re going through an accelerator, you have a place to go,” Shmerling says of InCrowd Capital. His interest is not limited to companies that are or have participated in one of the nine regional accelerators funded in part by Launch Tennessee, but he does limit opportunities to companies that have been through a formal accelerator program, incubator program or a university activity, such as tech transfer programs.

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