Local group helps launch new angel fund in Ohio
The Appalachian Investors Alliance will provide ongoing support to the new Athens Ohio Investment Alliance.
The Athens, OH region has a new angel investing group, and a Knoxville-based organization helped facilitate the fund’s formation and will provide fund management and technical services such as due diligence, deal structuring, valuation, closings, portfolio curation, and bookkeeping.
The new fund is Athens Ohio Investment Alliance (AOIA), which is focused on supporting and promoting high-growth potential businesses in Athens and the surrounding region. In working to establish itself, the Buckeye State entity drew on the expertise of the Appalachian Investors Alliance (AIA), a non-profit corporation that is supported by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) through its POWER Grant program. AIA has 14 funds either operating or being organized across the 13-state ARC footprint and four more in other states.
Comprised of local business leaders and investors, the Athens Alliance is focused on providing funding and mentorship to promising entrepreneurs, helping to fuel economic growth and job creation.
“Many of us in the fund know first-hand the importance of early-stage funding and business advising, and we know that high-growth companies can be built here because we’ve done it,’ said Michelle Greenfield, a founding member and Chair of the AOIA. She and her husband, Geoff, founded Third Sun Solar, one of the largest solar companies in the Midwest. Third Sun Solar was purchased in 2022 by Kokosing Industrial, Inc.
“Ultimately, our group supports the entrepreneurial culture in the region, and our communities will benefit with the growth of these companies,” Greenfield said.
The AOIA plans to invest in a wide range of industries, including technology, healthcare, and renewable energy, among others. Members of the group have experience in a variety of fields, including finance, marketing, and operations, and will provide essential expertise and mentorship to the startups they support.
As noted in this recent teknovation.biz article, AIA is working with a group in the Upper Cumberland region to launch a $1.5 million angel fund.