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Investors and Angels: Equity Financing

Angels are individuals or small groups of investors who invest their own funds, while venture capitalists manage larger funds of pooled money. Some of these investors will prefer to work with companies in select industries where others may prefer to invest in a broad range of industries.

The process of trying to obtain equity financing can be just as complicated —if not more so—as debt financing. Equity investors have many options regarding which companies they choose to invest in and therefore are extremely selective. Most equity investors do not provide funding to companies that are looking to address a specific short-term need for cash, but rather work with those that are most likely to be profitable over the long term.

Obtaining equity financing is not a quick and easy process. Being able to provide transparency to potential investors is essential. Businesses seeking equity financing will need to undergo a due diligence process in which a potential investor will seek to learn about the business as possible. Therefore companies must be prepared to provide information about the entire company. This process often takes up to a year’s time and, in many cases, even longer. Most investors will seek to invest in companies that are flexible, willing to adapt and open to new ideas about how the business should be run.

NH Angel Funding/Venture Capital/Alternative Sources

Arete Corporation
PO Box 1299
Center Harbor, NH 03226.
603-253-9797. www.arete-microgen.comaretecorp@roadrunner.com   
Arete Corporation had been managing venture capital funds focused on energy technologies since 1983.
Borealis Ventures
10 Allen Street, Hanover, NH 03755. 26 Market Square, 2nd Floor, Portsmouth, NH 03801. 603-643-1500. www.borealisventures.cominfo@borealisventures.com   
Borealis is a venture capital firm that partners with entrepreneurs to build companies from the earliest stages. Portfolio companies include those that redefine application software, deliver new Internet and mobile services, and commercialize life-changing technologies.

Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, 100 Tuck Hill,
Hanover, NH 03755.
603-646-0522. mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/pecenterpecenter@tuck.dartmouth.edu
The center focuses on macro and micro issues relating to private equity. The center interacts with institutional investors, venture capitalists, buy-out investors, corporate venture, angel investors, entrepreneurs, portfolio companies, industry lawyers and accountants, industry associations and the media.

eCoast Angel Network
Portsmouth, NH 03801. www.ecoastangels.comecoastangels@comcast.net
Focuses on early-stage companies involved with advanced technology, e-commerce, health care, and industrial products and services, principally located in NH's coastal region.
Garnett & Helfrich Capital
One New Hampshire Avenue
Suite 125, Portsmouth, NH 03801. 603-570-4808. www.garnetthalfrich.cominfo@garnettehlfrich.com
The self-described venture buyout firm is a $350 million fund for mid-sized technology spinouts. The firm invests in buyouts in the enterprise software, communications and networking, semiconductors, data processing, and Internet content/ infrastructure segments of the technology industry. The firm is actively looking for acquisition opportunities where the business has ongoing annual revenue of $40 million to $200 million, a positive brand and solid reputation in the marketplace for technological excellence, and an installed base of customers who have an enduring relationship with the business.

Granite State Angels
Hanover, NH. www.granitestateangels.comwainwright@granitestateangels.com
Granite State Angels (GSA) brings together more than 35 experienced entrepreneurs who are active in making  early-stage and seed investments in companies located in the northeastern United States.  Members meet informally monthly to discuss recent news from the investment community, share due diligence activities, build strategic relationships and review business plans from prospective companies. Members of GSA make individual decisions about investments. Many are interested in taking active roles in the development of a venture, from management and board activities to helping structure financially sound investments placements. To apply to make a presentation at a GSA meeting, visit angelsoft.net/angel-group/granite-state-angels. Fred Wainwright is executive director.

Green Launching Pad
University of NH, 15 Academic Way, Durham, NH 03824. www.greenlaunchingpad.org
Connects entrepreneurs and private industry with technical, scientific and business faculty and students at UNH and statewide to successfully launch new green businesses. The goal is to launch a competitive green energy technology commercialization program, which is accessible to NH entrepreneurs, businesses and innovators. Brings together teams of scientists, engineers, economists, faculty, entrepreneurs and other to accelerate the development of new green businesses and growth of existing businesses that will directly reduce energy use and carbon emissions while creating new jobs and economic opportunities. Offers some start-up funds, technical and scientific expertise and a chance to make a pitch before venture capitalists and angel investors.

