Progress Toward an Angel Investment Fund for the Pittsburgh Region
Innovation Works, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development committed $2 million to start the Fund, and Innovation Works has been working over the past year not only to assemble this initial capital, but to select a fund manager through a competitive process.
As noted in previous posts, it is critically important for the region's future to have a strong base of angel investors, and an angel investment fund is one of several important mechanisms needed to tap the full range of individuals interested in playing an "angel" role.
It was particularly good news for the region that more than fifty individuals and organizations expressed interest in managing the Fund, and that 11 different firms and partnerships competed in the final selection process. Running the angel fund will be hard work -- the $2 million funding committed to date is only the seed funding; the partners will have to find additional investors, as well as find good quality deals to invest in. So the high degree of interest in setting up a fund means that a lot of savvy investors see a lot of potential from startup firms in the Pittsburgh Region. If we're lucky, the Pittsburgh Early Growth Partners fund will be just the first of several angel funds for the region.