By establishing a Rural Angel Investment Network (RAIN) to train and encourage local investors, FIRE addresses these barriers to innovation and economic growth by developing unique investment capital models to meet financial needs of entrepreneurs. The process begins with regional stakeholder interviews and gaps analysis to determine the unmet funding needs, and to identify viable funding opportunities. RAIN then identifies, recruits, and trains local entrepreneurs on investment opportunities based on best practices developed by WSU extension Local Investment Networks (LIN).
Rural Angel Investment Network
Making it RAIN
RAIN builds upon models developed by the WSU Extension office and the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) that have established several LINs. LIN (Local Investment Network) models organize and educate rural communities to utilize existing community networks and resources to make business loans to support local businesses. RAIN expands on the success of LINs by cataloging existing regional resources, identifying the criteria for application and then, through stakeholder interviews, determine what capital needs are unmet. These goals have been fulfilled. In 2022 RAIN will develop mechanisms to meet these funding gaps and will roll out solutions based on stakeholder and guidance from FIRE’s External Advisory Board (EAB).
1. Awareness Campaign
Introduces the idea of accredited investor criteria (i.e. PSA’s).
2. Introductory Education
Informs about the role and opportunities for accredited investors (i.e. Lunch and Learns).
3. Recruit and Engage
Creates cohorts of investors who undergo training and form a fund.
Frequently Asked Questions
The more you know the less intimidating it gets. The first learning point is to determine if you are an accredited investor:
- Individuals who have earned $200,000 or more in income over the past two years automatically qualify as an accredited investor, as does a person whose income—when combined with a spouse’s—totals $300,000 or more.
- Also or alternatively, an individual can maintain a net worth of $1 million or more, minus the value of a primary residence.
- Also or alternatively, an individual can pass a test administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to become Series 7, 65, and/or 82 certified. Learn more here.
If you qualify, then it’s time to learn what accredited investors actually do and how much investment is expected if you are interested in joining a fund. Many are surprised to know that entry level investments are often $5000 dollars.
Impact investing supports, strengthens and provides resiliency to our local economies. It is about tapping the capital that exists, right here, right now, in our communities to support the businesses that can make our region even stronger. For the investor, it is also a chance to “get in on the ground floor” with an early investment in world-class business ideas, services and products.
The SEC defines an accredited investor as either:
- An individual with gross income exceeding $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with a spouse or partner exceeding $300,000 USD for those years and a reasonable expectation of the same income level in the current year.
- A person whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with that person’s spouse or partner, exceeds $1,000,000, excluding the person’s primary residence.
- There is no formal process for becoming an accredited investor. Rather, the onus is on the sellers of such securities to take a number of different steps in order to verify the status of entities or individuals who wish to be treated as accredited investors.
- The SEC has opened up accredited investment opportunities to those with certain financial expertise but who might not meet the standard income or asset requirements. Learn more here.
Angel Capital Association in partnership with leading organizations, has created the Rising Tide education program, helping new angels discover the basics of becoming an angel investor with this unique collection of educational resources. Learn the important best practices in these programs.
The Angel Accelerator is a mix of lectures, workshops, case studies, and hands on practice. Video recordings of previous Angel Accelerators are posted here to allow participants to get up to speed more quickly and to join the conversations with more knowledge. Learn more here.
Qualified and experienced investors can help by funding early-stage entrepreneurs as well as serve as mentors, advisors or serving on the boards-of-directors for start-up companies.
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