MerchantBanc  LLC
66 Hanover, Street, Suite 303
Manchester, NH 03101. 603-623-5500. www.merchantbanc.com
jmpollock@merchantbanc.com (Jeffrey M. Pollock, managing director & CEO),
jrgill@merchantbanc.com (Jean R. Gill, COO)
Founded in 1992, MerchantBanc and its predecessors company have managed more then $50 million in assets. The firm has two investment funds under management- Merchant Banc Venture Partners, LP, and MB Growth Partners II, LP-that includes New England banks, university endowments and high net-wroth individuals as investors. MerchantBanc seeks investment opportunities among companies that have produced at lease $5 million in revenues in niche businesses with strong growth potential.

Middlebury Equity Partners
The Old Northfield Farm, PO Box 25, Hinsdale, NH 03451. 603-336-8352. www.middleburypartners.com
A private equity firm founded in 1996 to finance small to mid-cap companies experiencing key events in their life cycle. The fund invests in a variety of industries and provides capital for expansion, recapitalizations and buyouts.

NH Innovation Commercialization Center (NH-ICC)
75 Rochester Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801. 603-610-4206. www.nh-icc.org   
In partnership with the University of New Hampshire, the center is dedicated to accelerating the development of early stage high technology startups and to the commercialization of UNH intellectual capital. The center selects high-potential, early-stage companies, locates them at its facilities at Pease International Tradeport, and provides them with a combination of business resources, seed capital (an equity investment offer of between $100,000 and $250,000 from the NH Early Emerging Technology Fund), and hands-on involvement from the center's seasoned startup executives.

North Country Angels
Montpelier, VT. www.northcountryangles.comfw@northcountryangels.com
North Country Angels (NCA) meets monthly as a group to hear presentations from companies seeking early-stage or seed investment. The objective is to help talented entrepreneurs build lasting businesses of significant value, and to participate as active investors in theses businesses .  NCA is not formally organizes to make investment as a group. Investment excisions are made by individual members.

Northeast Angels
c/o Hollis McGuire, 102 Perimeter Road
Nashua, NH 03063. http://gust.com/angel-group/northeast-angelshollis.mcguire@unh.edu   
North County Angels (NeA) is a early-stage investment group investment group that works with entrepreneurs and businesses located in the Northeast. NeA focuses on opportunities located around the business corridor between Manchester and Nashua and surrounding communities. NeA invests in opportunities regardless of technology or service class. NeA looks for opportunities with companies that can demonstrate potential market penetration , strong leadership, organized effort and strong financial skills.

Tuckerman Capital
80 South Main Street, Hanover, NH 03755. 603-640-2291 or 603-640-2290. www.tuckermancapital.com
tim@tuckermancapital.com (Timothy Briglin, managing partner),
peter@tuckermancapital.com (Peter H. Milliken, managing partner)
Tuckerman Capital invests in small manufacturing companies. In addition to contributing the capital needed to finance an acquisition, the firm uses its extensive experience with small companies to help grow and improve a portfolio company post-closing.

Vested for Growth
7 Wall Street, Concord, NH 03301. 603-224-6669. www.vestedforgrowth.com
jkeywallace@vestedforgrowth.com (James Key-Wallace, senior investor),
jhamilton@vestedfrogrowth.com (John Hamilton, managing director)   
Vested for Growth (VfG) provides flexible capital to existing NH-based businesses, which can access expansion capital without the collateral requirements of bank debt, while also avoiding the need to sell the business in order to pay out equity investors. By focusing on business-building in addition to financing, VfG's portfolio of companies has access to enhanced management capacity, industry contacts, human resource development and other business resources.
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