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Blue Water Angels Offer $1 Million Per Year to Tri-City Area Entrepreneurs

Investment Network Launched by MidMichigan Innovation Center

April 18, 2008       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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MidMichigan Innovation Center (MMIC) has launched the investment group Blue Water Angels, LLC, that has more than $1 million in capital available to invest in promising companies every year.

The newly formed group has 25 members to-date and is making great strides since the first exploratory meeting last October.

"Angel Investment Networks are vehicles for young, high-growth start-up firms to raise seed capital to bring their business ideas to fruition on a scale large enough to interest investors and enhance an area's economy," said Brent Case, executive director of the MidMichigan Innovation Center.

Originally the term "angel" was used to describe wealthy individuals who provided money for theatrical productions in 19th century England. While the return on those investments may have been another curtain call, today an angel's return can be a considerable financial gain, said Mr. Case.

At the February Board meeting, the Midland based group elected a governing board and officers, representing five counties. The slate of officers includes:

Officers: Chairman Arnold Allemang (Midland County); President Ken Kousky (Leelanau and Saginaw Counties); Secretary/Treasurer Paul Murray (Isabella County); Administrator MidMichigan Innovation Center.

Other board members are Ron Beebee, Bay County; John Bartos and Ted Skinner, Midland County; and John Strobel Saginaw County.

Mr. Case of the MidMichigan Innovation Center will coordinate interaction between investors and promising companies.

The Blue Water Angels entertained presentations from two companies interested in securing investment for their innovative Michigan-based businesses:

Cerise Nutraceuticals, A Traverse City-based company committed to creating and offering affordable, high quality, life enhancing, natural products from cherries and kalaya oil that will contribute to the health, wellbeing, and quality of life. (www.cherrylotion.com)

Natural Therapeutics, An Ann Arbor-based company dedicated to the development of naturally occurring bio-active compounds identified in safe botanicals. (www.fungalnailrelief.com)

The two were selected from five companies who had submitted applications for consideration.

The Blue Water Angels are interested in both opportunities and are in the due diligence process to determine if investment into the company is indeed viable. The process includes extensive background checks and research to ensure the technology, market, and management team are worthy of investment.

Dan Joseph of Cerise Nutraceuticals says: "Clearly, the Blue Water Angels have a number of very savvy accredited investors with a great and diverse background. It was exciting and challenging to present our opportunity. We look forward to the feedback and continued interaction with the group."

According to Ken Kousky, president of the Blue Water Angels, "I'm pleased to be part of this effort to bring funds to worthwhile endeavors in mid-Michigan. We have often heard there is a lack of capital in the area and a significant need for a resource like this in this difficult economic time. We're glad to be making a difference here in Michigan."

"MMIC got involved in establishing an angel investment network because capital was always the top issue facing our tenant companies. Having the BlueWater Angels in our backyard makes helping current tenant companies and attracting new companies to the region more feasible. Now mid-Michigan companies do not have to go out of state or to other regions in Michigan to secure capital," explained Case.

The Blue Water Angels will be holding six dinner/investment opportunity review meetings during 2008, along with one educational event, an annual meeting and three additional board meetings. Membership is based on application, and includes a select group of high net worth individuals and organizations interested in investing capital in promising companies with the expectation of receiving a substantial return on their investment(s).

Entrepreneurs seeking investment may apply at the MidMichgan Innovation Center Web site: www.mmic.us.

The MidMichigan Innovation Center is a private, non-profit organization created to provide entrepreneurs and start-up companies with a supportive and collaborative environment. MMIC connects entrepreneurs with critical resources, valuable services, flexible facilities, and entrepreneurial training and education that will help them develop their business ventures. considerable financial gain.

In 1996 there were 10 angel investment organizations around the country. Today there are more than 250 angel organizations nationwide. This community-oriented investment model has proven to be successful for investors, start-up firms and regional economies. The Angel Capital Association (www.angelcapitalassociation.org) is the nation's authority on all aspects of angel investment and has been a key partner with MMIC and BlueWater Angels to launch the investment group.

Angelsoft Software produces Angelsoft (www.angelsoft.net) is the largest provider of solutions for early-stage investing worldwide. Angel investment groups and networks, venture capital firms, business incubators and entrepreneurs on six continents rely on Angelsoft every day to facilitate deal flow. Its award-winning web-based collaboration tools make it easy for seed-stage investment groups to coordinate and process their deal-flow, all the way from initial contact, screening, and due-diligence and ultimately through funding and beyond. Angelsoft is used by over 275 of the world's largest angel groups; processes thousands of business plans for entrepreneurs each month.

For more information contact: MidMichigan Innovation Center, 4520 Ashman Rd., Suite M., Midland, MI 48642, (989)631-7910, www.midmichiganinnovationcenter.org ###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at carraroe@aol.com)

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