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Start-up angels

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The idea that someone may actually give you money to help your company get a product to market may sound farfetched for many small entrepreneurs. But it’s a common practice in the U.S. for companies with something promising to sell.

Granted, many of the products are often high-tech or medical in nature, but it’s still an avenue for an entrepreneur to get a capital infusion. And as you may have deduced, the money is not simply given with no strings attached. It’s considered an investment by the giver and they want to see returns on that investment. 

One of the largest regional gatherings of these angel investors and venture capitalists, the Invest Southwest and Venture Capital Conference in the Rockies (VCIR) 2011 Fall Conference, will take place November 2-4 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix.

This year’s event connects the region’s most promising startups and emerging growth companies with an audience of hundreds of venture investors, entrepreneurs and service professionals from all over the globe. They gather to see the “best of the Southwest” present their business plans and investment opportunities. 

Presenting companies at Invest Southwest have received more than a quarter billion in investment dollars since its inception in 1992, and companies that have presented at VCIR over the past 10 years have collectively generated nearly $5 billion in exit value for their stakeholders. Presenters from past conferences have included regional success stories Ventana Medical, NetPro, Vivid Semiconductor and AutoXray.

Last year, Snahel Patel of Sokikom won best presentation honors. The Scottsdale-based company innovated social-learning software to help elementary school students learn math. Another company announced that they had secured $1 million to support their growth. 

This year, the presenting companies have already been chosen, but the planning process to compete for that opportunity begins long before the deadline to apply. Does your company have what it takes to attract the attention of these investors? Then get ready for next year’s conference.

Visit http://investsouthwest.org for more information.

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