Angel Wants Its Wings –

Launched in December of last year, Piedmont Angel Network (PAN) is a little closer to closing on its $5 million first fund. While the fund seems small, it can hand out enough dough to make a difference to North Carolina-based startups.

Specifically, the fund looks to invest in companies based in Greensboro, N.C., Highpoint, N.C., and Winston-Salem, N.C. “We’re seeing a lot of good deal flow from the region. There is a push in the region to promote and develop new businesses because traditional businesses have been hit hard by the economic downturn and some have left the region to go overseas where it is cheaper,” says Lou Anne Flanders-Stec, the group’s executive director. “There is a renewed interest in small businesses and there doesn’t seem to be enough seed funding here.”

Touting 60 private investors, the fund has raised $3.35 million and expects to be finished fund raising by the end of the year. Most of the fund’s LPs are individuals and small family businesses. Individuals are required to invest a minimum of $50,000, while businesses must ante up $100,000.

“Our main priority is solving business problems. We don’t want someone that is doing something faster, better or quicker, we want business issues that companies in the region are dealing with to be solved,” says Flanders-Stec.

The fund expects to put $150,000 to $200,000 into the startups. PAN’s total contribution to one company will probably be about $500,000, but will depend on the particulars of each company.