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Sierra Angels – Supporting Technology Companies in Reaching Their Goals

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Sierra Angels is angel investment group in the Northern Sierra region. They provide funding, mentoring, and strategic introductions for early-stage technology companies in Nevada and Northern California. Sierra Angels’ members are former business owners and senior executives experienced in financing and developing technology companies. Below is our interview with Kelly Benson, Sierra Angels Marketing Director:

Kelly BensonQ: Kelly, how would you describe Sierra Angels?

A: Sierra Angels is Nevada’s premier angel investment group in North Lake Tahoe, a certified Established Angel Group and a founding group of the Angel Capital Association. We operate on a high value-add model while providing funding, mentoring, and strategic introductions for meritorious early-stage technology companies in Nevada and Northern California. We are very active in collaborating with other lead angel groups and early stage VCs, and support entrepreneurial initiatives within the surrounding communities. Our Membership consists of 50+ highly experienced executives and entrepreneurs who are active in the investment arena and genuinely enjoy assisting companies in reaching their goals.

Q: What are Sierra Angels investment criteria and what target areas are the most interest to you?

A: Our investment criteria includes, but is not limited to, relevancy within one of our preferred tech-related industries, geographic proximity, a strong competitive advantage, technical superiority, strong IP protection (if applicable), a large identified market, scalability, and strong management. The areas, or industries, that we are most interested in are software, Internet, wireless, social media, health tech, clean tech, IT, and other various technological innovations.

Related: An Interview With Ron Miller, CEO Of Los Angeles Based Accelerator StartEngine

Q: At what stage does Sierra Angels invest?

A: We invest in early-stage companies with capital needs of $250,000 to $2,000,000. Use of these proceeds will go towards accomplishing significant milestones that will bring companies either to cash flow positive or to attract the next level of funding. The companies that we invest in also have working prototypes, customer validation, and a solid handle on the aforementioned investment criteria.

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Q: What is the best way to approach you with a business plan? What should executive summary include?

A: Entrepreneurs can apply through our website, by clicking on the ‘Apply Now’ button on the homepage. Prior to applying though, we ask that entrepreneurs familiarize themselves with our criteria and investment process, which they can also do on our website. When applying, an entrepreneur should expect to answer questions regarding their pre-money valuation, amount of capital seeking, burn rate, revenue run rate, previous capital raised, and detailed descriptions about the product or service and it’s relevant market and customer base. Additionally, entrepreneurs can submit financial documents, a business plan, an investor presentation, and any additional supporting materials.

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Q: What is your message to entrepreneurs?

A: Sierra Angels is a high value-add angel group that utilizes the combined expertise and connectivity of our Membership to better serve our portfolio companies. As a result of the experience of our Members, many entrepreneurs have found our model to be immensely helpful in both their strategic and operational development. What we offer to entrepreneurs includes the ability to act as funding deal lead, initiating and completing due diligence, a strong syndication approach with collaborative angel groups for larger raises, assembling the deal package, and a membership with extensive networks, among others. Additionally, we make our expertise available as Board Directors and Advisors. For companies not ready for funding, we deploy an active mentoring program, which is quite unique and helps companies become fundable and scale. We urge entrepreneurs to visit our website to learn more about how our organization can help take a good idea to the next level and become a great business.

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